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DINEInBoulder: Zeal – Food for Enthusiasts

Zeal – Food for Enthusiasts, is a new restaurant in Boulder, Colorado, opening its doors on December 11th, 2013.  Located on 17th and Pearl St., this chic new spot is striving to achieve organic, health-conscious perfection. Their menu looks very promising – it’s filled with organic, gluten-free, and GMO-free ingredients, which will be sure to please many Boulder foodies.

Some of their more intriguing items include green juice from their juice bar; a Bacon, Kale and Tomato sandwich served on gluten-free bread, house-made pickles, and even fermented vegetables.  Needless to say, this is a place for adventurous eating.

Zeal’s menu also features a variety of Conscious Cleanse-friendly dishes, making this an ideal restaurant for those looking to trim down, especially after the holidays.  As I’ve written before, the CC is my absolute favorite cleanse, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a healthier lifestyle, to lose a few lb’s, and to get fit in the new year.  As a matter of fact, my dear friends Jo Schaalman and Julie Peláez of Conscious Cleanse have visited the restaurant, and are thrilled with what Zeal has to offerJo and Julie also have some ownership and their CC recipes are actually on the menu and marked with the CC logo for easy reference. To read more about their thoughts on Zeal, click here.

The main goal that fuels owner Wayde Jester and culinary director Arik Markus, is to provide patrons with local and seasonal dishes filled with proteins that are organic, grass-fed, and sustainably farmed.  In doing so, they strive to help patrons build healthy and sustainable eating habits.

© Consciouscleanse.com

© Consciouscleanse.com

Markus has a background in organic, sustainable cuisine.  His previous endeavors include Frasca Food & Wine, as well as Row 14 Bistro & Wine Bar.  Whether you prefer pork, steak, or fish, you can eat at Zeal with the knowledge that your food was raised in a conscious manner.

Zeal’s juice room will be a hit once a few kinks are worked out. Patrons can enjoy cold-pressed juices, which are prepared right before their eyes, in a juicer that unfortunately still has a few glitches to work out.  The good news is that their juice staff is quick to find humor in any sticky situation!

Aside from their juices, Zeal also offers a selection of kombuchas on tap, all of which are made in-house as well.  For those in the mood for a little kick, a full bar offers a selection of Detox Retox cocktails.  These “healthy” cocktails combine liquor with coconut water and juice blends, giving them a more nutritious appeal than most other cocktails.  You won’t find a Jaeger-bomb or White Russian in this restaurant!

The restaurant has only just had its soft opening, which might explain the kinks that still need to be ironed out.  As someone who’s been in the service industry longer than I can remember, I tend to notice things others might miss.  A hostess for instance, would be a great improvement.  It would also be helpful for the servers to be up to par with dining standards, food service skills, and general knowledge of the menu.

© Facebook.com

© Facebook.com

Time and training will most likely solve many of these quirks, and once they’ve been worked out, I have no doubt that this restaurant will be overflowing with regulars.  After all, there’s got to be that push to know your regulars and treat them well. Take Frasca and The Kitchen, for example; their service is excellent, and they are always packed with locals.

While Zeal is still in its initial stages, they plan on having grab-and-go options in the near future. Those too busy to cook or stop in for a meal will soon have the option of grabbing a six-pack of freshly pressed juices and an entrée for the family all in one stop.  In a nutshell, this place is shaping up to be a trendy spot, filled with health-conscious regulars, just how the owner envisioned it.

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