Boulder >Food & Dining > Islands Restaurants
1855 29th Street, Suite 1152, Boulder, CO | Directions 8030140.019338 -105.256526
Neighborhoods: Transit Village, Central Boulder
Better than average food, different flavor combinations – My family stopped in for dinner before the 4th of July fireworks at Folsom. Sure the surfer atmosphere is a little overdone, but it does make it feel like you're not in CO anymore. We asked for recommendations on the appetizers because there didn't seem to be a standout. We were recommended the cheddar fries with green onions as well as the nachos with pork carnitas added. Although the nachos sounded great to me (I like carnitas), we went with the cheddar fries--they came out nicely done with real cheddar cheese on them and fresh green onions.
Since the place features burgers, salads, and soft tacos we tried all of them. They all came out very nicely. Now, the salads don't compete with Fourleaf Chopped Salads off Arapahoe Road and I-25 down in Denver, and the soft tacos don't compete with the tacos at La Cocina de Marcos, and the burgers don't compete with the fresh meat of Cherry Cricket and Ted's burgers, but they were still all good. If you consider any of those other restaurants as A+ in their areas and the typical chain restaurant as a C, this was definitely a solid B. Nice variety for our family, and good enough that we'd return for more visits.
One specific note--the burger I had was an interesting taste combination (although the beef itself seemed preformed and not all that flavorful). Called "Kilauea", it was blackened with black pepper and jalapeno pepper and topped with pepperjack cheese, chipotle aioli, and crisp red onion strings all on a whole wheat bun--it all came together very well.
Overpriced, lousy food, but great staff – We wandered into Islands on a whim looking for a quick, casual lunch. We were very hungry, and immediately ordered some of the teriyaki chicken wings. They arrived lukewarm, and with a side of celery that was split open from soaking in water too long, and spotted with black mold. My husband had a few of the wings, but they disagreed with his stomach, and he ended up in the bathroom. The waitress noticed that we weren't eating very many of the wings, and she asked what was wrong. I pointed out the moldy celery, and she apologized profusely. She promptly told the GM, and he also came over and apologized. We went ahead and ordered lunch. I was a bit surprised to find that the $8-$9 burgers did not come with a side of fries--you have to order them separately. Some other burger joints do this, but don't charge so much. What we got definitely did not live up to all their hype of "gourmet burgers" and homemade fries. The burger patties looked like pre-formed round frozen patties. Mine was topped with a hunk of iceberg lettuce that was so big, it fell with a thud to my plate. It was supposed to have avocado, but was graced with only a couple of thin pieces. My husband had chicken fingers, which were overcooked, but strangely lukewarm. The fries arrived a while after the burgers, and they too were overcooked, and not very appetizing. Our waitress returned, and asked how everything was. My husband told her it was just OK. She was concerned, and said they wanted everyone's experience to be great. They ended up comping his lunch. I felt bad for the staff; they really were very good at working with the issues, and were very professional. Unfortunately, they were stuck selling a sub-par product. I did go to the Islands website, and emailed them a complaint. A lady responded quickly, and sent us a $25 gift card. We actually got rid of the gift card. Neither of us wanted to return, and we didn't want to subject any of our friends to that experience.
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