You don’t just walk straight into Cured and Boxcar Coffee Roasters on Pearl Street. You can’t. There is a little partition that forces you to go right or left, but not straight ahead. The two businesses share a common space with an open zone of mingling and happy browsing in between. Both Cured and Boxcar appeal to the eyes, nose, brains, tastebuds, and tummies.
as you walk in, cured is on the right
and boxcar coffee is on the left
Let’s begin with Boxcar Coffee Roasters. Boxcar roasts their own beans in-house. When you order coffee after an incredible meal at Frasca, they are serving Boxcar coffee. I am told by Jeremy and other trusted caffeine fiends that this is most excellent coffee. As far as local roasters go, Jeremy ranks it up there with his other favorite Conscious Coffees. If you’re talking about where to get a great cuppa, it’s all here east of the Pearl Street pedestrian mall: Boxcar, Atlas Purveyors, or Frasca’s Caffè (which incidentally uses Boxcar beans).
serving up some cowboy coffee
Saunter up to the counter and order from the small menu at your left. There is coffee, espresso, and the related variations as well as hot chocolate and hot teas (caffeinated and herbal). To your right sits an assortment of small pastries and confections to further tempt you. Don’t be in a rush for a cup of coffee, because it’s not going to happen in a rush. Theirs is cowboy coffee and it involves precise temperatures, times, technique, and of course, good beans. I don’t even drink coffee and I’d be tempted to pay for one just to watch the process. And you can watch it all being made in front of you while you hang out at the lovely bar. Or if you have business to discuss or a laptop to get sucked into, you can sit at one of the half dozen tables.
a perfect latte
my steaming pot of mint tea on a cold and rainy day
Jeremy loves when I have errands to run in this shop because it means he can enjoy a cowboy coffee (he digs watching it being made as much as I do) or a latte. I actually come here more often without him, and I buy coffee. I mean, I buy beans. Sometimes they are for home (for Jeremy or entertaining guests), but most of the time they are gifts. Boxcar’s beans make excellent gifts for the coffee connoisseurs in your life and the wall at the front entrance has a nice selection from which to choose.
whole bean or ground coffee – great for gifts or your own sipping pleasure
Now if you turn your attention to the East side of the store, prepare yourself for temptation. The other half of this nice, open space is occupied by Cured, which is another little gem on East Pearl Street. It’s like a shop of gourmet delights from seasonal local produce to artisan breads to fancy sea salts to Colorado honey.
specialty oils, condiments, pickles, honeys, spices
There is a feel to this shop that I get nowhere else in Boulder, sort of like a foodie field trip. I’m almost afraid to blink for fear of passing over some fantastic little nibble on display. Okay, but Cured really deals in three heavy hitters and for those, you need to take a short walk toward the back of the store. And trust me when I say it’s easy to get distracted on the way.
wines and spirits
Cured offers a beautiful selection of cheeses to choose from. If you are as cheese-stupid as I am, they have super knowledgeable staff to help you pick the best cheeses for your needs (to nibble, to entertain, to cook, etc.). My favorite part of the shop is the salumi case where you can find an assortment of cured meats from Italy, Spain, and France as well as domestic products. I was turned on to Il Mondo Vecchio‘s salumi (especially the duck breast prosciutto) in Denver last year (thanks, Kitt!), but bemoaned their (old) limited hours of operation and the fact that they were a 90-minute drive from my house. Imagine my joy when I learned that Cured carried their products. More often than not, I will walk into Cured and purchase a whole duck breast prosciutto for parties or gifts. And tucked in the back of the store is a small, but full, wine and local spirits section. Again, Cured has great staff on hand to help you find what you are looking for and maybe even help you discover new favorite wines.
seasonal produce and gourmet salts
While I like browsing the cheese, salumi, and wines, these are things I only get on occasion when we entertain or want to get a nice gift for someone. I am more likely to peruse the selection of local produce they have in the summer months on their big display table. I was obsessed with those bright, sweet, juicy little kumato tomatoes (pictured above) last summer, which are NOTHING like flavorless store-bought kumato tomatoes. Oh, and next to the produce is usually an array of artisan breads from a local baker. The crowns are topped with olive oil, lemon zest, sea salt, and rosemary. To say I have an addiction is an understatement. That is Tartine-worthy bread, kids. And now I don’t have to fly to San Francisco to get it!
In addition to the lovely gourmet store, Cured offers catering services, party platters, gift boxes, and picnic boxes. They frequently host classes, in-house tastings, and other fun community food and wine-related events. Check their website front page for details each month. Cured also serves up lovely daily sandwiches at lunch, but that’s for another post.
Wanna drop by Boxcar Coffee Roasters and Cured? Luckily for you, they’re in one place!
Boxcar Coffee Roasters
1825 Pearl Street
Boulder, Colorado 80302
Ph: (303) 527-1300 (office)
Hours: 8am- 6pm Tuesday – Friday, 9am – 6pm Saturday, 9am – 4pm Sunday (CLOSED MONDAY)
1825 B. Pearl Street
Boulder, CO 80302
Ph: (720) 389-8096
10:30am – 7pm Tuesday – Friday, 9am – 6pm Saturday, 11am – 5pm Sunday (CLOSED MONDAY)
Full Disclosure: No comps. It’s just me, my wallet, and my camera poking around to see what’s good.