A simple google search brought me to 3303 30th St, in Boulder. I gave Blooming Beets a chance, and in return they opened up a menu of opportunities to me. I finally felt a love for food all thanks to them. It is one of the few places I have found that is a paleo only restaurant; I was endeared to it on this aspect alone. Then, throw in the fact that they can do an AIP menu on request, proudly display who they get their food from, are completely gluten and grain free, and support local vendors, I wanted to forever be bragging about Blooming Beets. I will rave to friends, family, and the internet until everyone can go and corroborate my experience!

People always say, “It must be hard to have so many food allergies,” to which I always shrug. It never felt too difficult, because I never knew any different. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago, I thought about the idea of a menu. Most people open a menu and search through about fifteen different options for whatever they feel like; while I search for buzz words for my allergies and then by elimination pick between the one or two things I can actually eat on a menu. This epiphany made me realize, I experience eating and trips to restaurants differently than most. I find myself worried I will eat something that will make me sick, or become frustrated when I have almost no options for what to eat. I even experience envy when someone orders a wonderful looking meal that I can’t share a bite of.

I have also realized, I am not alone. There are many people with their own menu elimination process. Some people are vegan, vegetarian, lactose intolerant, gluten intolerant, choose only organic, or have a food allergy. For the first time, I got to experience choices, many choices, on a menu. For anyone in Boulder or even around Boulder with an AIP or paleo diet, I urge you to go to Blooming Beets for the experience of options, and for luxury for the chance to peruse through all you can eat, as opposed to scanning for all the things you can’t. Blooming Beets even proves to be a place to dine, even if you can eat any and everything.

I don’t think I will ever find a restaurant to meet all of my allergy needs, and on top of that everyone has preferences. But, sitting down at Blooming Beets made me feel normal. I had options. Did I want the snickerdoodle cookie bowl? Or perhaps the grain free doughnut holes? Maybe, the roasted apples and cinnamon? I ordered the bacon jam, avocado, and goat cheese Benedict, with power greens, poached egg, grain free english muffins and the dairy-free lemon garlic aioli. The food was rich. Everything was salty, sweet, savory, and pure all in one meal. My brunch was like eating a salad, a warm egg sandwich, and spoonfuls of bacon on one brunch plate. Every flavor combination was so flavorful and yet so healthy, I found myself wanting to peak over the open kitchen to try and replicate the process in my own house! I honestly never thought paleo food could taste so delicious. Eating the donut holes with cashew batter fried and dates was an experience that shouldn’t be cheapened by attempting to explain, but should only be experienced in person. The combination of sweet, rich, and almost breaded taste was a genius combination I have never tasted replicated anywhere else.

I brought my partner along to help test the food. The thing with food that is considerate to dietary restrictions, sometimes it almost takes like the “real thing,” and other times it is a “real thing” in it of itself. At Blooming Beets, the food was its own food, its own entity to mimic. The bread didn’t taste “almost as good as regular bread” and the donut holes weren’t “almost like donuts” the food was its own bread and its own dessert. My partners chorizo wrap with coconut tortilla, sweet potatoes, salsa, and lemon garlic aioli was a unique masterpiece on a plate. On the side of the salty meat and vegetables, was this sweet cold beet puree that tasted like a berry smoothie that you could douse on top of the burrito. It was a matrimony of saccharine beets and salty rich meat, all while reminding you every bit of it was healthy for you to indulge in.  My partner loved the food, in the same way he talks about baconator’s from Wendy’s, and that’s when I felt like everyone else. I could be eating something that wasn’t “almost as good as…” or “substituted,” I was sharing a meal with someone I love, an experience centered around food, together. I still treasure looking through the entire menu and sharing a fearless brunch, taking bites off my partners plate, andsplitting a dessert. It was a sacred experience, sitting among all the other patrons, and glancing over at their plates excited to return and ask for what they were having. Describing the food as luscious, pure, and thoughtful is an understatement. I will never, ever, forget the experience Blooming Beets gifted to me.

Sierra is a recent graduate with a bachelor's degree in psychology. She loves creative writing and gut wrenching stories of people and their lives. Sierra is a gluten free snacker with an attention to food allergies, and is a self professed super taster. Her current obsessions include social justice, photographing human subjects, and binge watching Netflix shows. Sierra has lived in Rifle, Gunnison, and Fort Collins. She currently divides her time between Boulder, Denver, and Loveland soaking up all that the Front Range has to offer.