The Scoop: Federal Boulevard may not be Denver’s spiffiest street, what with the potholes, rundo...The Scoop: Federal Boulevard may not be Denver’s spiffiest street, what with the potholes, rundown storefronts and questionable characters, but what it lacks in aesthetic charm, it more than makes up for in one key category: food. Good Lord, the food. In the place of ultra modern décor and $12 martinis, you’ll find the best ethnic food anywhere in town. And stretched out on this street of taco cart wishes and bahn mi dreams is Cowboba, an Asian steakhouse known for its flavorful boba teas and smoothies and delivering platefuls of juicy meat for a great price. Oh, and the name is really fun to say.
While I’m a big fan of the Asian culinary arts (I once singlehandedly knocked an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet out of tuna), I was a boba virgin the first time I went to Cowboba. Tea I knew and smoothies and I were childhood BFFs, but the tapioca balls and jelly pearls? I just wasn’t so sure. Then I tried Cowboba’s raspberry papaya boba, a sweet but slightly tangy smoothie, loaded with the aforementioned tapioca balls and lychee Jell-O like pearls. It was dessert in a glass! Manager/owner Who-Ti explained that what sets Cowboba’s boba apart from the rest of the Federal crowd is that they make the boba beads fresh every morning. This makes it chewy, not too toothsome and one of the best in Denver.
Besides the 30-plus varieties of boba teas and smoothies, the Federal eatery grills up good food for a good price. Where else can you get a 22 ounce porterhouse for $16, or a New York strip for under $11? The steaks may be typically American in size and style, but the accompaniments are not. Instead of a boring baked potato, all of Cowboba’s meats come to your table with spiced Jasmine rice, and their crab cheese wontons are crave-worthy. Some customers drive over an hour and brave the shabby, pothole- laden street that is Federal just to bite into the crispy wonton wraps and sip on refreshing boba teas. And we bet these Cowboba fans like to say ‘Cowboba’ as many times as humanly possible.
T. Bone Steak (15 ounces), $12.75
Porterhouse (22 ounces), $16.25
Burger & Fries, $4.75
Secret Recipe Crab Cheese Wontons, $5.25
Raspberry Papaya Boba, $3.25 for regular; $3.50 for large
Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Sunday, Noon to 9 p.m.