Whenever I get an opportunity to have dinner with my family, I try and introduce them to new and exciting places. And they are getting into it to, looking for new and fun places for each visit. In fact my dad scouted out a supposedly great BBQ place for us to try. So, when I found myself traveling to Denver for work, we had the opportunity to get together for a fun dinner. Unfortunately, I’m working on my P90X program, and barbecue doesn’t necessarily fall in the “Fat Burner” list of foods. I told him that we would have to back burner that, and I would find something that fit a little better with my meal program.
Leveraging UrbanSpoon, I scoured a variety of restaurants in the Longmont area (about as far north as UrbanSpoon Denver goes, and a nice middle point between the airport and Cheyenne), finally settling on SugarBeet. From the description it appeared to be a nice, fairly new contemporary American restaurant. There were a variety of dishes listed that appeared to work with my program. So, I made a reservation and had everyone head that direction.
The town of Longmont is not one that I spent a lot of time in growing up. We would usually just stop at the fast food restaurants next to the freeway (a good 5-7 miles from the town center) as we were coming back from Denver. So it was interesting to find myself driving down this really nice main street with lots of shops and little restaurants. Completely different than I had envisioned Longmont. It was quite the quaint little suburb. Of course, that’s not where Sugarbeet was. Rather, I drove into an area that looked a bit industrial and a bit rundown to find a new rectangular brick building that housed the restaurant and next door an auto repair shop. I pulled into the parking lot, grabbed my stuff and got ready to take a picture when the rain started. So I put away my camera and jogged inside before a good old fashion Rocky Mountain thunderstorm broke out.
The inside of the restaurant was simple and fairly brightly lit. On the right was a nice long dark wood bar, and to the left was a dining area for about 20-30 people. I took a seat at one of the dark wood, uncovered tables and waited about five minutes for my family members to arrive. My mom, dad, sister, her boyfriend and my nephew all made their way in, dressed a little nicer. My dad said it looked like a nicer place on the website so he wore khakis. Gotta love those Wyomingites. I was in jeans.
Since I’ve started P90X, I’ve been on a nutrition plan that is high in protein and low in carbs (I say nutrition plan instead of diet because I’m still consuming 2400 calories a day…just a change in how I get them). So I started out by ordering a tonic water with lime (funny story about this in the P90X week 2 recap) and got a little bit of a funny look. After we all placed our drink orders, we started going through the menu. It was fun having the opportunity to explain some new things to everyone like “Black-Eyed pea croquettes”, “Polenta”, and “Chevre”. I’m becoming a total foodie nerd! We all finally settled on sour meals and appetizers after a few minutes, and placed our order. I opted for the oysters and the halibut with fingerling potatoes and wilted Swiss chard.
The meal gave us the opportunity to talk about a lot of things. While we were waiting for the food we talked about work and exercise programs and school. When the food arrived, we talked about it. My sister was confused when she fished a Kalamata olive out of her salad as she had never seen one (didn’t much care for it). Her boyfriend was wowed by the preparation of the salmon (smoked). My dad and I enjoyed a couple oysters on the half shell with a little horseradish. The were delicious, but that’s what you would expect from Washington oysters. My mom and sister tried some cheeses that they had never heard of, with a balsamic reduction that my sister had never seen before.
Finally we made it to the entrees. I knew I was taking a risk by ordering halibut outside of the PNW, but of all the things on the menu, it appeared to be the most P90X friendly. It was a large piece of halibut topped with a light blood orange and cashew sauce, served with some lightly seaoned fingerling potato and some wilted Swiss chard with peppers. From a P90X perspective, it was lots of protein an vegetables with minimal carbs and fat (just had to only eat half of the potatoes and only get small bits of the sauce). It sounded like the perfect plan. The only problem was that the halibut was overcooked. It was dry and didn’t flake off like halibut is supposed to. The sauce was nice, light with a bit of acidity, a bit of sweetness. The chard and the potatoes were nicely prepared as well. But I was definitely disappointed in the halibut.
Everyone else seemed to enjoy their entrees, so that was good. And we had a chance to sit down together and talk which we only get to do a few times a year with me living so far away from them. I thought that overall, from an ambiance and presentation perspective, SugarBeet did a very nice job. There was a lot of potential in what I saw, and maybe if I had gone with something different, I would have been very happy. But in the end, I left feeling a bit disappointed. That doesn’t mean, I don’t recommend you check it out…just stick to the dishes that are more Rocky Mountain like steak, pork, short rib, trout, etc.