Denver is practically my home away from home. Between friends and work I find myself in the Mile High city on a regular basis. With the bracing air, the panoramic views and the conspiracy-theory airport, I always relish my visits.
This month I flew out to visit my best friend, her husband and her two lovely daughters. It was PERFECT weather – somewhere in the high 40s-50s all weekend. We ran around in the sunlight, watched Much Ado About Nothing, and beheaded roses (maybe don’t ask).
I had an early afternoon flight back to Salt Lake City aka. home base. We decided to kill the morning with Sunday brunch before the airport. It was pure happenstance that we ended up at The Squeaky Bean – it was the first place we found that took brunch reservations.
Happenstance gods smiled down on us that day for sure. The Squeaky Bean has seasonal menus that shift and rotate – which I am always a fan of. They also grow most of their vegetables and greens – in season, naturally. Everyone at the table from kids to adults walked away content and comforted, which I think is always to goal of brunch.
The decor is funky with spoon chandeliers, a full on BINGO board and a dash of kitchy-playful. It nestles right into the LoDo area of Denver which is walkable and full of historic buildings with true-to-origin renovation.
Their brunch menu is divided up between Snacks (read: Small Plates), Eggs (from Hash to Beneditcs, to Fritattas), and Stuff (a little more on the savory side), and of course Sides.
Adult beverages ranged from the classic and requisite Mimosas to the more creative with cardamom, aperol and even orange tang coming out to play – though not in the same drink, thank you brunch gods.
We started with the Pimento Cheese – topped with bacon jam and served with toasty ciabatta it was rich and creamy and salty which didn’t take away at all from the main point – a bit of sweet-spicy pimento pepper.
We followed it up with what was the kids’ favorite: Monkey Bread with a nutella/mascarpone topping and a warm caramel base. There were chocolate smeared faces for the rest of the meal – a sure sign of bliss.
Our table seemed to be all about the savory for breakfast. We had, in no particular order:
- The Square – the equivalent to every diner’s 2 egg breakfast, but served on a porcelain lunch tray with a couple of dipping sauces
- The Greens – a board of green salad, young cheese, baked eggs and farinata (an Italian chickpea flour crepe)
- The Waffles – served with a baked chicken sausage, fig cream cheese and the requisite fried egg
- The Spicy Bacon – several of us ordered this as a side. House-cured. No regrets.
Myself? I think I am secretly a southern girl at heart – at least when it comes to brunch. I had the Shrimp & Grits. They were creamy and salty, topped with an Egg, crispy prosciutto and sauce charon which is a tomato-y riff on a classic Béarnaise. The egg yolk spilled all over the grits and added depth while the shrimp was delicate and not overcooked (a personal pet peeve).
It was a win-win-win from the service to the atmosphere to the food. As it is, I think I will just wrap up with a quote directly from The Squeaky Bean website & Dwight K Schrute (whom ever that is):
THE ONES THAT MAKE YOU PULL OVER AND GO “WOW, I NEED THESE BEETS RIGHT NOW.” THOSE ARE THE MONEY BEETS.~ DWIGHT K. STRUT
Some other Denver Favorites:
- Watercourse – vegan so good you won’t notice the vegan. Love their Blackened Caesar Wrap & Monti Pasta
- The 9th Door – I am convinced that tapas and wine bars will never go out of style, and this place does tapas stylishly. Go with a group and share, share, share. Except the Albondigas – keep those for yourself.
- Vinue Wine Bar – for me, you can’t have a good wine bar without great food. This one is a favorite with my co-workers when we travel.
- City O’City – the little sister of Watercourse. Always delicious and different enough to be well worth the visit.
Do you have a favorite place to eat in Denver? Please do share in the comments. I’d love to go check them out.
Lydia, mile-high (but not really)