Brunch in the Mile High City means long lines, Benedicts, and bottomless mimosas, right? Not necessarily. Thanks to freshly debuted brunch services at Señor Bear and Hedge Row, Denverites now have two stellar new venues for everyone’s favorite weekend meal. Here’s what to order.
Whether you’re a sweet or savory brunch-er, the first thing you should…no, must order during brunch at Hedge Row is the maple old-fashioned doughnut. The other breakfast pastries (coffee cake, sticky bun, muffin) are excellent, but the doughnut is a masterpiece, with crisp, craggy fried edges and a tender, lightly sweet crumb. Glazed in a shiny maple icing, it’s the doughnut Denver didn’t know it was missing. Continuing on the sweet side of the menu, the caramelized banana french toast comes in its own little baking dish, more a bread pudding than its namesake indicates, all bananas and cream and vanilla custard; even french toast haters (we know you’re out there) will find it difficult to deny its deliciousness. For those looking for a less dessertlike meal, there’s a hearty take on spoonbread (rustic cornbread topped with juicy pulled pork and a fried local egg); shrimp and grits with poached (also local) eggs; and a satisfying everything spice smoked salmon flatbread. And though the cocktails are not bottomless, they are very fine, especially the Real Dill Bloody Mary and the Bright & Early, which combines fresh grapefruit and lime juices, gin, St-Germaine, and a touch of Prosecco sparkle. 100 Steele St., 720-642-8292; brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
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If you’re tired of typical brunch menus, a visit to LoHi’s seven-month-old Señor Bear is in order. Executive chef and partner Blake Edmunds debuted his Sunday-only brunch service last week, and the innovative Pan-Latin plates are phenomenal. Forget eggs Benedict and pancakes: Edmunds’ is cooking exciting dishes such as chicken-fried “steak” (in this case, a thick, tender, battered-and-fried piece of beef short rib served over cheesy grits with drizzles of chimichurri sauce and discs of tangy pickled chile); “misto quente” (like a Brazilian croque monsieur); a healthy-ish, super-satisfying açaí bowl topped with dried fruit, macadamias, and toasted coconut; and “comida completa” (a retooled fried egg combo plate with house-made Dominican-style chorizo, confit potatoes with creamy, spicy Peruvian huancaina sauce, sliced avocado, and tostones). On the beverage side, Nate Maston and Whitney Allen eschew mimosas in favor of bottomless red or white sangria, both made boozier with Señor Bear’s proprietary Jack Rabbit Hill brandy. The frozen sherry cobbler is a delightful, not-too-sweet slush of amontillado sherry, agave, citrus, and mint. In short: If you’re not a fan of typical brunch fare, you’ll be very, very happy with the offerings at Señor Bear. 3307 Tejon St., 720-572-5997; brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays only.