It had been a while since I was in the Mile High City. I didn’t realise how much I missed it.
For those of you who’ve followed me for a while, you’ll know I lived in Denver for a few years in between my stints in London. While living there, I wasn’t exactly crazy about the city. But distance only makes the heart grow fonder, as they say!
I was in town for business, so my time out of the office was relegated to early mornings, evenings and one wintry, blustery and extremely snowy Saturday.
So what’s a gal to do when the options are limited? Brunch!
Brunch is something I miss quite a bit here in the UK. The brunch scene in London has definitely picked up since 2011, but it still isn’t as on fleek (yes, I did just do that!) as the US. And in particular, for some reason, Denver. This city has serious brunch game.
Wrapping up warmly I ventured out on Saturday morning to meet all my remaining Denver friends, and my sister, for a series of brunches. I’d spaced them out approximately 2.5 hours apart, which is just enough time to sit, laugh, have a good catch up and digest to make room for the next round!
Sam’s is right in LoDo, so its a great choice if you’re into the whole downtown thing. (Most of the people I know are not, but my hotel was close by and my sister was willing to make the trek, it being her favorite place.) I hadn’t been to Sam’s often when I was a Denver resident, but I intend to make more stops when I’m in town. I’d been hankering for Mexican, something there’s a dearth of in the UK. I filled up on Sam’s huevos rancheros, and shamelessly ordered a pancake on the side.
The highlight of Sam’s, though, was not its amazing if messy and not photo-friendly food and rustic Western decor, but reconnecting with my baby sister.
Lucille’s was, and still is, my favorite place in Denver. It is a Creole eatery that does amazing breakfasts and lunches. Since there’s grits and chicory coffee, it reminds me of my upbringing in the semi-South, as well. Unfortunately for me, but fortunately for the owners, I think Lucille’s pretty much everyone else’s favorite breakfast place in Denver, too, because the only times you can go there and there’s not a massive wait (I once waited four hours for a table on New Year’s Day) is early on a weekday or if there’s been a freak snowstorm. Luckily, there had been a freak snowstorm, so E. and I arrived to find ourselves quickly ushered to a table. Typically I ask for Hank’s eggs, which is no longer on the menu, but they’ll happily make anyway. Its basically a scrambled egg and potato hash with delicious veggies and avocado on top. I remember thinking it was an odd mix, but really it was the universe prepping me for London brunches, which are heavily Aussie influenced– so there’s loads of avocado on everything!
Since I had to save room for two more brunches, though, I just got eggs Eisenhower, to ensure I got my grits fix. (People in Europe do not know what grits are. Heck, even my friends from New England are concerned when I eat it in front of them.) The best thing about Lucille’s? (Minus the Bloody Mary, if you’re so inclined.) The fluffy biscuits you get with every order. And, of course, the beignets.
Snooze is a very fashionable place to go in Denver. I’m not particularly sure why. There are just some places that are cool to go, and Snooze is one. I always liked Snooze, but never found it particularly worth the long waits on Saturday and Sunday mornings. This time, I was happy to wait at Snooze’s newest location in Union Station. (There are several Snooze locations around the city.) I had a lot to catch up with my friend A. about, and it was an opportunity to walk through the station to see what there was to see, it being brand new and all. And, Snooze gives free coffee to anyone who is waiting for a table. And free refills. That helped the 45 minute wait go down better! Once we were sat, I opted for the sweet potato pancakes, a gem you just can’t find in England, and no matter how hard I try to recreate it, mine just aren’t the same!
Jelly is probably my second favorite place in Denver. Its menu is super creative, and its decor is just fun and silly- for instance, in the women’s bathroom, there’s a tree with the faces of hot male celebs (Idris Elba, one of the Hemsworth brothers, etc.) on. By this time, I was feeling slightly full from my other brunches, so I opted for a starter only– filled donut holes. And a mimosa, it being past noon and all. The options at Jelly, like I said, are pretty eclectic: the stuffed donut options include thai peanut with sriracha sauce, maple bacon, creme angalise and then a few staples such as raspberry jam, chocolate and sugar coated. I typically opt for the hashes at jelly, as they’re amazing. The pancakes are always a win, too. Like Lucille’s, I find Jelly worth the wait, if for nothing than the interesting menu combinations that always spice brunch up a little.
I’m happy to say that I’ll be going back to Denver more often, which will mean I don’t need to stuff myself silly in just one day! But what a day it was.
See you soon, Denver, and all you amazing brunches!