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—Photography by Sarah Boyum

Eat Cheap: Early Bird Restaurant

The Westminster restaurant offers breakfast from a chef's point of view.

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It’s not every day a husband-and-wife team like Daniel and Kristen Cofrades (Daniel went to culinary school at Paris’ Ecole Lenôtre and cooked at former Denver hot spot Adega; Kristen teaches at Johnson & Wales University) opens a breakfast joint in Westminster. And so, one Saturday morning, after hours of errand-running in the area, my boyfriend and I stopped by Early Bird for a late breakfast.

The cafe hummed with busy servers, sizzling pans, and shrieking toddlers. We pulled up the last two chairs at the kitchen-facing community table and sipped hot mugs of Novo Coffee before glancing at the offerings. The menu, which touts sustainability (farm-fresh Colorado eggs, natural meats, and local produce), riffs on breakfast classics with dishes such as the EBR Beni, in which sweet pulled pork and crispy prosciutto stand in for eggs Benedict’s more traditional Canadian bacon.

I’ve had my fair share of burned, rubbery diner omelets, so I almost passed on the 120th Ave. Early Bird Riser, but I’m glad I didn’t. The $9.75 open-face version arrived pale yellow, fluffy, and generously piled with bacon, grilled scallions, white cheddar, and sour cream. Spicy arugula and blistered shishito peppers offset the filling’s richness. The accompanying toast was best slathered with house-made strawberry preserves.

My boyfriend enjoyed the My Boy Blue 2.0 (Early Bird’s take on chicken and waffles), but it was an order of crème brûlée French toast that was the big winner. We fought over the last bite of tender, custard-soaked bread and its griddled-sugar crust. Our meal may have necessitated some afternoon calorie-burning exercise, but it didn’t matter at the time: This truly was a breakfast of champions.

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