Broken Rice, a polished, fast-casual restaurant serving made-from-scratch traditional Asian street food with a modern twist, is opening in Denver on February 2. The restaurant serves Pho broth-based soups made with homemade bone broth, stir fried noodles, broken rice bowls, banh mi sandwiches, salads and unique craft cocktails. Drawing inspiration from classic staples of Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, and other Asian cuisines, Broken Rice reinterprets these dishes using fresh, local ingredients. Located at Colorado Boulevard and Arkansas Avenue, the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and has a full bar.
“Fast casual Southeast Asian cuisine is an untapped market, and with Denver being the hub of many successful fast casual concepts, we are confident that Broken Rice will fit right in,” says Ric Gordon, president of Broken Rice. “The idea behind Broken Rice was to offer a flexible model: The restaurant has a full bar and full-time bartender serving guests who want to dine in, and offers the more typical fast casual style of service where guests order at the register and their food is delivered to them. Broken Rice caters to the way Denver residents are already used to eating—for modern life on the go.”
The name Broken Rice refers to the grains of rice that often break during harvesting, resulting in smaller but equally delicious pieces of “broken rice.” Despite its unusual name, broken rice has become a key ingredient in some of today’s most popular Asian street foods. In addition to being softer, stickier, and more absorbent than its unbroken counterpart, it also cooks in half the time. These favorable traits of broken rice make it possible for slow flavors to be served fast at a low price. Because it is fresh, quick and affordable, broken rice is the inspiration for the entire menu.
With a focus on local, made-from-scratch ingredients, the restaurant makes its own bone broth daily for the Pho-broth based soups by roasting all of the proteins and allowing them to cook overnight. The restaurant makes all of its own sauces as well as handmade potstickers. The menu includes signature dishes such as Broken Rice Bowls like the Curry with grilled chicken breast, coconut curry, snap pea, onion, baby corn, tofu, carrot, sweet potato with choice of jasmine or brown rice and Kung Pao with grilled chicken, chili pods, chili flakes, peanuts, green and yellow onions, bok choy, bell pepper, kung pao sauce, micro cilantro with choice of jasmine or brown rice; Vietnamese Noodles stir-fried with garlic, Parmesan cheese, shredded carrots, cabbage, scallions, and peanuts; Banh Mi Sandwiches like the signature Ahi Tuna Banh Mi with togarashi seared tuna, avocado, red onion, shredded carrot, cucumber slices, field greens, ponzu aioli, green onion; salads including a Thai Grilled Steak Salad with tender flank steak, mixed field greens, grape tomatoes, mango, and avocado in peanut dressing; Pho Broth-Based Soups including the Curry with chicken breast, onions, cilantro, and yams served in our savory curry chicken broth among many other dishes.
Broken Rice uses local ingredients when possible as well as organic and natural ingredients including Boulder Natural Chicken and local craft beer and wine. The restaurant strives to have a small environmental footprint by eliminating beer and wine bottles, and using sustainable and recyclable packaging and melamine plateware.
Unlike many fast casual restaurants, Broken Rice also provides a full bar with craft cocktails that include a shot of soju or sake or that can be ordered without alcohol. The restaurant offers seven Asian-inspired craft cocktails created by James Beard-honored mixologist and author Kim Haasarud, including the 5 Spice Ginger Beer with freshly extracted ginger juice, fresh-squeezed lemon, and Chinese 5-spice; Yuzu Lemonade made with yuzu, an Asian fruit with flavors of orange, lemon, lime, and grapefruit; and Matcha Green Tea Latte made with matcha green tea, milk, and simple syrup to name a few.
Broken Rice has happy hour Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Most items on the menu will be just $5 including draft beer and wine; craft cocktails; Pho; fresh rolls with chicken, shrimp or tofu; vegan rolls; chicken satay and homemade potstickers.
Some of the shareholders in this new concept include Bobby Baldwin, the CEO of the MGM Mirage Resorts, president and CEO of Project City Center Las Vegas, and professional poker player; Guy Laliberté, the Canadian businessman and founder and owner of Cirque du Soleil; and Chamath Palithitaya, the venture capitalist, former Facebook executive and part owner of the Golden State Warriors.
Broken Rice offers free wifi and USB ports at all tables. Delivery is available through Grub Hub and catering will also be offered at a later date. Broken Rice is located at 1390 S. Colorado Blvd. The restaurant is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
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