June 27, 2011

Full Gluten-Free Menu Available a Short Drive from Boulder at Sun Rose Cafe

By Evan Sandsmark -  

Sun Rose Cafe – art gallery, music venue, and restaurant open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner – has a separate and full gluten-free menu, a happy fact we discovered this afternoon on a trip through Longmont. About a 20-minute drive from Boulder, Sun Rose Cafe is a superb eatery, and we encourage anyone traveling through Longmont to stop by for a gluten-free meal. (For the record, the cafe only offers dinner Tuesday through Friday, and breakfast and lunch are served every day but Sunday, the only day of the week that the restaurant is closed.)

The cafe is located on the south end of Longmont’s Main Street, placing it near the center of town. The relatively narrow storefront suggests that the restaurant, which also hosts music events on Friday night and doubles as an art gallery of sorts (or at least the numerous paintings on the wall with price tags suggest as much), is smaller than it actually is. In fact, the cafe is quite large, as it’s about three times as long as it is wide. To your left when you walk in is a counter, where you can order drinks and food to go. If you decide to dine in, as we did today, a server will take you to a table and wait on you, just like any other sit-down restaurant.

The inside of the cafe has a pleasant old-fashioned atmosphere, in large part because the building in which it is housed appears to be rather old. The floor is made of sturdy wood panels, and the red ceiling is patterned like an old amphitheater. There is a large skylight in the ceiling too, which our table was fortuitously placed under. Three of the walls are a soft orange color, while a fourth is made of old brick. Seemingly all of the available wall space is covered with artwork, a disproportionate amount of which is produced by people named Peggy with last names that begin with “B.” (Seriously, for whatever reason, the paintings hung on the wall we sat against were all by two people who just so happened to be Peggy B’s – more specifically, Peggy Baker and Peggy Brackett; kind of weird, huh?)

After looking at the regular menu for a few minutes, we asked about the gluten-free options, expecting to hear that a few dishes could be altered to make them gluten-free, or perhaps that a generic GF bread is available as a substitution for the sandwiches and paninis. Instead, we were cheerfully given an entirely separate gluten-free menu, one that was almost as large as the regular menu and complete with gluten-free appetizers, sandwiches, salads, and desserts. It was at this point that we realized that we had happened upon a gem of restaurant from the perspective of gluten-free eating, or probably any other perspective, for that matter. There is a gluten-free flat bread for the paninis, as well as a gluten-free hoagie roll for the other sandwiches; there is also a gluten-free English muffin available for breakfast should you find yourself at the cafe in the morning. All of the other items on the GF menu are either gluten-free to begin with or altered to make them gluten-free.

After a not inconsiderable amount of time, we finally decided on the smoked turkey BLT, one of many delicious-sounding sandwiches on the menu (hence the long period of deliberation prior to placing our order). The turkey BLT was made with turkey, bacon, lettuce, and tomato (obviously), as well as a several substantial slices of delicious avocado and smoked Gouda. All of this was sandwiched (ha) between a gluten-free hoagie roll that was spread with Dijon mustard. On the side was a slice of pickle and a bag of jalapeno potato chips. Other sides include a number of different types of potato chips and a coleslaw, as well as artichoke and chickpea salad.

Basically, we had a perfect deli lunch: the sandwich was delicious, and so were the potato chips and even the pickle (although, with all due respect to Sun Rose, the pickle didn’t quite match the one we had at Udi’s Bread Cafe, the enjoyment of which was easily the high-water mark of our pickle-eating career). The sandwich was heaped with cold cuts of turkey, which were topped with freshly cut Roma tomatoes and a crispy leaf of lettuce. Mixed into the vegetables were intensely tasty slices of avocado. We’ll be the first to admit that we have an unusually strong affinity for avocado and the byproducts thereof, but still, the avocado slices were awesome. The slices of smoked Gouda possessed a faint sharpness that contrasted nicely with the spice of the Dijon mustard.

And what of the GF bread, which is too often made with halfhearted enthusiasm (or is it full-blooded indifference?), making it an abiding nemesis of the gluten-free eater? We’re happy to report that it was quite good – it was light, springy, and fresh, and to expect anything more out of a bread, gluten-free or otherwise, is to approach rapaciousness.

To recap: Sun Rose Cafe is located in central Longmont, it has a nice atmosphere, and it has an entire gluten-free menu populated with what we can only assume – based on our lunch – are excellent dishes. If you’re in Longmont, or if you’re simply looking to get out of Boulder for lunch, Sun Rose Cafe is great place to dine.

A link to all of the menus of Sun Rose:


Sun Rose can be found here:
379 Main Street
Longmont, CO 80501

Note: This is the twentieth article in a new series presented by GlutenFreeInBoulder.com. On a (roughly) weekly basis, we will visit a restaurant, try a thing or two, and write about our experience. We will, of course, be sampling exclusively gluten-free food so we can report back to our readers about the items worth having. However, many of the places we visit merely offer gluten-free options, and hence are not necessarily 100% gluten-free facilities, so if proximal cross-contamination is an issue, call ahead. If you would like us to review a particular restaurant with gluten-free options, send an email to info@glutenfreeinboulder.com. We’ll try our best to check it out!

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