Not exactly the most appealing introduction for the restaurant I picked (read: far-away and with unseemly folk like myself), but really what we were looking for was something casual, quiet and friendly. And far. And with hummus. (Even in the pickiest of moods, almost without exception my boys will eat hummus--and with it anything that can be used as its vehicle--eggs, potatoes, cheese--even soup. Not kidding, we have mixed hummus in soup to get them to eat it.) Oscar's of Broomfield fit the bill.
I have had Oscar's on my radar for some time but usually the drive up to Broomfield feels like just a little too much. When we eventually pulled up we parked on the North side of the building, and if not for the large sign by the road featuring one of Oscar's grandchildren, it could be mistaken for someone's backyard.
I got out of the car to stretch, babies still fast asleep, and immediately received a warm reception from Oscar himself. He invited me in with a firm handshake and a warm smile. It all felt so comfortable, that even though I had never been here, it felt like I was coming back to Oscar's for the 100th time.
For 10 years Oscar's of Broomfield has been serving mom-and-pop-style Middle Eastern fare from this home-like restaurant. And not only was Oscar himself so genuinely friendly and his restaurant so wholly comforting, but the rural feel of the surroundings made us all loosen up a bit and feel that much more relaxed.
The sepia tone makes it look much more rural
I have heard that Oscar's packs them in for lunch all week, and the one page menu complete with food-photos (good sign) advises one to "call ahead for reservations". You probably don't need to do this on Saturday night. Until the end of our meal we were the only ones in the restaurant, and while the home-like interior is inviting, it is also hot, so after ordering we quickly moved back out to the patio.
It really was a quite lovely patio. The centerpiece being a sprinkling fountain surrounded by four umbrella-covered tables each with seating for six. Trees lined the South and East fences, and a simple waist-high chain link fence to the North gave it even more backyard, homey feel. The back of the kitchen exits onto the patio--where I first was greeted by Oscar-- and also where our food came out.
Hummus and baba ganoush was our first plate. They pretty much were adorned in the same way-- with decadent amounts of olive oil, dried parsely and paprika. They were both excellent and not just because our babies literally spooned it into their mouths greedily--ignoring the customary space-filling pita-- but because of what I tasted in my few measly bites: silky smooth hummus; earthy, hearty-yet-creamy baba ganoush.
We ordered the so-called "Italian fries" simply because the picture on the menu was clearly a pizza. I didn't get into the "why" with Oscar concerning the name (some things are better left as is--and I do appreciate the randomness of it) but I did get a hearty endorsement--with a promise I would love it. It was a house invention and a specialty, I was told.
It was fantastic-- a simple cheese pizza though with particularly airy and light crust that kept us all happily munching until it disappeared. It was even somehow good dipped in the accompanying ranch dressing. Go figure.
I ordered the gyros. It was a relatively large sandwich and being slightly full from so much pizza it was probably a little much. The meat was the standard processed spit kind (which I enjoy immensely) but in the end it was not all that impressive as gyros go. The watery tzatziki was underflavored and therefore so was each bite. There was nothing bad about it--and as always I ate it all-- but it wasn't something I would order again.
This kafta-like Kabob, simply called the "Beef Kabob" on the menu, was what my wife ordered. These hand-made skewers were on display in the glass refrigerator when we walked in, so it seemed pretty clear this was one of Oscar's specialties. It was indeed wonderfully spiced and cooked. The result was a juicy, flavor-filled log of meat (which are the best kind of meat logs) that even my babies readily ate even though they generally don't have a taste for beef.
I didn't get to taste the chicken kabob ordered by my wife's 17 year-old sister, but I did get a thumbs up and a, "It's good," from her. I think that qualifies as a ringing endorsement from the not-so-easily impressed youth of today. Anyway it looked pretty good.
We also ordered a baklava that didn't even last long enough for a photo op. It was one of the better baklavas I have had in recent memory. That being said, my "recent" memory is counted in hours now instead of weeks or months. Regardless it was good, and as good as gone as soon as it hit the table.