Foodie Field Trips, Denver Edition: Lucile’s Creole Cafe


Hello, and welcome to another edition of Foodie Field Trips! Today’s post is the first in a series of FFT posts dedicated to our summer trip to Denver, where we ate a lot of really good food guilt-free because when we weren’t eating, we were hiking our butts off!

While it’s no Houston or Chicago or New York or Los Angeles, Denver has a pretty interesting food scene. Its position in the landlocked Rockies in the middle of the West means that while there aren’t a ton of fresh seafood restaurants, there is a lovely cultural patchwork quilt of foodways. There are Native American restaurants, truly legit Mexican restaurants, Vietnamese places, and fantastic breweries and coffeeshops and bakeries (my friend Kelli swears by the Spring Fling cake at The Market). That said, the presence of major professional athletic teams means that there is also a preponderance of dude-bro sports bars trafficking in overpriced burgers and fries (in general, my rule of thumb is to avoid restaurants situated near Coors Field).

Today I want to talk about Lucile’s Creole Cafe, one of my longtime Denver/Boulder brunch favorites. (Full disclosure: I have never dined at Lucile’s for lunch. It’s only ever been a breakfast/brunch place for me.)

I was first introduced to Lucile’s when I was in graduate school on Boulder, when my friend Aaron took me there for breakfast one day. I was completely wowed by the delicious chicory coffee and the towering buttermilk biscuits that could, quite frankly, constitute an utterly satisfying breakfast, especially when slathered with butter and the housemade strawberry-rhubarb jam served in all-you-can-squirt squeeze bottles on the table.

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Helloooooo, gorgeous.

Now then, prices at Lucile’s are rather dear, but everything is a bit pricier in Denver than in Austin, where we live. There’s always a bit of sticker shock when we go up there and see that they’ve got no problem with asking $10 for Eggs Benedict. Then again, you get one of those massive biscuits with your meal, so there are some value-adds. I usually opt for Eggs Eisenhower, a very simple breakfast of eggs and homefries ($6.25; add bacon for another three bucks) which, if eaten around 10 or 11 in the morning, provides sufficient fuel for a few hours of hiking in Chautauqua or Flagstaff Mountain.

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Lucile’s is rather busy, especially of a weekend morning, so expect a wait when you go (this applies to the Boulder, Longmont, and Denver locations, and I assume the Ft. Collins location experiences similar traffic). While the Zydeco and jazz music and Mardis Gras beads hanging from every spare corner lend the restaurant a festive feel, the hectic pace means that you might not get as many coffee/tea/water refills you might hope for or expect from a calmer environment. Even though there are some frustrating elements to the Lucile’s experience, I can’t go to Colorado and NOT eat there. It’s just too ingrained in my experience of the place.

Next time: Pinche Tacos. The best margaritas in Denver or the best margaritas EVER?

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Flying solo


Matt left early this morning to visit his paternal relatives in Rhode Island. It’s his grandmother’s 93rd (?) birthday, and he feels that perhaps his chances to visit her may be dwindling. So, he left for four days, with my blessings, to go eat lobster and surround himself with a whole host of people with his surname.

I have been feeling a bit glum and lonely today — I didn’t think that I’d miss him that much, especially after we just spent four days together in Seattle with no three-foot-high, “upupupupupupupupupupup!” preschooligan shenanigans. But I felt and feel his absence acutely, and did so the minute I came home from dropping off Harrison at Nana’s.

Harry and I have a busy weekend ahead of us: tonight we’re going out for dinner, maybe Thai (I dunno about that one; Harry is uber-picky and I need bland foods right now) or maybe something a little more playground-centric (a la Central Market). Tomorrow morning, breakfast tacos (hopefully en masse with other preschooligans and their mamas) at Torchy’s (my new addiction), then the sprinklers at Town Lake Park, then a meeting at Starbucks (unavoidable and definitely dreaded) about an essay and my other contributions to a book project-turned-albatross. Then lunch with Kyle at Phil’s/Amy’s, naptime, then a trip to Maker Faire with Molly. Then dinner and the arrival of the sitter (much trepidation on my part despite my adoration for sitter in question; all stemming from anxiety about possible anxiety on H’s part with Mommy abandoning him the day after Daddy left before the sun rose) so that Mariah and I can go bask in the awesomeness that is Anthony Bourdain (how tempted I have been to unload those tix for double what I paid in order to finance my latest knitting endeavor!).

Sunday is a trip to my folks’ place in Schertz and a visit to the SA Zoo, where they have “weel fah-mingos,” H’s latest animal-related obsession. Monday is school, then dinner at friends’. So, yes, we will stay busy, but the bed for the next few nights will feel very large and cold, and the creaky-creepy nighttime noises will sound that much louder. But, I will take this time to read ahead for my classes, get caught up on my knitting and movies, and generally, be at peace with my aloneness after the boy has gone to bed.