Best of Denver

Denver's ten best brunches

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7. The Garden Terrace Stuffing ourselves until we need a long nap on the couch is standard procedure at brunch, and there's no way to do that more efficiently than at a brunch buffet. The Garden Terrace at the Inverness has one of the best in town, with a massive display of all the usual brunch fixings -- eggs and bacon, Benedicts, Belgian waffles and made-to-order omelets -- as well as an ocean of seafood, including crab legs, mussels, fist-sized prawns and smoked fish of several varieties. And, of course, there are desserts and mimosas -- everything you need to waddle out fat, drunk and happy. 6. Tacos Jalisco Many people swear by Bloody Marys and greasy breakfasts, but we're certain that there's no better hangover cure on the planeta than huevos rancheros. We're particularly fond of the version at Tacos Jalisco, which smothers over-easy eggs, refried beans and rice with a very spicy, restorative pork green chile.The breakfast burritos and chilaquiles -- which cover thick chips with a mess of eggs, beans, hot sauce and cheese -- are also worth your attention. Ay, que rico! 5. Root Down If you head to Root Down for brunch, prepare to wait: The place is always packed, and service can be slow. But since we're into leisurely morning meals, we don't really mind -- especially since those bottomless blood-orange mimosas quickly take the edge off and blur our sense of time. Before we know it, really, we're happily feasting on steak and eggs, a fried-egg sandwich or a pulled-pork omelet. Oh, and the almond pancakes? We have a friend who swears he'd kill for the recipe -- and we'd willingly be accessories to the crime. 4. Second Home Brunch is an important meal for a hotel restaurant to own, and Second Home in the JW Marriott really nails it. The Sunday pajama brunch -- where pajamas are encouraged but not required -- is a hit with both tourists and Denver residents, especially those with kids. But even if you don't have members of the under-ten crowd with you, you'll still find plenty to love with the build-your-own Bloody Mary bar and menu of morning food that includes chicken and waffles, Froot Loop pancakes and breakfast pizza.
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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk