Recently, my partner Chris (Conscious Chris) and I headed out on a 12 -Day road trip. You can read all of the details on my road trip blog post (coming very soon!), or watch it all on my road trip video playlist on my youtube channel.
Along our trip, Chris and I touched down in Boulder, CO for a few days. It was my first time in town, his second, but even with that, there was still so much ground we both had to cover. Fortunately, even with our last minute booking, we were able to score a room at the St. Julien.
Included in my road trip video playlist was a video (above) with a mini hotel room tour and our experience at the all you can eat vegan buffet discussed below. Especially coming from the various Super 8’s and Priceline express deal booked rooms, this whole experience was even more than the paradise we expected it to be. The hotel was in a prime location, within walking distance from Pearl Street, the Farmer’s Market, Library & Creek — after our long few days on the road, we didn’t want to step back into our car if we didn’t need to.
We found ourselves walking and biking to and from the hotel (the hotel has free bikes for it’s guests to rent, how cool is that?!) everyday. They had a gym at the hotel but we were so anxious to explore that we couldn’t make it a priority on our travels, so walking and biking “sliced two carrots with one knife” (the traditional phrase isn’t quite vegan friendly aha).
Anyways, we were in Boulder for a total of three days — you can read all up on it in my road trip round up (coming soon!) — but one of the highlights of our stay were our visits to Jill’s Restaurant. Actually, our first day there just so happened to be the perfect time for us to experience their vegan Fridays, an all you can eat vegan buffet! The dishes change weekly, but here is what was available to us when we visited: Savory:
- Mixed greens salad with dried fruit & cashews
- Pickled ginger viniagrette, hazelnut vinaigrette and balsamic viniagrette
- Cous cous salad w/ dried fruit & mixed nuts
- Soup au Pistou (Provencal version of minestrone)
- Roasted tomato basil soup
- Toasted french bread w/ various spreads: white bean dip, olive tapenade, pesto & hummus
- Kale & spinach salad w/ curried rum raisin, eggplant & sunflower seeds
- Wild rice w/ caramelized vegetables
- Roasted vegetable risotto
- Fresh fruit
- Roasted fingerling potatoes w/ collard greens and squash
- Various vegan pizza options
- Various cornmeal pancake pizza options
- Apple crumble
- Gluten-free peanut butter and jelly oat bars
- Walnut brownies
- Chocolate cake
- Mango & blackberry coconut chia pudding
- Chocolate covered strawberries
- Banana chocolate chip cookies
I was impressed by the options available at the buffet, and just how popular the weekly treat was in the Boulder community. We sat by a couple who told us they were there every single Friday because they just couldn’t get enough! I was a bit caught off guard by their little to no oil-free options or accommodation, and I feel I should add that as a lot of those in my community prefer an oil-free diet. There was fruit, bread, and oil-free salad, but that was all that was available for oil-free. I did, however, try very single dish available as I wanted to be able to provide an accurate review of the food + recommendations, and my top four have got to be the fig and cheese pizza, wild rice w/ veggies, apple rumble and their peanut butter and jelly oat bars because anything pb&j and I am sold! If only there were ice cream for the apple crumble 😛 The next time Chris and I visit Boulder and the St. Julien, I would like to be able to spend more time in the facility than we had our last visit. There were just too many things to do in such a short amount of time, it was hard to explore and appreciate what was both outside of and inside of the hotel. The hotel has weekly events in their courtyard/patio area, and Chris and I were able to catch the last half of the last song at their salsa night. We were so into it, but then the song ended and it was over, what?! I would say at least we were able to be there for some of it, it seemed like such a party. There were locals as well as hotel guests, so it was definitely a lively event. Our room also had a Mountain View of the Flatiron Mountains which was like candy for our photography-savvy selves. Coming from Sedona, AZ and their beautiful red rock formations to this, we were spoiled with all of this beautiful scenery to say the least, and it left us with about 2,000 photos each to sort through upon our return from this trip (still sorting actually, and slightly insane from it haha but also a lot of fun doing so <3).
Oh! And I should add — the St, Julien has a turn down service where they basically fluff up your bed at night, and traditionally any hotel would leave treats etc. for the guest to arrive back to. Well, the St. Julien not only put the right amount of fluff into our sheets, but they also left us with ALL VEGAN treats, YES! It was a yummy crunchy chocolate cookie covered with a chocolate shell.
Okay, back to the food at the St. Julien…because really, I know that’s the most important factor of anywhere we go, especially when great vegan options are available!Chris and I decided to have dinner at Jill’s Restaurant before we headed to see Odesza at Red Rocks Amphitheater (life changing, btw!). We emailed the manager seeing if vegan would be possible for accommodation, and he was so for it, and so into it!
We worked with them, and they were able to provide for us an all vegan four course dinner, it was so thoughtful and very appreciated! The chef knew exactly what he was doing, and working at a non vegan restaurant and not preparing these dishes often, he did a remarkable job. He was very creative with the ingredients, and honestly surprised us each meal.The only thing I was disappointed of was what I probably assume to be a miscommunication/misunderstanding between the manager and the chef. I spoke to the manager on a whim and asked if they could possible do an oil-free dinner (when we first emailed him actually), and he said yes!! That made me so happy :)So when we arrived the the restaurant, I asked again to confirm and the manager, as well as the wait staff that assisted us, all said yes yes yes. Well, the first dish came out drizzled in oil and pesto, and I am not mad or upset at the chefs choice of ingredient because he did a spectacular job, but I am more upset that they all kept telling me yes. When the soup and pesto came, and Chris and I clearly saw all of the oil drops all over it, we asked our waitress. She looked at it, and was like “yes, there is no oil”. Very confusing? I’m not sure what was happening, but it was very disappointing. I know that it is just my preference in diet, but if I had an allergy, condition where I could not eat high fat etc. it would not have been great.
Regardless of the aforementioned ordeal, my stay in Boulder was nothing short of satisfying, pleasing, comfortable, I could only go on. Chris and I will return to Boulder in the near future to finish exploring as 3 days what not nearly enough time, and hopefully we will be able to book the St. Julien a second time. But until next time, we will just be reliving our days spent on the road through our photos and videos 🙂
Disclaimer: I was provided with a stay and meals the St. Julien Hotel & Jill’s Restaurant to review on my blog, but all of the opinions shared are my own. I would not feature this experience on my page to share with you all unless I loved it! Thank you for supporting Sweet Simple Vegan!