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The Brown Burro Cafe's behemoth breakfast burrito will set you straight before a day on the slopes. Photo by Lisa Blake

Road-Trip Restaurant: Brown Burro Cafe

When it’s pre-ski breakfast burrito or bust, this rustic roadside cabin in Fairplay is a solid bet.

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As most Front Range dwellers know, the weekend race to Summit County’s slopes—rising early, assembling gear, attempting to beat I-70 traffic—is usually a frazzled affair: All too often, breakfast gets lost in the shuffle.

Our recommendation? Avoid the stress by taking the back way into Breckenridge (via Highways 285 and 9) and making a stop at the Brown Burro Cafe along the way.

This Fairplay pit stop—a former motel that, according to the town’s old-timers, once boasted adjacent burro-parking stalls—specializes in no-frills American and Mexican breakfasts and lunches. Families load into wood booths as locals, on a first-name basis with the staff, belly up to the five-person diner counter. The chatty-yet-focused servers zip around the shotgun dining room with lightning efficiency, meaning that you can get in, out, and back on the road quickly.

George Davis, the owner of the 18-year-old diner, says that the Burro’s breakfast burrito and huevos rancheros are what he and wife Judy—it’s just the two of them in the kitchen—plate up the most.

Two bites into the behemoth burrito and it’s evident why it’s one of the cafe’s top sellers. Griddle-crisped hash browns, bell peppers, onions, and scrambled eggs mingle with cheese and chorizo, while a kicky green chile sauce drapes the outside. It’s enough to feed two for a sit-down breakfast—or one really hungry skier. No time to sit? Call ahead for a commuter-friendly (read: not smothered) burrito wrapped to go.

Tip: While you’re there, pick up a $5 tub of the “Jack Ass” salsa to take home with you. The house-made condiment features large hunks of roasted tomato, thickly sliced jalapeños, and secret spices. A small amount is served with the breakfast burrito, but you’ll want more for snacking on with chips later.

706 Main St., Fairplay, 719-836-2804

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