I don’t normally write restaurant reviews on my blog. Um hello, there’s Yelp for that. So when I do, you’d better believe it’s for an over-the-top totally foodgasmic experience complete with total sensory overload. Especially for a restaurant that’s halfway across the United States from me. Bonus points for the restaurant’s owner being totally awesome and generously lets me share a recipe for Paleo Chocolate Lava Cake from the restaurant’s menu. And that’s where Blooming Beets Kitchen in Boulder, Colorado comes in. Ain’t she purty??
Let’s set the scene here with a little background about the restaurant. A couple years back I heard about a kickstarter campaign for a paleo restaurant in Boulder. And even though I live halfway across the country, my family visits Colorado almost every year, so I figured HECK. YES. And I contributed. It opened in May 2o14 and I had been literally DYING to go ever since I heard about the concept.
And guess what? Blooming Beets absolutely blew my expectations out of the water. Which were extremely high, by the way. The same thing happened to my whole family. Did I mention that none of them have any food allergies or dietary restrictions? Yeah. We don’t talk about it. I’m not bitter or anything being the only glutard and lactard in the WHOLE DAMN FAMILY.
But back to the food. Everyone at our table took one bite of their food, and basically looked at each other in disbelief. Seriously, Dana can eat ALL of this? And it’s THIS good?!
I can honestly say that since I got diagnosed with celiac, found out I was lactose intolerant and had a host of other food intolerance issues, I have never once been able to walk into a restaurant knowing that I could eat anything off the menu…heck, even more than a handful of dishes on any restaurant’s menu. There’s always something in there I can’t eat and have to be super careful about if I don’t want to be doubled over in pain for a few days. Not at Blooming Beets, though. Remember that mind-blowingly amazing part? Yeah. I walked in to this restaurant, and could eat every. single. thing. on the menu. No substitutions, no exceptions. I could eat EVERYTHING.
You should’ve seen my eyes bugging out of my head. It was
a little really epic. Or so my family says.
But not only could I eat everything because the entire restaurant is gluten, dairy, grain, and soy-free (all paleo), all the dishes that everyone had were super creative, used seasonal ingredients, and did I mention my taste buds went to heaven with every bite I took? Yep, that happened. No exaggeration. Like if there is a taste bud heaven, mine went there at Blooming Beets. And guaranteed they won’t go back there until I return.
A lot of the time when I eat out at restaurants, I think there’s something I could change or add to a dish to make it slightly more my style (or a little better). It’s not like I’m a culinary professional or anything, but that’s what being a food blogger/food lover does to you. But let me tell you – everything I tasted at Blooming Beets? Nothing could have been better. Nothing. My brother and I purposefully only finished half our entrees so we could 1) have room for dessert and 2) have them for breakfast the next day. With eggs on top, obviously.
Basically, Blooming Beets just came on the scene, dropped the mic and left. Seriously. It’s THAT good. I recommend it to everyone, anywhere, any time, whether you live remotely close to Colorado or not, whether you eat paleo, autoimmune, whole30, gluten-free or not. I seriously envy my friends that live within a 100-mile radius of there because I would be in this joint ALL the freaking time.
Some of our favorites from our trip?
- Bacon-wrapped dates with herb cashew butter
- Bowl of Crazy: 100% grass-fed pulled brisket, crispy sweet potatoes with sauteed greens, caramelized onions, sauteed peppers, caramelized cauliflower rice, smoky avocado oil aioli (3 of us ordered this. It was INSANE)
- Coconut wrap with fried shrimp and cabbage coleslaw
- the powerlifter brunch for dinner: pastured bacon, grain free cashew pancakes, crispy sweet potato hash and pastured chorizo-egg scramble
- Molten chocolate lava cake, coconut ice cream, almond infused caramel, pecans
- Brownie sundae with coconut milk ice cream and almond-infused caramel
- Chia coconut pudding with blueberry-lemon compote & walnuts
See what I mean? I wasn’t kidding about the taste buds going to heaven thing. Did I mention they have BRUNCH too?!? And they had a whole section on the dinner menu for breakfast for dinner??! And the menu changes with the seasons, so they’re always coming up with new, amazing things. Ugh, dying. I was sad the second we left the restaurant because I knew I wouldn’t be back until the next time I’m in Colorado! Which needs to happen…asap.
BUT. The good news for me and you? Iva, the owner, who is SO amazingly nice, is letting me share the Molten Chocolate Lava Cake recipe from the restaurant with you.
Dying of happiness inside. Or maybe that’s just the molten chocolate doing its dopamine thing and making me feel all warm and fuzzy. If you can’t make it to Blooming Beets right now, you should probably make this dessert. Like, now. Just do it. You’ll thank me later.
Oh, and if anybody wants to fly me out to Colorado tomorrow so I can go back to Blooming Beets for every meal of my trip, that would also be great. Kthanks.
- 5 oz 100% dark chocolate
- 5 oz avocado oil (about ⅔ cup)
- 6 oz coconut palm sugar (about 1 cup + 1 Tbsp)
- 3 eggs + 2 egg yolks
- 1 oz almond flour (about ⅓ cup)
- 0.8 oz tapioca flour (a little less than ¼ cup)
- 0.5 oz coconut flour (about 2 Tbsp)
- 2.7 oz maple syrup (about ¼ cup)
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
- Use a small saucepan or double boiler to melt the chocolate on the stove. Be extremely careful not to burn; if you can’t watch and stir continuously, use the ‘double-boulder’ technique (place two pots on top of each other, the bottom pot has boiling water and the top pot has the chocolate to melt)
- Combine the wet ingredients in one bowl (avocado oil, eggs + yolks, maple syrup) in one bowl, and the dry ingredients (sugar, almond flour, tapioca flour, coconut flour) in another.
- Use an the immersion blender or hand blender, to mix the wet ingredients together well, then stir in the dry ingredients with a spatula or wooden spoon.
- Fold in the chocolate last until it's completely incorporated with the other ingredients.
- Divide batter into 4 or 5 mini ramekins (I used 5, 7oz ramekins). Make sure the oven is well preheated, and stick those little guys in there for 11 minutes. Take out when the top of the lava cake has developed a crust but the center is still runny.
- Top with coconut ice cream and dairy-free caramel sauce. Enjoy!
I served mine with coconut milk ice cream and vanilla bean caramel sauce from Juli Bauer’s Paleo Cookbook! To. Die. For. Literally was licking the hot pot from the caramel. Definitely killed a few taste buds there.
Have you been to an all-paleo restaurant before? Blooming Beets? You’ve gotta go!