Breakfast and Brunch

Brunch of the Week: Burlesque and Bacon at There...

Bender Flames MCs burlesque brunch at There...
Bender Flames MCs burlesque brunch at There... Bridget Wood
Breakfast, drinks and sleeping in: How could a weekend be better? Add half-naked ladies, that’s how. Once a month, brunch at There… comes with all of the above, when the ladies from Rebel Girl Productions take over the space on the last Saturday of the month. Buckle up, because brunch is about to get wild.

When you arrive at There…, Melissa and Heather, the founders of Rebel Girl, will greet you and escort you through the velvet ropes and down the red carpet to your table. From there, you will be in the hands of restaurant owners Oren Cohen and Andrew Tyler, who provide a menu of snacks both savory and sweet, as well as bigger dishes.

click to enlarge Eggs, with mushrooms, merguez sausage or shrimp and polenta. - BRIDGET WOOD
Eggs, with mushrooms, merguez sausage or shrimp and polenta.
Bridget Wood
The burlesque show is hosted by Bender Flames, whose lingerie is hot (yes, I'm jealous). Bender reviews the rules before the entertainment begins: Don’t be a dick and don't touch his performers. The caveat is that they can touch you, and some of them will. One of the performances is "drag-lesque," and again, the costumes are enviable.

The performers sashay down the red carpet and slowly disrobe to some of your favorite music. Mr. Flames keeps up the banter between performances, and at some point will pick volunteers, so be prepared to walk the carpet, too, after the MC offers instructions on how to do your best sassy walk and hair flip.


click to enlarge Trailer toast. - BRIDGET WOOD
Trailer toast.
Bridget Wood
At the bar, Tyler and his team create drinks on the spot, capturing an audience in the process. Creative and delicious cocktails are based on your preferences, so you can get a custom beverage that you can drink all day. “We will handcraft any drink you can imagine, or let us imagine it for you," Tyler explains. "If you need inspiration, just take a look at the Black List.” (That's the semi-secret menu of house concoctions.)

With all the entertainment, the food might seem like an afterthought, but brunch at There... matches the daring antics on the stage. I started with the "Trailer Toast" — not just because it came on a cute wooden paddle, but because the thick French toast, topped with powdered sugar and sided with maple syrup, looked tempting. Crisped to a golden brown and not too eggy, it proved as tasty as it looked.
 
click to enlarge This is not your typical Denver brunch. - BRIDGET WOOD
This is not your typical Denver brunch.
Bridget Wood
click to enlarge Did we mention there's brunch? - BRIDGET WOOD
Did we mention there's brunch?
Bridget Wood
Slow-roasted pork belly arrives at the table as one of the thickest slabs of bacon I have ever seen. The pork comes from Red Top Farm and is smoky and tender, with crisp edges. A side of potatoes bravas (which There... regulars will recognize from the dinner menu), come out roasted and crunchy, topped with a tomato sauce built for garlic lovers.

For a main dish, you can order sunny-side eggs with a choice of steak, lamb, shrimp or "boomers," marinated portobello mushrooms topped with salsa verde. The shrimp dish comes with creamy polenta and tomato sauce; the steak is made with Waygu beef from Snake River Farms and is also finished with salsa verde; and lamb comes in the form of chorizo patties with a slight kick of spice. All come with buttered and toasted English muffins on the side.

click to enlarge Pork belly and potatoes bravas topped with an optional egg. - BRIDGET WOOD
Pork belly and potatoes bravas topped with an optional egg.
Bridget Wood
Bottomless drinks are a brunch staple, but choices around town are usually limited to mimosas or Bloody Marys. On my visit, though, There... was pouring bottomless sangrias, though options change from week to week. The house sangria is filled with apples and oranges that become a dangerous snack when you get to the bottom of your glass, if you ever get to the bottom; I never saw an empty glass because of Cohen's attentive refills. There are also other brunch cocktails made with fruit purées and topped with champagne, such as the Apricot Crisp, which was loaded with pieces of apricot, fulfilling that portion of the food pyramid (if you skipped the sangria).

There... serves brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., but you'll have to hold out until Saturday, October 27, if you want brunch with a side of sass.

There… is located at 3254 Navajo Street in LoHi. Visit the restaurant's website or call 720.500.3254 for more information. Hot tip: The original There... is located in Telluride and is the perfect place to relax after a long day in the mountains.
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Bridget Wood is a contributor to Westword’s Food & Drink section. She can be found wandering Denver, mimosa in hand, searching for the best brunch spots the city has to offer. She spends her weekends shopping for obscure records and working on the Sunday crossword puzzle. Despite her Boston roots, she is learning to love green chile.