Al Pastor and IPA at Cyclhops.
At the northern end of Boulder County is the sprawling town of Longmont, home to more breweries, farms, restaurants, sweet shops and cows than you could shake a stick at. And more places open up all the time, drawing more people to Longmont. Oskar Blues is a fixture of Longmont, providing support to the community with food, beer and charity. Their Can’d Aid rallied around Longmont, Lyons and Boulder to help out after the floods last year and are still going strong. In June, they helped carry out the 4th annual G’Knight Ride, a town-wide bike ride for families that culminated in a big party in one of the downtown parks.
Driving north on 119, it’s hard to miss Oskar Blue’s presence in Longmont. After all, there’s a giant beer can greeting you on the east side of the highway. But what about some of their other restaurants? Oskar Blues isn’t just beer, burgers and Southern style barbeque anymore. Now Oskar Blues can provide your taco and margarita fix too.
Cyclhops, located at the corner of Airport Rd and Nelson, opened last January with a limited food menu and an extensive tequila list. As the year has progressed, they’ve seen a steady increase in popularity, one which is well deserved. With an ever-evolving menu of tacos, enchiladas and traditional Latin fare such as ceviche, a rotating tap of beers (always ten for Oskar Blues, including some you can’t get elsewhere, along with ten from other brewers) and fantastic cocktails, from margaritas to inventive concoctions with horchata, it would be hard to be disappointed with Cyclhops.
The staff are friendly and knowledgeable, even when the bar is standing room only during a Friday night happy hour, always quick to recommend a bite to eat or a beer to taste. Show up often enough, they’ll probably even remember your name and favorite drink. And speaking of happy hour, they have one of the best in town. Killer margs, cans of beer and some amazing specials only available from 4-6pm.
One of my favorite places in town, conveniently located in walking distance from my home, I try to stop in at least once week. Maybe twice. My go-to spot for taking family visiting, friends who just moved to town (or don’t make it out of Boulder very often), I’ve eaten my way through the menu many times over.
This trip, I found myself at the bar unable to decide. It was getting close to the end of happy hour, so I got my order for the seven-layer bean dip in and stared at the beer menu. After tasting a few stouts, I settled on OB’s High and Dry IPA. It was sharp, crisp and bursting with hops, the bitterness pairing well with the textural decadence of the dip. And it took most of the bean dip and the beer for me to decide which entree to get.
Tacos at Cyclhops are street style, $3 each or 3 for $8, and can be mixed so that you can create your own variety plate. The corn and flour tortillas are both excellent, but the torta option is where it’s at. A torta is traditionally a sandwich the size of a small plate, but Cyclhops offers them slider size.
Every day, the chef has a special enchilada. Usually interesting, always delicious, it seemed the perfect thing to get. Light enough that I wouldn’t feel bloated after a couple beers and those addictively delicious housemade tortilla chips. And just my luck, the special that day was Al Pastor. Al Pastor, for those unfamiliar, is slow-cooked pork with pineapple and onions. The combination of savory and sweet, always a favorite of mine, was perfectly balanced with the ancho chile mole sauce over the top. Smokey, with just a hint of sweetness and heat in the sauce. The only shame was that there were only two enchiladas. I’d probably have eaten a truckload.
Expect a wait on the weekends, but you won’t be disappointed. And stop in Saturdays and Sundays, from 10am to 2pm for an excellent brunch menu. As an added bonus, the REEB bike shop is attached to Cyclhops. Check out some cool fat-tired mountain bikes while you wait for your table.