The waitresses wear Sturgis T-shirts, the customers are gossiping about who owes whom money at Broadway's dirtier businesses, and no one takes any crap. We'd be willing to pay extra for such atmosphere, but Breakfast Palace serves it up free, along with the cheapest, heartiest breakfasts in town. For a measly $2.99, you get gritty realism as well as two eggs your way, tasty hash browns, toast and your choice of ham (thick slab), bacon or sausage (three each). The meaty items are quality, maple-cured pig; the eggs are perfectly prepared (they'll even poach them for you); and the hash browns are the fluffy, half-mashed, half-hashed kind that wear a crunchy, fat-flavored crust courtesy of their time on the grill. Ante up a little extra for a glass of O.J. that tastes like the actual fruit, and know that it doesn't get any cheaper -- or better -- than this.

Readers' choice: Pete's Kitchen

Other places may do it bigger, and some may even offer a few better individual dishes, but for price and quality, no Sunday brunch beats the blowout at Garden Terrace. At $21.95 for adults and $10.95 for kids (those under four eat free), this could be the deal of a lifetime. In addition to the usual roster of breakfast items -- Belgian waffles, omelette station, eggs Benedict, bacon, sausage, baked goodies -- Garden Terrace also offers smoked fish, pâtés, terrines, oysters on the half-shell, peel-and-eat shrimp, a dozen cold salads, two dozen hot dishes (such as chicken marsala and pasta primavera), a cheese board, carved-to-order meats, and a plethora of decadent dessert options, including a chocolate fondue station. The atmosphere is lively and casual, upscale but not so fancy that kids are frowned upon, and the overall quality of the food is unbeatable. Spread the word.

Other places may do it bigger, and some may even offer a few better individual dishes, but for price and quality, no Sunday brunch beats the blowout at Garden Terrace. At $21.95 for adults and $10.95 for kids (those under four eat free), this could be the deal of a lifetime. In addition to the usual roster of breakfast items -- Belgian waffles, omelette station, eggs Benedict, bacon, sausage, baked goodies -- Garden Terrace also offers smoked fish, pâtés, terrines, oysters on the half-shell, peel-and-eat shrimp, a dozen cold salads, two dozen hot dishes (such as chicken marsala and pasta primavera), a cheese board, carved-to-order meats, and a plethora of decadent dessert options, including a chocolate fondue station. The atmosphere is lively and casual, upscale but not so fancy that kids are frowned upon, and the overall quality of the food is unbeatable. Spread the word.

The dining areas are bright and cheerful and so is the staff, which makes for a happy way to start off a leisurely Saturday. For brunch, Strings keeps it simple -- a pasta dish or two, a half-dozen egg items and a smartly assembled smoked-salmon salad -- but it's all simply delicious. The shrimp hash over potato pancakes comes topped by a poached egg and smothered with hollandaise; the prosciutto-and-chive potato terrine is so hefty you won't have to eat again for the rest of the day (especially if you start out with the gazpacho, garnished by a ball of tomato sorbet). And your standard lox and bagel will never look as good once you've sampled that smoked-salmon plate, a flavor frenzy of sweet, rich, peppery and tart: oily, supple, good-quality slices of smoked salmon; creamy, chive-scrambled eggs, arugula, tomato slices, fresh basil, fresh strawberries and Belgian endive. Throw in a few of Strings's super Bloody Marys, and you may be able to face the fact that the weekend's just about over.
The dining areas are bright and cheerful and so is the staff, which makes for a happy way to start off a leisurely Saturday. For brunch, Strings keeps it simple -- a pasta dish or two, a half-dozen egg items and a smartly assembled smoked-salmon salad -- but it's all simply delicious. The shrimp hash over potato pancakes comes topped by a poached egg and smothered with hollandaise; the prosciutto-and-chive potato terrine is so hefty you won't have to eat again for the rest of the day (especially if you start out with the gazpacho, garnished by a ball of tomato sorbet). And your standard lox and bagel will never look as good once you've sampled that smoked-salmon plate, a flavor frenzy of sweet, rich, peppery and tart: oily, supple, good-quality slices of smoked salmon; creamy, chive-scrambled eggs, arugula, tomato slices, fresh basil, fresh strawberries and Belgian endive. Throw in a few of Strings's super Bloody Marys, and you may be able to face the fact that the weekend's just about over.
There's no better way to start a downtown workday than with breakfast at jou jou, the more casual but still classy Kevin Taylor eatery in the Teatro (the higher-priced spread, Restaurant Kevin Taylor, is but a doorway away). The lighting is soft, but the classic breakfast menu is a real eye-opener. For starters, just feast your eyes -- and then your mouth -- on the super-sweet French toast. The kitchen takes a dense, spongy brioche, slices it thick, batters each piece with a custardy egg mixture, and then fries everything in butter; the pile of golden goodness that results is decorated with caramelized sliced bananas and sided by a top-grade maple syrup. Toss in some of jou jou's melt-in-your-mouth maple-cured bacon, and you're ready to greet the day.
There's no better way to start a downtown workday than with breakfast at jou jou, the more casual but still classy Kevin Taylor eatery in the Teatro (the higher-priced spread, Restaurant Kevin Taylor, is but a doorway away). The lighting is soft, but the classic breakfast menu is a real eye-opener. For starters, just feast your eyes -- and then your mouth -- on the super-sweet French toast. The kitchen takes a dense, spongy brioche, slices it thick, batters each piece with a custardy egg mixture, and then fries everything in butter; the pile of golden goodness that results is decorated with caramelized sliced bananas and sided by a top-grade maple syrup. Toss in some of jou jou's melt-in-your-mouth maple-cured bacon, and you're ready to greet the day.
On weekend mornings, the three chefs at Trattoria Stella, a groovy little bistro in northwest Denver, take a look at what's fresh in the fruit market that day, then stir up some highly desirable crêpe combinations. First they pour fresh egg batter into a crêpe pan and fry it golden, then fill the crêpe with such delights as locally grown blueberries and blackberries, or nectarines and raspberries, or just-picked strawberries -- each filling gently cooked in a simple syrup so that the fruit's natural sugars come out and play. And if all of this isn't enough to make you rise and shine, consider the fresh whipped cream, enormous blobs of it, melting all over the thin, fluffy crêpe and oozing into the fruity syrup. Stel-la!
Trattoria Stella
Mark Antonation
On weekend mornings, the three chefs at Trattoria Stella, a groovy little bistro in northwest Denver, take a look at what's fresh in the fruit market that day, then stir up some highly desirable crêpe combinations. First they pour fresh egg batter into a crêpe pan and fry it golden, then fill the crêpe with such delights as locally grown blueberries and blackberries, or nectarines and raspberries, or just-picked strawberries -- each filling gently cooked in a simple syrup so that the fruit's natural sugars come out and play. And if all of this isn't enough to make you rise and shine, consider the fresh whipped cream, enormous blobs of it, melting all over the thin, fluffy crêpe and oozing into the fruity syrup. Stel-la!
McCoy's Restaurant
Mark Antonation
If you don't haul the morning to the mat, it leg-whips you. McCoys helps you grapple with each new day by keeping the steak and eggs an eternal special. Just $4.89 buys you two eggs, an ample slab of quality beef, decent hash browns and toast, prepared just the way you want it and served by friendly, sassy waitresses in denim miniskirts. And you can enjoy this great breakfast deal anytime, since McCoys is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Special bonus: If you like to feel safe and secure while eating your meal, check out the squads of cops who frequent the place. They appreciate good food; you appreciate their presence.

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