Wear Your Jammies for a Good Cause By Edan Goode

Did you know that the average Coloradoan eats 5 eggs per week? Or that Colorado egg farms provide jobs for more than 250 families and supply nearly $100 million annually to the state’s economy?

Yep, Colorado families love their eggs. And why not? Eggs are loaded with health benefits including vitamins and minerals including Vitamin D, choline, folate, calcium, iron and selenium. And they are a strong source of protein.

October 11 is World Egg Day and to celebrate, Colorado Egg Producers organized PJs and Eggs, a special dining event that combines eating a great breakfast at an area restaurant with a charitable contribution.

Here’s how it works: 

On October 11, from 7am-8pm, head to one of the participating restaurants. Donate $20 and in return diners will receive a meal, non-alcoholic beverage and one dozen eggs to take home (to make future breakfasts where you can also wear you PJs). Restaurants with offer either a set menu for the meal or offer patrons their choice of entree (varies by location).

Then feel good knowing that proceeds from PJs and Eggs go to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Denver, serving families whose children are receiving medical care in Denver area hospitals. Funds will also help victims of the recent floods in Colorado.

In addition to the monetary donation, the event will also collect unused children’s pajamas to donate to the charities. Look for the collection box inside each restaurant to donate pajamas leading up to the event.

Visit http://pjsandeggsco.eventbrite.com/ or call 303-320-7790 for a complete list of participating restaurants and the hours each will be serving breakfast. RSVP’s are recommended. Tickets are $20 in advance and day-of.

Here are a few more eggscellent bites of trivia to share with the kids at breakfast from Colorado Egg Producers:

  • There are approximately 3.8 million hens in Colorado that produce more than 1 billion eggs.
  • The average hen lays 5 eggs per week.
  • Egg preferences break down this way: 2% prefer Cage Free; 4% prefer Cage Free Organic; 12% prefer Nutrient Enhanced Caged and 82% prefer White or Brown Caged.

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Take Dad Out To Eat for Father’s Day By Edan Goode

In May, we ran a list of restaurants serving up a special brunch in honor of Mother’s Day. Not surprisingly, that was one of our most popular posts! Well, dads would like to eat out on their special day too, we’re just sure of it. So here’s a list of restaurants honoring dad on Father’s Day, June 16. Many require reservations. Don’t forget our other suggestions for creative ways to spend Father’s Day in “Food and Fun for Father’s Day.”
Steak or Carne a la Plancha with Bourbon Old Fashioned Sangria from Al Lado.

Steak or Carne a la Plancha with Bourbon Old Fashioned Sangria from Al Lado.

50% off all bottles of wine. Dads can enjoy Sangria & Steak with complimentary glass of sangria. Pairs well with the Skirt Steak; harissa, chimichurri, onion marmalade and patatas fritas. ( A larger entrée for those hungry guys.)
Marco’s Coal-Fired Pizza will treat all dads to a free 16oz. beer with the purchase of a specialty pizza (Try the Hell’s Kitchen) or lasagna. Father’s can finish up their meal with a giant cannoli.
They’ll be serving man-sized meals during “Beef, Bourbon and Beer” night. Order a tender grilled beef filet or grilled steak and frites and get a complimentary Breckenridge Bourbon or Colorado beer (no substitutions).
Le Peep While Dad is getting a hearty breakfast, he will also receive a $10 gift certificate to use at a future visit, while supplies last and at participating locations. 
Dad will get one complimentary shot of Casa Noble Blanco tequila with his meal. Reservations are recommended.
Open Table also has a list of restaurants offering specials for dads. Check them out here. http://www.opentable.com/promo.aspx?m=5&pid=85
If dad loves to cook and would like to hone his grilling skills, Cook Street School of Culinary Arts is kicking off a summer grilling class series that would be a great gift that keeps on giving. Dad can learn how to barbecue classics, all about using smoke and sauce, how to grill challenging fish, grilling Italian, Middle Eastern, South American foods and much more. Grilling classes run $89 each and you can get dad a gift card in any amount and even take a class together for some quality time. Call 303-308-9300 or visit .
Bon appetit, Dads! You certainly deserve a special meal on your special day.

Food and Fun for Father’s Day By Edan Goode

Colorado Dads like to eat and do stuff. So this year, plan a unique Father’s Day with some of both! Here are some Father's Dayideas from a Denver Dad who thinks any of these options would be a whole lot better than another tie…

Urbane Dad – Take Dad downtown to the Commons Park area for a stroll and to eat at one of many hip “LoHi” restaurants with a great city view. Ale House has straightforward fare at reasonable prices. Zengo offers upscale brunch fare with chef’s mini-plates. After, take a B-Cycle ride exploring the area and the biking trails. Finish with an ice cream from Little Man.

