Forks and Jets

The true story of a couple or amateur foodie travelogues going around the world


3 Squares in Denver

August 11, 2010 United States


It’s best to start the day off right. With breakfast. But how much of your time is it worth?

The first time we drove past Snooze, we saw their ever-present line, too. Now, we’ve often waited around in LA for a seat at a table, but it seemed quite out of place in Denver. Plus in LA, what the crowds were going crazy for wasn’t always all that. We couldn’t put Snooze out of our minds though, and when a local friend suggested it for our Brunch date, we jumped at the chance. Was it going to worthwhile? Was it hipster-central? Was the staff going to be rude?

Snooze calls itself an “A.M. Eatery:” they are open only for breakfast and brunch, or until 2:30pm (yet somehow, they have a full bar). We showed up just before 9am, and had to wait for over an hour. While we excused ourselves past waiting co-eds to the free coffee stand, our spirits began to sink. Yes, this was going to be LA all over again… Then we were seated. The menu wasn’t rambling, which is a plus: it’s hard to make decisions on an empty stomach. The waitress was refreshingly normal, the staff cared about us and checked back often. We were allowed to linger over our coffees and finish our conversation.

Cuban Hash and Breakfast Pot Pie

The food was pretty outrageously delicious, and obviously the reason everyone was waiting outside, salivating at our plates. It wasn’t all hype; Snooze delivers, and won us over on heart. The faces behind this establishment know what they’re doing: Snooze is a sibling of a few local restaurants.

Whether you like tea or not, the Celestial Seasonings tour is going to be recommended to you 3 times a day if you’re planning a trip to Colorado. You know you’re curious to see the tea bagging, the mind-clearing mint room, and the psychedelic box art posters that all the midwestern visitors are photographing.

Where else can you wander around an industrial facility in white mesh shower caps and taste tea until your bladder explodes? Seriously friends, don’t miss it.

And you thought they made just 10 kinds of tea

Beard caps for the lucky gentlemen

Tours are free and take place many, many times a day. And yes, you can drink all the tea samples you ever thought you wanted. The bathrooms are very clean.

Denver is more multicultural than we thought. Prior to our visit, a friend said that he got some “salsa” on a burrito in Colorado one time that turned out to be ketchup. We’re happy to report that’s most likely a lie, and there’s lots of well-executed international fare all over town. We were particularly intrigued by the so-called “Far East Center” along Federal Boulevard, between West Alameda and West Mississippi avenues. Young locals we talked to said they didn’t get out that way much, but it struck us as a great place to go for some “destination” lunches.

Dim Sum didn’t disappoint (from Both Super Star and Empress) along with Soup Dumplings at Lao Wang’s, and we found some tasty Vietnamese as well as Thai.

Great cheap eats at Taki’s on Colfax

And coming back to that Colorado salsa… Our experience with the locally famous green chile was no laughing matter: it was so spicy we barely made it through 5 spoonfuls in a row!

Sneaking spy shots of the seven-pounder

The salsa wasn’t the only over-the-top offering at Jack n’ Grill either. Their headliner, the 7lb burrito, deserves a post all to itself. Larger than a newborn and concocted with seven potatoes, 12 eggs, a pound of ham and a whole onion, plus cheese and chili, it has to be put into something resembling a trough to get to the table. And it’s not just Man vs. Food that’s ready to take this beast on; while we were having dinner 5 others ordered one. We thought we’d show restraint and pick their “standard size,” either way, we got schooled by Colorado Mexican Food.

Jack n’ Grill’s smaller burritos & green chile

For more handheld and manageable faux-Mex, skip the Chipotle flagship (they’re from Colorado) and sit down at Illegal Pete’s instead. These two are set up somewhat similarly: you pick your fillings, they roll it up and you enjoy. Illegal Pete’s shows some style by putting a big ol’ spoon to your burrito fixings and giving it a nice swirl. Somehow, this is the magic that’s been missing your entire life. Highly recommended breakfast burritos and crispy fish burritos aplenty. And since this is Colorado, a good selection of beer is available.

Illegal Pete’s

Or, when you’re tired of taking stabs at authenticity, and want to have some fun instead, head over to Noodles & Company and choose your own adventure. Yes, we’re sending you to a chain, but it’s really quite a cool, nicely-executed idea. Their customizable menu is broken down into three categories: Asian, Mediterranean and American. You’ll pick out a pasta (rice noodles, penne, macaroni), veggies and a sauce (peanut, pesto, stroganoff) with options like chicken and tofu. Everything is made fresh, tossed to order. It’s quick, easy and kind of clever.

Noodles & Company

So we started out with breakfast, had some tea, dinner and all hours dim sum — all we need now is dessert. Enter Marczyk’s Fine Foods.

Marczyk’s Fine Foods

This place is reason enough to move to Denver. Carefully stocked, well designed, noisy, aromatic and connected to the community; Marczyk’s is what you’ve always wanted in a neighborhood store. Stop by here for wine, groceries, pantry items, the deli counter and all manner of specialty foods. You’ll find our favorite locally-made ice cream sandwiches, too. Jeremy’s is peanut butter ice cream on a chocolate bacon cookie.


  1. Amy says:
    August 11, 2010

    Oh, how I love Snooze. When I saw you were in the Denver area, I was going to insist that you guys go to Snooze, but then I realized that your blog is probably behind your actual location. I am glad you got to go there; I agree that it is outrageously delicious and worth the hype. I still think about Snooze to this day and its been two years since we’ve been there. When I was there I had to order both the enormous breakfast burrito and the Ghiradelli chocolate pancake because I’m piggish like that. My food did not fit on our table. It was embarrassing.


  2. Candice says:
    August 12, 2010

    I want that ice-cream sandwich so freaking bad.


  3. jen laceda says:
    September 7, 2010

    Hmmm…Denver, huh. Never really thought of this place as a foodie city. I think you’ve changed my mind!


  4. Spencer says:
    October 9, 2010

    Great blog! I loved Denver but Montana was fantastic. If you can, go to Glacier National Park. It is absolutely amazing.


  5. sml says:
    February 14, 2011

    nothing like a good old illegal pete’s burrito. never been to snooze, but wow, does this ever make me want to try it…


  6. puertoricoistheplace says:
    May 1, 2011

    Delicious!!! I like the beard cap…LOL!!


  7. Kindra says:
    October 17, 2011

    Oh god, I love Snooze – where else can you get a flight of pancakes – amazing!

    We’re heading out to Denver again soon, and now Marczyk’s is on my list – the ice cream sandwich pic sold me! Great post :)


  8. Nichole says:
    March 7, 2012

    I need that burrito, now! :)


  9. Jackey @ Travel Deal Articles says:
    March 24, 2012

    You’ve shared some delicious meals. What is their specialty and how much? I hope I could that one out.


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