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Taste of the week: Boychik and Lost City Coffee

For a good time, try a plate of Boychik’s falafel while taking in views of the Flatirons from the rooftop of downtown Boulder’s Avanti Food & Beverage.

Located in the first floor food hall, Boychik focuses on homemade Mediterranean dishes. I enjoyed the fresh-out-of-the-air-fryer falafel: large, soft, warm balls inside a crispy shell, sprinkled with herbaceous zhoug, a spicy green mash of cilantro, chili peppers and spices similar to Argentinian chimichurri .

My bowl also included super creamy tahini hummus; cucumber, tomato and parsley salad; onion marinated in sumac; and soft pita bread. Throw in a few Middle Eastern hot sauce shakes and you have a pretty exciting lunch.

Other items on the Boychik menu include chicken shawarma, fried cauliflower (with ras el hanout [a blend of earthy spices]dates and mint) lamb kebab, fries sprinkled with za’atar spices and vegan smoothie with tahini and dates.

Leaving Avanti in a hurry, I was stopped by the sight of a gorgeous sticky caramel pudding, mango coconut cake pudding, sundae cake, biscotti , muffins and more from the pastry cases in the café and pastry shop in the food hall, Lost City. Open for just two weeks, chef Jennifer says her approach to the confectionery department is to apply European baking techniques to familiar American desserts. The banana pie with pastry cream and whipped cream is at the top. Lost City also offers Denver’s Little Man Ice Cream.

Boulder Recipe Flashback: Flagstaff House Apple Pie

Desserts starting with a plate of candy, whipped cream and coffee have been the hallmark of epic dinner parties since the Flagstaff House restaurant began serving on the mountainside half a century ago.

In the late 1990s, a reader asked for the Flagstaff House recipe for a much-loved crispy apple pie with cinnamon ice cream and caramel sauce.

Mark Monette, the restaurant’s legendary executive chef, kindly rewrote the recipe in a form suitable for home cooking.

Flagstaff House Crispy Apple Pie

4 squares frozen puff pastry, thawed

4 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and very thinly sliced

1/2 cup sugar combine with 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon

1/2 cup brown sugar

Cinnamon ice cream (see note)

Caramel sauce (your favorite)

Roll out pie crust into four thin circles, each four inches wide. Sprinkle the dough with brown sugar. Spread the apple slices over the entire surface and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake at 325 degrees for about 30-45 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and serve with cinnamon ice cream and hot caramel sauce.

Note: To make cinnamon ice cream, barely soften a pint of vanilla bean ice cream or gelato and stir in a tablespoon of cinnamon. Refreeze if needed or serve as is.

Culinary calendar: first sip

The folks at Boulder’s First Bite have kicked off First Sip, April 28-May 1, a weekend of adult beverage experiences at 33 restaurants, including whiskey tasting at Boulder Spirits, cocktail creation at Japango and a beer tasting at the Bohemian Biergarten. Tickets: … The Big Stir Festival, April 23 in Denver, honors women leaders in the culinary industry with food and beverage tastings and seminars. Proceeds fund Dames d’Escoffier Colorado scholarships. Tickets: … Plan ahead: Boulder Creek Beer Festival is May 28-29. … Whistling Boar’s Summer Farmhouse Supper Club is offering a dinner series starting June 30 at Longmont’s Metacarbon Organic Farm. … Send culinary event information to: [email protected]