Roughing It Dad – Buy Steven Raichlen’s BBQ University book and ask Dad to cook “Caveman Steaks”. This requires digging a shallow pit in the backyard (with the kids!), using good quality “clean wood,” and throwing big thick steaks right on the coals!

Mountain Lover Dad – Pack a light lunch and take a hike to the top of a 14’er (or an 8er, 9er, etc.), and eat at the top with a great view! Don’t want a long drive? Nearby metro “mountain-like” experiences await at Daniel’s Park, Castlewood Canyon or one of the many Jefferson County Open Space parks in the foothills. End the day with family-friendly dining at Tommyknocker’s in Idaho Springs, Woody’s Pizza in Golden or Rockyard Brewery in Castle Rock.

Granola Dad – Head to Boulder and stroll the Pearl St Mall to take in the sights and sounds of the street performers. Eat lunch at The Mountain Sun, a local brewpub with something for everyone. Finish with a hike in Chautauqua Park.

Classic Denver Dad – Lunch at The Brown Palace, Ship’s Tavern, followed by a stroll through Denver Botanic Gardens. Grab a soft serve cone at the Monet’s Garden café. (Pricey and best for older kids.) For something less expensive and better for  younger kids, substitute another Denver classic like Wazee Supper Club (pizza!) or Wynkoop Brewing Company (pub fare).

Classic Colorado Dad – Brunch at The Broadmoor, a stroll around the grounds then a drive through Garden of The Gods. Think ahead and pack a change of shoes to take an easy-going hike on one of the many trails. Pricey and not appropriate for younger children. Less expensive (but not cheap) is the Broadmoor’s newly renovated Golden Bee pub.

Beach Lover Dad – Take Dad to the family-friendly beaches of Aurora Reservoir where there are no motorized boats. Pack a picnic, Garden of the gods lit up in sunset colorsor grills are available. Relax on the sand, try the waters, and just enjoy the bright blue sky! Don’t forget the sunscreen and beach umbrellas! (Beach options: Chatfield, Cherry Creek.)

Cycle Lover Dad – Hit the nearest bike trail (Cherry Creek, South Platte, Sand Creek, etc.) and eat lunch somewhere along the way. Off the South Platte trail at Mineral is the Aspen Grove shopping area with Panera’s and Ted’s. Or pack a lunch and eat at a park along the way. For upscale picnic lunch options, try Whole Foods or Marczyk’s. If Dad’s the only cyclist enthusiast, let him cycle, and drive everyone to meet him at a park with a picnic!

Mother’s Day Brunch Round-up By Edan Goode

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Now, moms, we all know that if there is something we are wishing for on Mother’s Day, giving a little hint never hurt. If you are hoping for a nice Mother’s Day Brunch, but don’t have time to research a place to go (Who does, right?) we’ve done the work for you.

Here’s a round-up of area restaurants doing something special in honor of you, on Sunday, May 12. Make those reservations now – or rather, tell the person who needs to know this information to call right now to get a table or else! Happy Mother’s Day!

Where: Zengo Denver/1610 Little Raven St., Denver. http://www.richardsandoval.com/zengodenver/index.php
What: 10:30am-2:30pm. Mums & Mother’s Day Brunch celebration. Each mom will receive a mum (flower) with their brunch.
Cost: $35 per guest, $10 for children, and includes unlimited small plates and free flowing brunch cocktails.

Where: TAG Restaurant/1441 Larimer St., Denver. http://tag-restaurant.com/
What: A special Mother’s Day Brunch, 10am-2pm.
Cost: $40 per person. $15 for children.

Where:  The Corner Office/1401 Curtis St., Denver. http://thecornerofficedenver.com/
What: 
Sexy Mama Disco Brunch, 9am-3pm. Regular brunch a la carte menu but with the addition of a 10-minute chair massage, champagne and photo booth.
Cost: Depends on menu items chosen. Not fixed price.

Where: Tamayo/14oo Larimer St., Denver. www.richardsandoval.com
What: Bottomless Margarita Brunch and Mom’s Day chrysanthemum flower.
Cost:  Brunch includes unlimited small plates and breakfast cocktails for $35. Discount for those not drinking and for kids.

Where: Second Home Kitchen + Bar/150 Clayton Lane inside JW Marriott Hotel. www.secondhomedenver.com.
What: Mom receives a complimentary mimosa during the Mother’s Day Pajama Brunch from 7am-3pm or dinner from 5pm-10pm.
Cost: Order off of regular menu. Kids age 8 and under, free when wearing their PJ’s during the brunch. They get to eat and be entertained in a separate room.

