I wanted to share with you about a great little breakfast/lunch diner in the “LoDo” (Lower Downtown) area of Denver, Colorado, that we stumbled upon while spending a few days there for a long weekend getaway.Here is their website – http://www.snoozeeatery.com
It’s a little place called “Snooze” and it’s got a very modern retro decor. I just read a decent review on it while we were looking up places to eat in Denver and thought it looked cute (didn’t glance at the menu online because I figured it was a “breakfast” place and I have my “standard GF eating out” options, why bother?) We decided to go there on the second-to-last day of our visit. It was almost a 30-minute wait for a table for two at 10:00am on a (non-holiday, school day) Monday morning… standing room only in their small waiting area and the sidewalk outside… very popular for GF and “normal” patrons alike, I guess!
As I’m sure it is with many others, I have found that eating out is hardest for me since starting the GF diet because I always forget to ask about sauces and things that waitresses (and me!) don’t think of even after you say “I can’t have wheat, flour, bread, breading, breadcrumbs, fried food, etc…” For breakfasts out, I just simply stick with scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns (if they don’t have flour or something mixed in) and fruit, to be safe and counter-balance the bacon on the health scale.
I don’t even read the yummy descriptions of the pancakes and French Toast anymore… usually. This particular morning I had glanced over the eggs section and picked my selection… and since it was a cute place and the waitress was really busy, I figured I’d read through the rest of the menu while I waited for her to take our order. She was just about on her way back to our table when I read these magic little words on a very small line at the bottom of the pancake section:
“Yep, we can do Gluten Free”
My eyes got huge and I had this startled look on my face – my boyfriend asked me what was wrong… I was so excited I could only lunge across the table and point at the spot on his menu to make sure his said it too! He’s like “OK so you can have pancakes”… as if it was an everyday situation. (He’s VERY supportive and usually pretty in-tune with my GF eating habits but sometimes he doesn’t understand the enormity of eating something that you didn’t think you could ever have again… especially not in a restaurant! He has no problem polishing off a huge stack of flapjacks in front of me either.) Blueberry pancakes are my all-time favorite breakfast and I just haven’t had the heart (or domestic abilities) to attempt making a GF mix at home for them yet. So I thought my pancake days were over!
I confirmed with the waitress that I could indeed get a blueberry GLUTEN FREE pancake (I may have asked 3 times, just to be sure?)… with fruit, hash browns (extra crispy, no flour), and bacon. She wrote it down like it was any other order. I was a little disappointed that she wasn’t rejoicing with me either.
You know those cartoons where the kid is waiting anxiously at the table with a napkin tucked in their collar, fork in one hand, knife in the other? That’s probably how I was sitting as the order came to our table… I was pretty much on a “high” at the time and details were a little foggy as the pancake was placed in front me, as big as a large plate and loaded with blueberries. I gazed at it for only a second before smothering it with the little pats of butter and a small tin of syrup and digging in!
It was just like a pancake!
Just like your mom made you on Saturday mornings!
Like you’d get at… a restaurant!
I devoured it pretty quickly, using little bites from my very delicious, colorful bowl of fruit to add a little extra moisture once the butter and syrup were completely soaked up.
Side note… OK side “dish”… They have all kinds of pancake options – pineapple, peach, chocolate chip, Reese’s… all sounded yummy but blueberry just happens to be my personal favorite! The hash browns were very tasty too – they had some kind of little fresh green flakes (still not sure if it was chives? parsley? I’m not so good in the kitchen…) but they were also delicious! I must also mention that their organic apple juice is like a slightly sweet cider, also quite yummy (and I’m typically not a big “organic” anything eater!) I’m not at all a coffee drinker but they supposedly have some of the best brew around too! I think the whole meal for 2 people, including my boyfriend’s Bloody Mary, was maybe $30? Oh so worth it!
OK back to the GF notes… of course, being skeptical, I was sure that it was all a dream, that they mixed up the order in the kitchen, that I would double over in pain within the next hour and die… and while it would have been an extremely delicious way to go… I did not! Yippee!
Needless to say, I DRAGGED my boyfriend back to Snooze the following morning (not so long of a wait on a Tuesday) and ordered my (new) “usual” … this time I got an even bigger surprise – this time they put BLUEBERRY BUTTER on top of the heaping pancakes! I had them bring extra butter and syrup right away (just because it’s your typical GF situation where the baked goods tend to be a little drier than normal… and “normal” pancakes can be pretty absorbing already… but still oh-so-yummy!) I ate to the point where I would normally feel sick but I think I was savoring every last bite before heading 1000 miles back home and not knowing when I would have the pleasure of gracing Snooze’s presence again! Though I have contemplated packing up and moving to Denver, getting a job at Snooze, and just stuffing myself with GF pancakes every day for the rest of my life!
We’ve been back home in Wisconsin for a week now and, despite all the other fun things we did (climb a few mountains, go to the Bears-Broncos game, attempt to play with sled dogs, etc)…… the GF pancake story is the first one I tell people! My small group of GF friends are sooooo jealous!
We also ate dinner at a restaurant called Rioja – one of the nicer ones of Denver’s downtown area where you feel most comfortable being a little “dressed up”. The servers were very careful to prepare and recommend everything that was “safe” to eat. It was also delicious and I want to give them a “shout out” too!
But I just can’t get past those darned blueberry pancakes!
There is hope that one day ALL restaurants might serve up a little slice of GF heaven!