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sandwich chronicles: cafe blue

For the second stop on my sandwich chronicles, we hoof it across town to Gunbarrel. I used to work in Gunbarrel when we first moved to Colorado, so I got to know the area a bit. A popular lunch stop with my co-workers was Cafe Blue. It’s a nondescript restaurant in a nondescript strip mall in a nondescript part of Boulder. The service is consistently friendly despite how wildly the quality of service varies. I poked around on the menu for the first few visits, trying out sandwich options. Nothing really spoke to me until I honed in on the big kahuna. There is one sandwich that pretty much has a lock on my order: the blackened tuna sandwich.


cafe blue in gunbarrel

cafe blue’s blackened tuna sandwich with a side of mac and cheese



What you get for $11.25 is a nice ahi tuna filet, crusted in seasonings, blackened to your requested doneness, served on a toasted onion roll with basil aioli. On the side you get lettuce, tomato, and onion. Want cheese with that? Your choice of: provolone, American, Swiss, blue cheese, feta, cheddar, or pepper jack. Pick one of their side dish offerings: mac and cheese, shoestring french fries, mashed potatoes, house salad, cup of soup, or cottage cheese. There are extras on offer as well for $.75 each: mushrooms, onions, bacon, jalapeños, artichokes, peppers.

from a different visit: sandwich cross-section



To the sandwich: Rare. I order this sandwich rare. I’ve never had it any other way, so if you order it well-done and complain to me that it isn’t juicy, I’m going to ask you to please refrain from ruining good food. It’s a lovely combination of a lightly toasted onion roll that cradles a hunk of beautiful blackened ahi tuna with basil aioli dripping down the side. The tuna drips juices when you take a bite. The tender interior of the ahi tuna contrasts with the delicately crisp blackened exterior without being overpowered by the herbs and spices (although I do love to get my spice on). You can skip the vegetables, but I like to stack my sandwich with the lettuce and tomato on offer. It rounds out the textures and temperatures nicely.

Where: Cafe Blue at 5280 Spine Road in Gunbarrel – Boulder, Colorado.

When: You can order the blackened tuna sandwich at lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm.

Contact: Call Cafe Blue at 303.530.4345. Visit their Facebook page.

Full Disclosure: The opinions expressed here are my own (duh). No comps for the chomps.

Previous sandwich research:

1) The Pinyon’s fried chicken sandwich

8 nibbles at “sandwich chronicles: cafe blue”

  1. electricdaisy says:

    “if you order it well-done and complain to me that it isn’t juicy, I’m going to ask you to please refrain from ruining good food.”

    Preach! I work as a server and I hate when people mess up their delicious food by cooking it to death! When people order the pork loin, I started saying “we recommend that medium, is that okay?” because if you give them a choice most people will say “Oh, WELL! I would NEVER eat pork with ANY pink in it!”. When they finally get their pork loin 40 minutes later and dry as all hell, they complain. Le sigh.

  2. Connie says:

    Wow, that looks delicious! I agree, one shouldn’t complain later if they insist on it cooked differently than suggested on the menu or by the server. If one prefer well done proteins, they could consider another dish that is meant to be eaten well done.

  3. Memoria says:

    I am one of those people who prefer a well-done burger or steak, sometimes to point of being burnt. I can’t stand to see any amount of blood seeping out of my meat, running along my plate, and snaking its way into my fries or potatoes; it just seems gross and barbaric to me haha. The texture is way grody to me as well. Good thing I make my steaks at home and don’t have to deal with people judging how I prefer my own meat to be cooked. Also, I can still yield a yummy, juicy steak even without the blood! To each her/his own, I say!

  4. ashley says:

    Hey there – not quite sure how I stumbled upon your blog, but I’m completely loving the food, recipes, and photos. Thanks for the inspiration!

    P.S. I love seeing you delicious list of Chinese cooking :)

  5. farmerpam says:

    I’m drooling over this one.

  6. Margie says:

    Our family lived in Gunbarrel once upon a time!

    I’ve got to quit reading your posts at bedtime. I’m famished and drooling right now.

  7. jenyu says:

    electricdaisy – I can’t even imagine being a server and dealing with that.

    Connie – it’s a terrific sandwich :)

    ashley – thanks, and you’re welcome!

    farmerpam – I bet it wouldn’t be hard to reproduce at home too.

    Margie – I think I may have known that? It’s definitely hotter out there :)

  8. Alison says:

    Thanks for posting about this place and sandwich, Jen. I want to try this! My husband and I are looking forward to more of your sandwich reviews.

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