The room was vibrantly colored with the tropical prints of tribal Islanders gracing the walls. The food set before us was distinctly Southeast Asian–rich, spicy, tangy curries and rice dusted with turmeric. On the televisions, rugby players ran around the field in muted silence while country music permeated the atmosphere.
“What kind of meat would you like?” our waitress asked in her thick Australian accent. “We’ve got beef, chicken and kangaroo.”
If you’re confused (as you should be) you’ll wonder why country music played over the speakers of a curry restaurant staffed by Aussies. The answer is simple: it just is.
“I feel so…multicultural,” one of the members of our party said as we chowed down on kangaroo coconut curry to the strains of Carrie Underwood.
There is nothing quite typical about Red Bowl, a curry hole-in-the-wall on the main stretch of Steamboat Springs. The food is very good, their curries ranging from pleasantly mild to painfully hot. Tea service is accompanied by bittersweet handmade chocolates, which are rich and fairly unsweet with a palate-cleansing mildly metallic aftertaste. The service is friendly and personal, the water glasses frequently filled by waitstaff that want to hold a conversation just as much as they want to keep you hydrated.
It is a location that is unique, delicious and off the beaten path, reminding you that good food and good company doesn’t have to follow a set structure of rules or boundaries. It may, at times, feel like a group of musicians who haven’t quite found their sound, or photographer who hasn’t quite captured his subject. Still, the sound and the sight are intriguing and warrant a second look–or in this case, taste.
In a small town, finding unique concepts, tastes and experiences can sometimes pose a challenge. For those looking to dine beyond their usual hangouts, Red Bowl provides a dinner service that will satisfy any hankering for quality curry while posing a fun and unusual puzzle of an atmosphere. There is no doubt the experience is a refreshing break from your standard dinner joint, and the food and service do not disappoint.
Sometimes the best times and best dishes can be found in the middle of the Rockies, a myriad of cultures and flavors served over rice in a big, steaming, spicy red bowl.