So – I survived Denver Beer Week – barely. Whew! I’m an old lady! I have no business taking part in the kind of rampant consumption that Beer Week demands.
We did it up at all of our regular haunts last week in our best attempt to give our out-of-towners, Jacakmo Aristocrat & Skinny Billy, a taste of the Omelette’s Denver: Falling Rock Tap House, Star Bar, Mezcal, Yak & Yeti, Atomic Cowboy, Skylark Lounge and more. We ate, drank, drank some more, ate, and drank again until we were nearly dead. Somewhere around Saturday the most activity we could muster was a heated match of Tiger Woods Golf on the Wii. I schooled the boys on how its done for the first 9… and was quite disappointed to see I wasn’t rewarded with virtual Wii hookers. Whats up with that, Tiger?
Anyway… the true highlight of our week ended up being the last stop on the Denver tour – brunch at The Squeaky Bean on Sunday.
Oh. My. God.
This place is fabulous.
Located at 33rd & Tejon in the Highlands, The Squeaky Bean can be found right in the middle of what is becoming THE place to eat in Denver, with Lohi Steakbar, Rootdown, Highland Tavern, Duo and several other hip foodie joints just a skip down the block in one direction or another.
Pepper Lowell, myself and the hubs had our first Squeaky Bean experience about 6 mos. ago and it was truly amazing. For dinner, SB offers up a range of entrees as well as a plethora of small plate dining options. The three of us ordered one of each from the small plates menu (yes, that’s approximately 12 plates… don’t judge) and were blown away by every single one – from gently fried sweet breads to the pig platter (sliced Italian meats draped over a large wooden pig – no joke), everything was stellar. Not to mention – great prices on wine and a fun atmosphere – we were in heaven. We really had the best time — and for the life of me I cannot figure out why we waited so long to go back.
We started brunch with coffee and cocktails. I recommend the ‘Tingleberry – Prosecco with strawberry liqueur and fresh berries. As long as the proportion is right, this drink is not-too-sweet and beautiful to look at. The local fresh raspberries floating around were amazing. This drink will become my at-home brunch staple from now on I assure you.
We started our meal by sharing the Duck Rillettes served with house-made preserves and house-made mustard. Hands down this is one of the most decadent and wonderful things I’ve had in my mouth in a long time. (Insert inappropriate joke here…) It’s a cross between a pâte and some kind of luscious butter – butter made out of duck and duck fat – that you then generously slather on toasted bread – and then you eat it – and then you can die because you’ve just ate the most delicious thing in the world. Get to The Squeaky Bean immediately and have some. Don’t be afraid… do it!
Also on our brunch menu: homemade biscuits and gravy, one order topped with duck confit – one topped with the house-made gravy + a dribble of maple syrup + butter; pigs in a blanket (SB’s version is a crepe filled with a prosciutto hash and topped with an egg & fancy greens); poached eggs and whiskey (literally – 2 poached eggs and a shot o’ bourbon – BRILLIANT! – oh and they know how to poach eggs PRAISE THE LORD); a delectable vegetable and egg souffle sandwich; and several other cocktails. And let me just tell you… each item was was impeccable.
Both times I’ve visited the Bean the crowd has been inviting, the decor has been amusing, the waitstaff has been attentive (albeit slow – but I’ll take slow over being rushed any day of the week), and the food and drink have been -literally- a revelation. I can’t think of a better way to end a week with friends. The Squeaky Bean showed them that the middle of the country knows what’s up when it comes to making good food. Screw the coasts!
I’ve been to a lot of restaurants this year – many surrounded by tons of hype, like Colt & Gray and Argyll and Root Down… but The Squeaky Bean is the best that I’ve experienced. Yes, that is a bold statement… but it is the truth. I can’t wait to go again. I can’t wait to taste what’s next. Bring it on Bean… I’ll have one of everything.