Sadly, lunch at Early Bird falters as much as breakfast succeeds. Bacon-wrapped dates are fried, not baked, so the inner layer of pork comes out flabby. Parsnip soup is a sorry replacement for the Thai butternut squash soup that preceded it on the previous menu, with the root vegetable's subtle flavor overpowered by prosciutto, leeks and apple garnishes. A kale salad has all the appeal of finely shredded coleslaw, with too much dressing and large chunks of apple and maple-cured bacon. French fries don't always seem freshly fried, so it's hard to appreciate the hand-cut, twice-fried spuds. A dull chicken salad sandwich might be better if it had a few more handfuls of dried fruits and nuts, and a housemade pickle needs more time in the brine. At one meal, I overheard someone take a bite and declare, "Yuck, a cucumber!"

The saving grace of the mid-day meal comes in the form of a short-rib sandwich, featuring the same meat used in the eggs Benedict. This time it's topped with what seems like too many ingredients: pickled fennel, pan-seared Brussels sprouts, creamed spinach, blue cheese, a bacon-wrapped date. An odd couple — extended family, really — if ever there was one, but the tender, sweet, pungent, creamy combination works.

Mark Manger
Mark Manger

Location Info


Early Bird Restaurant

11940 Bradburn Blvd.
Westminster, CO 80031

Category: Restaurant > Breakfast

Region: Northwest Denver Suburbs


See also: Behind the scenes at Early Bird Restaurant

Early Bird Restaurant
Bradburn omelet $9.50
Huevos rancheros $10
Eggs benedict $11
Creme brulee French toast $9.50
Buttermilk pancakes $9
Toasted granola $7.50
Bacon-wrapped dates $6
Creamy parsnip soup $4 cup
Kale salad $8
Chicken salad sandwich $9.50
Braised short-rib sandwich $12.50
11940 Bradburn Boulevard, #400, Westminster
Hours: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily

But you don't need to get to Early Bird early if you want to enjoy a good meal: Breakfast is served all day.

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If Johnson & Wales can't teach you how to properly make a pickle, I'd reconsider the tuition.