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“Do you want butter on that cinnamon roll?” the waitress at RiNo’s Butcher Block Cafe asked me earnestly. I looked at her, dumbfounded. Of course I wanted butter. And not just a dab—I wanted at least a tablespoon of it melted into the dough. That is the proper way to serve any sort of bready breakfast pastry. Everyone knows that, right?
At least, that’s the way I grew up eating cinnamon rolls in the Midwest—where cooks must master the correct ratio of bread, sugar, cinnamon, and, of course, butter. Every mom-and-pop diner in my home state of North Dakota has a proprietary version of this gooey treat. Unfortunately, during the seven years I’ve lived in the Mile High City, I’ve sampled countless carb-loaded facsimiles that simply leave me homesick.
Not anymore. The house-made rolls at the Butcher Block Cafe are transcendental, ridicu-
lously cheap ($1.95), oozing with cinnamon, and smothered in melting butter. Order one to share before digging into one of the cafe’s other breakfast options, such as the #1 (a classic breakfast platter with a pancake or french toast, choice of meat, and an egg) or the breakfast burrito. You’ll be so busy eating you won’t notice the lackluster decor (the laminate booths are rickety and the walls are covered with tchotchkes for sale, including—no joke—a full set of scuba gear). Indeed, the cinnamon rolls alone are enough to bring you back again and again. 1701 38th St., 303-295-2915, butcherblockcafe.com
Cinnamon Roll $1.95
#1 (Pancake, Bacon, Egg) $4.50
Breakfast Burrito (Egg, Cheese, Hash Browns) $2.50
Breakfast Sandwich $4.75
Three Pancakes $4.50