Denver restaurateur Troy Guard is at it again with a slew of new restaurants slated to open this year around town. In addition to a second downtown location of bubu and third location of Los Chingones in Stapleton, Guard has, “…spent months developing the new concepts, Hashtag and FNG. The details are really starting to come together now. We’re all about having a good time and not taking ourselves too seriously. These two concepts really speak to that philosophy.” Hashtag will be a new casual breakfast joint featuring playful interpretations of traditional breakfast dishes, fresh baked morning pastries, and a selection of creative hashes and morning cocktails. FNG (short for “F’in Good”) will be a casual, neighborhood eatery and social gathering destination in Denver’s Highlands neighborhood. They will serve a menu of Guard’s elevated interpretations of comfort food favorites, centered on the restaurant’s wood-fired grill, along with a selection of house-made prepared foods at retail.
We got to try the fast-casual healthy eatery bubu in its second location that opened a few weeks ago at Republic Plaza. Branded as Chef Troy Guard’s “Fresh Revolution”, bubu serves healthy spins on build-your-own bowls. The eatery is a great lunch option as you don’t waste anytime waiting for a table, server, or your order. Instead, it’s a walk up counter and you order and pay right away. You can order a custom crafted bowl that lets you choose your base and protein or create your own from a long list of fresh or cooked veggies, nuts, seeds, and dressings. Guests will find a few exclusive offerings at the Republic Plaza outpost, including the Indian Bowl and the Troy Aloha “Poke” Bowl, as well as breakfast bowls and made-to-order smoothies coming soon. There are fresh pressed bottles juices and brewed teas and lemonade available as well as gluten free chocolate chunk cookies. In fact, pretty much the entire menu is gluten free except the Chinese and Soy Onion dressings and the crispy shallots and wontons.
For our lunch we went with the Paleo Bowl with a salad mix base and steak protein, keeping it truly Paleo, and the Indian Bowl with half brown rice half salad base and chicken protein. The Indian Bowl was incredibly flavorful as you expect with Indian food and contained roasted chickpeas, shredded carrot, harissa cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, Indian-spiced granola and yellow curry yogurt vinaigrette, topped with a dusting of togarashi. Every ingredient was delicious on it’s own, and all mixed together is was an amazing concoction of flavors, colors, textures and nutrients. We ate every morsel, and it’s a big bowl. The Paleo Bowl came with our steak perfectly medium-cooked, (it is not cooked to order) along with fresh green beans, diced bell pepper, half an avocado, and toasted almonds and dried apricots sprinkled on top with a side of carrot mustard dressing. With our salad mix base this was a very healthy bowl and very crunchy too, yet delicious with the dressing really complementing the flavors and steak. In addition to chicken and steak, protein options include top grade raw salmon, raw tuna, chilled shrimp, and tofu, unfortunately they cannot cook the salmon or tuna if you preferred as they prepare the proteins offsite.
The eatery offers community seating with upbeat music or there are all kind of tables outside in the Plaza. There was a constant stream of people coming through and taking their bowls minutes after ordering. We think they will do great and look forward to what they dream up for breakfast bowls. We hear it will include egg dishes and smoothie and granola bowls. Both Larimer Square & Republic Plaza locations are open Mon-Fri 11-5pm and offer catering, and will stay open a bit past 5pm for those who call ahead with to-go orders for after work pickup. So whether you’re looking for a convenient breakfast, lunch or a dinner to-go, bubu has the Downtown Denver area covered with its satisfyingly delicious and nutritious bowls.