The Geiger Counter: Taking it easy with lighter (and darker) fare |

The Geiger Counter: Taking it easy with lighter (and darker) fare

The grilled cauliflower hummus appetizer at Pure Kitchen see on Tuesday, Jan. 15, in Frisco. Pure Kitchen has many light and tasty vegetarian dishes.
Hugh Carey /

Don’t know what to do this weekend? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Pull up a seat to the counter and I’ll tell you about everything that’s hot and happening.

I don’t know about you, but I’m stuffed. The first installment of this column ran through a variety of barbecue-themed events happening around the county while last weekend Frisco was once again home to the annual Colorado BBQ Challenge. Now, this weekend Keystone plays host to the ninth annual Bourbon and Bacon Festival.

As tasty as it was and is, I’m sure I’m not the only one who could go for a few days without red meat. Here are a few of my personal go-tos for full-time or part-time vegetarians, vegans and pescetarians. Please don’t feel bad if I left your favorite off the list. There are only so many great restaurants I can mention in a single article.

When I want something I know won’t leave me bloated, the first thing that comes to mind is Cultivate Kitchen. A pseudo food truck inside Angry James Brewery, the establishment focuses on freshly made food. Sure, you could have the pulled pork Cuban or bison chili dog, but because of their uniqueness I prefer the tofu banh mi sliders and the house-made garden burger.

Another stellar farm-to-table restaurant is Frisco’s Pure Kitchen. I haven’t been there enough to taste their entire menu, which might be nigh impossible given the fact that it changes seasonally, but I can recommend the light and satisfying spring rolls. Though I can’t vouch for them, I’m sure the quinoa and black bean burger featuring grilled romanesco hummus and tempeh bacon, wild caught yellowfin tuna with ginger-ponzu soy glaze and zoodle bowl are worth ordering. To wash it all down you can quench your thirst with prickly pear lemonade or other freshly squeezed juice.

If you want ultimate customization and convenience, then it’s hard to beat the salad bar at a grocery store such as Whole Foods. For a truly delicious combination, take your meal across the parking lot to Outer Range Brewing Co. — which allows outside food since it doesn’t have a kitchen on-site — and dig in while enjoying an India Pale Ale or Belgian beer.

On Friday, June 21, the brewery released 40 cases of Pastels IPA, made with Motueka, El Dorado and Mosaic hops, along with 100 cases of double dry-hopped Blocks of Light IPA, made with Galaxy and Mosaic hops. Blocks of Light has always been one of my favorites from Outer Range since it was first released, thanks to juicy tastes of passion fruit, peach and tropical citrus from the Galaxy hops.

By double dry-hopping — essentially adding more hops later in the process to bring out additional aromas and flavors without the bitterness — the beer is likely to take on an even brighter profile.

What I’m Watching


I don’t remember how I heard about the BBC television show “Luther.” I do, however, remember watching the first few episodes via not-exactly-legal means in my dorm room and being floored by its graphic crime stories that were unlike anything else at the time. Following detective chief inspector John Luther, played by the wonderful Idris Elba, the show pits him against one twisted serial killer after another in the seedy underbelly of London.

Picture CBS’ “Criminal Minds” but way more dark and horrifying since it isn’t limited by network television. The first season was the more episodic, crime-of-the-week format with a larger arc. Now, its fifth season is one psychological thriller story told in four parts.

This show was my first introduction to Elba (I still haven’t gotten around to watching “The Wire.” Sorry!) and is why I bothered to see the lukewarm “Prometheus” and “Thor” movies. His casting in “Pacific Rim” was the cherry on top of a fun blockbuster and I, like many others, believe he’d make a great version of James Bond.

Yet Elba and Luther are only one part of the show. Mirroring him is the seductive and sinister Alice Morgan played by Ruth Wilson. Like Joker and Batman and Holmes and Moriarty, Morgan and Luther are fabulous foils that straddle the line between enemies and allies. While the crimes are an important aspect, the heart of the narrative is their emotional and mental states elevated by their strong, charismatic performances.

The final episode of “Luther” airs Sunday, June 23, on BBC America. Catch up now because you won’t want to miss it.

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