You guys, I found a unicorn -- that rare and perfect sports bar where you can get an amazing brunch and have awesome views of the game from any seat in the house while still being able to hear yourself talk, all with no wait. It really does exist: Tell all your friends it's time to make a trip to the Providence Tavern in Edgewater.
See also: Denver's Ten Best Bottomless Mimosas
Providence's street number just happens to be 5280, which couldn't be more fitting, because it's a mile-high gem. Located on an adorable strip of Edgewater, Providence is half sports bar, half Irish tavern. Brunch is only offered on Sundays from 10:30-2:30 p.m., and even though we got there right in the middle of the morning Broncos game, we were able to walk right in and seat ourselves.
The bar area is dimly lit and fairly loud with boisterous sports aficionados, but the back room is heaven, a great little all-season, enclosed patio. Dark cherry wood and red brick welcome you to what feels like a misplaced ski lodge, with a hodgepodge of different chairs that somehow all work together to create a homey, laid-back feel, including saddle seats for wannabe cowboys.
Managing to achieve the perfect temperature for the frigid weather, four heat lamps provide cozy warmth while the ambience is still completely chill. There's also plenty of natural light, so you don't feel like you're stuck in a dungeon, as happens at many other sports bars. The crowd is mixed at the high-tops and communal tables, but this is one of the only brunch spots where I've seen multiple groups of guys only (another unicorn), so single ladies, take note.
Since it was close to freezing outside, we got hot chocolate with Irish cream to warm up, but there's also a killer draft list, bottomless mimosas for $8, a tempting Mason-jar Bloody Mary, and a "manmosa" made with Odell's EZ Street, OJ and pineapple juice.
The menu leans toward upscale bar food; if you don't think a grilled cheese sandwich will satisfy your breakfast craving, trust me, it will. Made to be sufficiently brunchy, this amazing open-faced melt of cheddar and Swiss on truffle-infused sourdough is layered with two slices of bacon, touches of sun-dried tomato compote and a slathering of Hollandaise over a runny egg -- as heavenly as the name Providence suggests. This is my idea of the perfect brunch plate: gooey, with each forkful better than the next.
We also ordered the smoked pork "benefit," the kitchen's take on "Benedict" -- because it really is for your benefit. Be warned, though, the chile rojo Hollandaise packs some serious heat; I'm glad we were sharing, because I'm not sure I could have handled an entire plate of that spice on my own. The buttermilk biscuit and peppered potatoes were necessary to calm the palate.
We also shared the carne asada hash, which came with the same mix of country potatoes, sautéed onions and peppers as the Benedict, but looked a little sloppy in presentation compared to the other plates. Even with an extra egg, the beef didn't look especially appetizing, mixed in random chunks. We could've skipped the third entree, but with each dish under $10, it was worth the experiment -- a total steal for brunch.