Don't let the name fool you. Foolish Craig's in Boulder, Co., has earned its way over the last two decades as a peculiar and quaint cafe/bar that services fine food and sanctuary from the bustle of Pearl Street. Its colorful logo, which features a carless looking fellow (presumably Craig), could be considered the first introduction to what is a welcoming and vibrant establishment. An eclectic mix of quirky decor and the overall layout pay tribute to the cafe origins, while the red brick interior and its tight bar sort of resemble what you might find in a mountain ski-lodge.
Having wandered the town for much of the day, I was appreciative of the free reign I was given on the dining room and gravitated toward a table that was the furthest from any other patrons (though the two couples at the bar looked like a cozy bunch). After settling in, I was pleased to discover myself sitting next to a tall poster signed by Guy Fieri, where his scribbled black ink was lauding the cafe. Something about the crepes. A few other posters in the vicinity caught my eye, particularly one toting a New Orleans Jazz Fest circa 1998. I would later come to find out that the establishment opened in 98', and that crepes were indeed one of the cafe's signature dishes. Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives had also done a piece on the restaurant. There seemed to be a thoughtful intention behind the compiled wall hangings and decor.
In looking over the menu, I found it to be vast and rather detailed with a plethora of breakfast and traditional cafe options while still offering tantalizing dishes to the dietary restricted and otherwise health conscious people of Boulder (this is where I mention that a party at the nearest table was particularly vocal with their inquires and demands for the organic selections). I was less particular and kept it simple by rather spontaneously selecting The Foolish Huevos ($9.50); a rendition on the classic huevos rancheros dish that instead used the famous in-house crepes as a serving bed.
In just the first few bites, I was pleasantly surprised by the freshness of the vegetables used in the dish. In similarly situated kitchen-sink offerings, it can be easy to mask inattention to detail for the minor ingredients by being heavy handed with rich sauces or proteins. Not here. A melody of veggies, specifically the broccoli and bell peppers, were pronounced amidst the thick slab of over-easy eggs and underlying moist crepe. The black beans and potatoes, as well, were easily identifiable on their own as I progressed through the dish. While I wasn't blown away by any single flavor; the ranchero sauce was above average and any true representation of the crepes was seemingly lost in the mess, I kept coming back to the fact that I was able to taste the varying textures of vegetables on their own. Even the onions broke down to single leaves, showing to be crisp and charred around the edges.
In all, I came away impressed with the fact that my portion would have sufficed for a party of three, the server was mindful but not overbearing with her check-backs, and the atmosphere had a dual personality. Had I arrived with company or in a better state, (altitude change can do mean things to one's appetite) I may have received an entirely different, though likely positive, experience. Next time I'm in Boulder, Foolish Craig's is poised to be near the top of my list.
(Items Ordered: The Foolish Huevos)
Rating: 4 & 1/2 Crepes (Out of Five)
1611 Pearl St, Boulder, CO 80302