On a weekend with so much going on downtown – the Urban Slide, Denver Flea, the Urban Dare Scavenger Hunt, and the general mayhem of a Colorado summer day with no clouds in sight — the goal was a quick brunch to fuel our day somewhere close to the action yet fast enough to get in and out without the standard brunch wait. This wasn’t a weekend we were interested in wasting away the day over bottomless mimosas; it was business and there was fun to be had. Enter: Dunbar Kitchen & Tap House.
With easy street parking and a space with plenty of tables for quick seating, Dunbar in Five Points was just what we were looking for: a neighborhood pub with good food and no frills for Sunday brunch (10 a.m. to 2 p.m). Dunbar's dining room is dark, even during the day (note: good for hangovers) thanks to the red brick walls and chalkboard paint, but the back patio beckons, cheerily strung with strands of lights and dotted with brightly colored umbrellas. The garage door from the restaurant to the patio was the only nod to modern design trends in this casual spot. When a group of patrons broke out into a morning rendition of, “All You Need is Love,” we knew we were at the right place.
While drinks are not bottomless, they are affordable. Two “re-tox” options — a mimosa made with fresh squeezed orange juice and cava ($4) and a Bloody Mary made from Colorado Mayhem Creek Pepper Vodka ($5) — won't set you back much.
The food menu is not too elaborate either, but that’s why we chose the place: simply protein to power us through our day without leaving us so bloated we would need an immediate nap. I went with a bowl of shrimp and grits — my morning go-to — which were blended with cheddar and barely noticeable jalapeños. Surrounded by a thin tomato sauce, there wasn’t a lot of complexity in flavors, but the grits were light, creamy, enjoyable and topped with a generous portion of shrimp.
My dining companion's biscuits and gravy were delightful; both the scrambled eggs and the biscuit were cooked light and fluffy. It was strange that the eggs were served on top of the gravy instead of being smothered between the sauce and the biscuit, but the ratios were right for mixing the perfect bite — and it all ended up in our bellies just the same.
The biscuits and gravy were more than filling, while the shrimp and grits left me wanting more — if we weren’t in such a mad dash to get back to playing outside we would’ve gone halfsies, but we were on a mission. And at Dunbar, it was mission accomplished.
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