Where: Gaetano’s/3760 Tejon St., Denver. www.gaetanositalian.com
What:  Noon-4 pm. Special Mother’s Day brunch items in addition to the regular menu. Also, a Prosecco-sicle, a liquor popsicle dropped into a glass of prosecco for $9.
Cost: Varies with menu items chosen.

Where: Altitude Restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Denver/650 15th St., Denver. http://www.downtowndenverhyatts.com/altitude-mothers-day-dining
What: Brunch from11am-3pm.
Cost: $42 per person 13+, $17 ages 6-12, 5 and under dine free.

Where: Garden Terrace at the Inverness Hotel/200 Inverness Drive West, Englewood.  http://www.invernesshotel.com/denver-restaurants.php
What: Buffet brunch. 9:30am-3pm.
Cost: $49.95 per person 11+, $23.95 ages 6-10, 5 and under dine free.

Where: Beatrice and Woodsley, South Broadway No. 38, Denver. http://beatriceandwoodsley.com/special-occasions-menus/
What: Table service brunch with multi-course options. 10am- 2pm.
Cost: $36 per adult, $20 per child.

Where:  Café Terracotta, (5649 S. Curtice St., Littleton. http://www.cafeterracottalittleton.com/.
What: Brunch 7:30am-2:30pm.
Cost: $29.95 per person, $14.95 children 10 and under.

Where: Cool River Café,  8000 E. Belleview Ave. , Suite C 10, Greenwood Village. http://www.coolrivercafe.com/reservations.php?c=1&id=4
What:  Buffet 10am- 3pm.
Cost: $36.95 per person, $14.95 children under 12.

Just a reminder that buffets do not include tax and gratuity. Be kind to your server. They may be a mom or have one.

 

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A Grown-Ups Brunch…with Kids By Edan Goode

Recently, we had a date night dinner at Second Home Kitchen + Bar in Cherry Creek, inside the JW Marriott Hotel. We were really impressed. But we were even more impressed when we found out that they have a brunch where kids eat free and are entertained so the grownups can really enjoy their meal. Brilliant! Read on to find out all about it.

A leisurely Sunday Brunch can be such a wonderful thing. Taking your time eating, lingering over a mimosa…so relaxing. Unless your

Kids having their own, fun brunch at Second Home's Pajama Brunch.

Kids having their own, fun brunch at Second Home’s Pajama Brunch.

kids are in tow. Then it can be something not quite so wonderful or relaxing. Second Home Kitchen + Bar in Cherry Creek has our backs, parents. They have a Pajama Brunch on Sundays from 7am – 2pm. Kids ages 8 and under eat free from the Brunch Menu which includes a pancake and waffle bar with toppings like sprinkles, candy, cereal and fresh fruit. In a special kids lounge, kids do arts and crafts such as Fruit Loop necklaces, play games and watch age-appropriate movies. The lounge is surrounded with sleeping bags and pillows with a grown-up overseeing the activities. Even the wait staff wears their PJ’s during this brunch.

While the kids are occupied, parents can partake of the grown-ups menu that includes Crab Cake Benedict, Chicken-Fried Steak, Bread Pudding French Toast, Steel Cut Oatmeal, bottomless mimosas and a Do-It-Yourself-Bloody-Mary-Bar.
Reservations are recommended and valet parking is free at Second Home. For reservations, call 303-253-3000 or visit www.secondhomedenver.com. Second Home Kitchen + Bar is located at 150 Clayton Lane in Cherry Creek.
Sweet potato "Couch Potatoes" (l) served with White Cheddar Sour Cream & Chive dip and russet "Ranch Potatoes" served with French Onion Dip are served at brunch as well as at dinner.

Sweet potato “Couch Potatoes” (l) served with White Cheddar Sour Cream & Chive dip and russet “Ranch Potatoes” (r) served with French Onion Dip are served at brunch as well as at dinner.

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Take the kids to a beer garden? You bet! By Edan Goode

It’s great to be able to find a restaurant that is as appealing to the kids as the parents. Too often, the place the parents want to go isn’t really family-friendly and you spend the entire time trying to get the kids to behave like little adults. Or the places the kids love leave the parents feeling like they didn’t really have a treat of an evening out at all. The Lowry Beer Garden (yes, Beer Garden) is a great compromise.

The Lowry Beer Garden, 7577 East Academy Blvd., in the Lowry Neighborhood. Photo courtesy Larimer Associates.

Sitting right next to a popular family destination, Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, is the Lowry Beer Garden, a new but already very popular hangout for cold brews and good food and a good place to bring the kids – if you come early.

Beer and wine gardens are not a new concept. They have existed in Europe for hundreds of years. But the concept is a fresh one for Colorado. Like its European counterparts, the Lowry Beer Garden is open air, casual and self-service with communal, bench seating. “You come as you are, bring a large group and it’s no big deal,” says Joe Vostrejs, one of the owners of the Lowry Beer Garden, and also COO of Larimer Associates, a successful real estate and restaurant development company.

