Credit: Ron Stern
When triathlete Wayde Jester couldn’t find a restaurant that satisfied his cravings for healthy, fun, and fresh meals, he decided to do the next best thing — open one himself. So in 2014, Jester rolled out Zeal on the busy Pearl Street Mall in downtown Boulder, Colorado.
Zeal's slogan is 'food for enthusiasts' and Jester is certainly excited about his food. While passionate about using locally-sourced ingredients to create dishes that are colorful and abundant in flavor, these dishes won’t leave you in a post-meal food coma. Zeal's concept is to provide something for every lifestyle including vegan, paleo, and gluten-free, and it successfully does just that.
The ambiance here is bright and clean with modern décor and an open kitchen. Five taps dispense not beer nor soda but rather organic, cold-pressed juices. You’ll enjoy an entire rainbow in reds, yellows, greens, and oranges, as well as a daily special juice made of fresh blueberries, blackberries, or lemons. Your body will thank you for fueling it with some healthy fuel.
Locals come here to start their day with Kickstarter coffee. Not familiar? Take the finest roasted beans and blend them with organic virgin coconut oil and grass-fed butter, and then add a dollop of cream for a rich, smooth taste packed with nutritional value — that will kickstart your morning for sure.
You can indulge your appetite without breaking the bank since nothing is over $21 (Colorado striped bass). If you come for breakfast, start with their chia pudding ($5) made with almond milk, vanilla, agave nectar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a fruit and nut crumble. If you're still hungry try out the bibimbap breakfast bowl ($11) which features roasted veggies, fire and ice cucumbers, house kimchi, herbs, spicy chili sauce, and rice and finally topped with a farm fresh egg.
Zeal is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and happy hour is between 4-5:30 pm. During the spring and summer, the patio is packed with hungry patrons enjoying beer, wine, cider, or juice and small plates (3 for $13). The most popular of these plates are the roasted cauliflower wings with rice powder, diavolo sauce, and lemon tahini or the avocado half shells accented with Zeal dressing and Himalayan salt.
There’s no need to skip dessert either given the selection of guilt-free choices, many of which look as tantalizing as they taste. Try the most requested raw cheesecake made from cashews, coconut, and agave with macerated strawberries and a balsamic vinegar reduction ($7.50).
Starting this spring, customers will also be able to find Zeal at the Boulder County Farmer’s Market. Many of its menu items will be available including Acai bowls, breakfast tacos, juices, and more. Check Zeal out every Saturday from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. beginning April 2nd and every Wednesday from 4 p.m.-8 p.m. starting May 5th for the duration of the market!
Business has been brisk since opening their doors. Apparently, many residents share Jester’s vision of affordable, casual, and healthy dining options in the heart of Colorado’s eclectic Boulder community.
FTC Disclaimer: This review was from a sponsored visit. All opinions herein are the authors.