Breakfast and Brunch

Brunch of the Week: Give It the Ol' College Try at Spanky's Roadhouse

Peaches and cream French toast at Spanky's.
Peaches and cream French toast at Spanky's. Bridget Wood
Spanky’s Roadhouse has long had a "college bar" reputation because of its close proximity to the University of Denver. That reputation may hold true on weekdays and packed Friday nights, but brunch attracts a more diverse crowd. From a build-your-own drink bar to inventive dishes and classic favorites, Spanky’s can entertain all comers.

Spanky's isn't content with pouring you the same old orange-juice mimosas; instead, you have a choice of five juices — orange, cranberry, grapefruit, pineapple or mango, plus a rotating weekly special — all for only $11 bottomless. Last week’s special was fruit punch, but general manager Katie Kingston says she plans on changing the flavor every week to keep patrons on their toes. Just step up to the mimosa bar and mix and match; servers come around with pitchers of sparkling wine to top you off.

click to enlarge The mimosa bar at Spanky's is a juicy deal. - BRIDGET WOOD
The mimosa bar at Spanky's is a juicy deal.
Bridget Wood
To continue the fruity theme, I started brunch with peaches and cream French toast. These slabs are built with thick-cut Texas toast, so the interior stays moist while the coating is just a little crunchy. They were covered in sweet mascarpone cream and diced peaches; the portion is generous and hearty enough to soak up multiple rounds of mimosas. The dish also comes with a choice of three syrups: maple, blueberry and strawberry.

click to enlarge At Spanky's brunch, it's easy being green. - BRIDGET WOOD
At Spanky's brunch, it's easy being green.
Bridget Wood
Last weekend was Dr. Seuss’s birthday, so I celebrated by ordering green eggs and ham. The eggs come scrambled and vivid green, thanks to pesto and spinach, but more closely resemble a frittata. There's also a little Asiago thrown in for some pungent cheesy flavor, and slices of avocado for even more green. A thick slice of ham and hash browns share space on the crowded plate.

click to enlarge Shake, don't stir. - BRIDGET WOOD
Shake, don't stir.
Bridget Wood
If you’d rather skip the sparkling mimosas for something cold and frosty, Spanky's lets you make your own shake. Start with a vanilla ice cream base and then pick your toppings and mix-ins from a list of more than fifteen types of cookie and candy. There are also signature shakes, such as the cinnamon toast crunch (which tastes just like the cereal), if you can't make up your mind. And because we are adults, shakes can be spiked with a shot of Baileys, Kahlúa or other booze from the bar.

When you decide to become a brunch regular at Spanky's, you can make it official by joining the mug club for $100, which buys you one free drink every time you come in: You'll get a Coors Banquet, Coors Light, well drink or wine served in your mug. Or upgrade to the premium mug if you like craft beers and call liquors. Kingston notes that the bar will serve mimosas in your mug as well. “The mug club brings the community together and offers something fun for our customers,” she says. Spanky's recently remodeled its interior, and now the bar side of the restaurant opens onto the patio.

Spanky’s is located at 1800 East Evans and serves brunch from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. For more information about brunch, call 303-733-6886 or visit the restaurant's website. Hot tip: Spanky’s accepts DU Pioneer cards, so the next round is on Mom and Dad if you're a student.
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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.