Being located in the Lowry neighborhood, the varied clientele seem to follow a schedule. Retirees come really early for a bite before the families descend. Then they tend to be gone in time for both early bedtimes and the arrival of the serious beer drinkers. It works out perfectly.

Because of the casual, open-air, communal environment, kids may feel it’s okay to run around. While the Lowry Beer Garden loves kids, they also know that things could get chaotic for other diners if kids were getting a little wild so they offer board and card games to encourage kids to not only have a seat and enjoy dinner but to also enjoy spending time with their families.

The kids’ menu features burgers, a hot dog and chicken nuggets, each $5 although the Super Giant Pretzel, served in a pizza-size box for $13 on the appetizer menu is also hard for kiddos to resist. Same with the Chicken Wings which kids manage to keep snatching from their parents, but who can blame them. With three levels of heat in the sauce to choose from, there are options for all.  Cool things off with soft-serve ice cream.

For adults, the food menu offers lots of options and will be evolving and growing as time passes and seasons change. Currently, it

Two of Lowry Beer Garden’s burgers: Choose your meat (including vegetarian, shown top) and your toppings. Photo courtesy CDM Communications.

focuses on a wide variety of burgers, sandwiches, brats, salads and other beer-friendly foods. Soon, they will start offering healthy appetizers like scratch-made hummus, peel-and-eat shrimp and more salads. As the weather turns colder, they will add heartier fare that pairs well with beer as well as special events such as cooking steaks out in the garden.

When those fall and winter breezes hit (practically unthinkable as I write this on a 98 degree day) it will be no problem for the Lowry Beer Garden. Beyond the outdoor “garden” area at the front, the covered Pavilion sits on a concrete slab that is kept warm by hydronic heat via a solar array on the roof. Clear, plastic walls will come down, making a cozy room for a couple hundred people. Heat lamps will warm up the open air garden area for heartier souls who just have to be out under the open sky.

Grab the kids and claim your spot on a bench, enjoy good food and drink for the family and maybe meet other families too who are relieved to find a place that makes the gang happy.

The Lowry Beer Garden is located at 7577 East Academy Blvd., Denver, in the Lowry Neighborhood, off of Monaco and Quebec.

 

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Feeding the community (including the kids) by Edan Goode

El Camino Community Tavern
3628 W. 32nd Avenue at Lowell
720-889-7946

Last weekend, we became part of a new community – and it was delicious. While walking around the historic Highlands neighborhood, we discovered a restaurant that puts extra effort into everything they do. It’s as appropriate for a gathering with friends as it is for a well-deserved grown-up date or a casual lunch with the kids. I love the use of the word “Community” at El Camino Community Tavern. It isn’t just a casual place to go –  they are committed to being responsible to and for their guests, much like someone welcoming you into their home.

The space is small and narrow enabling people to get pretty close to each other but not so close that you become part of each other’s conversations. The décor is funky and lighthearted, especially now when it is also decorated for the holidays. (Notice the huge mirror and what the front of the bar is made of.) The staff is friendly, they recycle, grow herbs on their rooftop garden, source locally and are 100% wind-powered. What a great example to us all!

Small additions make all the difference with the food. The Grandes Nachos ($7.95) had layers of refries, jalapenos, carnitas (we had a choice of meats) , cheese and salsa with a touch of pineapple for a sweet counter to the heat. The Smuggler’s Burrito ($8.95), was a giant of a thing filled with grilled potatoes along with the usual beans, rice, and choice of veggies, beef, carnitas, chicken or as a breakfast burrito, all smothered with pork green chili and cheese. Sopapillas ($4.95) had whipped cream, fresh strawberries, raspberries and scoops of homemade strawberry and chocolate ice cream.

Next time, we’ll try the Mollettes ($7.95), part of the weekend brunch with a baguette spread with refried beans, layered with manchego cheese, pico de gallo, roasted jalapeno salsa, served with scrambled eggs. Or a big bowl of Aztec Soup ($6.95) – chicken, tomato, onion, avocado, queso fresco and tortilla chips.

Although there’s always a kids menu available, I wouldn’t recommend taking the kiddos to El Camino Tavern at night. Then, the adults rule, but for lunch or brunch, the clambering of the kids will blend right in with the lively adult conversation and  excellent live music. For around $5, kids can have a quesadilla, flautas, bowl of rice, beans, meat or chicken, a burrito or a PB&J tortilla. Plus, the place is great for games of I Spy.

Even if you don’t live in the Highlands, El Camino Tavern lets us all become part of the community, if only for as long as it takes to polish off a great meal.