Booze and breakfast: These Four Corners brunch spots are proof that there is an upside to being an adult
Brunch. It’s one of those luxuries that makes being an adult worth the hassle. Sure, we’re stuck paying bills and cleaning messes and doing things like, ugh, working for a living, but in return, we get to laze our weekends away drinking too much booze and eating too much food at delicious rituals like brunch.
And, because brunch is so freaking awesome, Durango’s restaurant scene has popped up with plenty of killer places where one can drink and eat away the pains of being an adult. There is nothing wrong with drinking your breakfast, especially if it’s a Bloody Mary, which is chock full of vitamins and vodka. And, there’s nothing wrong with ingesting 6,000 calories if it’s done so while eating bread pudding for breakfast. It’s in the adult handbook. Feel free to check.
So sit back, tip your mimosa to your lips, and toast the good weekend life at one of these fine brunch establishments. You can repay us in Razzmosas later.
El Moro Spirits and Tavern945 Main Ave., elmorotavern.com, 970-259-5555
If you haven’t hopped over to El Moro’s boozy, delicious weekend brunch, you aren’t living life to the fullest. You just aren’t. Want to know why? Well, because El Moro, a restaurant that has a killer lunch and dinner menu, has – in our hungry opinions – an even better brunch menu.
Want a Bloody Mary made with pickle-infused vodka? Of course you do! And you can get one at El Moro. It goes by the name “Dirty Mary,” and we have a slight addiction to these pickle-boozed drinks. The Dirty Mary is made with pickle brine infused vodka, El Moro’s house bloody mix, and it’s rimmed with a hefty dose of black pepper and salt, so you can get in all the good tasting (and probably bad for you) stuff at once.
But, if Bloody Marys aren’t your thing, don’t you worry your pretty little brunch-loving face about it. El Moro has pah-lenty of brunch drink options, like their equally delicious Irish coffee, which we swear gets stronger every single time we visit. It’s made with Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey, Desert Sun coffee (stuff is bomb), simple syrup, and house cream, and it’s been a favorite of any and everyone we’ve forced to visit El Moro for brunch. Or, grab the Egg Cream or the non-alcoholic Orange Cream. Sure, they won’t get you morning buzzed, but those two drinks, filled with sugary goodness, are so freaking tasty that you won’t even care. You’ll be high off your own supply.
And, of course, El Moro isn’t just a morning booze place. Their food is freaking baller, too, as one would expect from the Main Ave staple. There are menu options like the chicken fried steak, which is huge and served with sausage gravy, two eggs your way, and hash browns, or about a million versions of eggs Benedict.
We don’t order any of those, though. We vacillate between the A.M. Poutine, which is a massive bowl of french fries covered in sausage gravy and cheese and then topped with two eggs – don’t judge us – and the Blueberry Bread Pudding, which is exactly what it sounds like, only somehow better because it’s made with wild blueberry-infused brioche bread, egg custard, and blueberry crème anglaise. We could write a love letter to that bread pudding.
DGO food pick: Everything, but if we have to choose a couple, we’d go with one of the Bennedictions (what El Moro calls their eggs Benedict dishes) or the Blueberry Bread Pudding. Mmm, carbs.
DGO booze pick: The Three Amigos, a Bloody Mary made with roasted garlic and green onion vodka, Ancho Reyes Verde, infused Tres Amigos bitters, house bloody mix, tajin, green onion, cherry pepper, and lime. Sounds complicated, but isn’t. It’s a mouth party!Carver Brewing Co.1022 Main Ave., carverbrewing.com, 970-259-2545Carver Brewing Co. doesn’t call their breakfast “brunch,” but it still counts as brunch. They do, after all, serve plenty of good booze and even, uh, plentier amounts of brunch foods, which makes the matter of the name “brunch” or “breakfast” boil down to simple semantics. Brunch, breakfast. Potato, potaaaahto.
So, if you’re heading to Carver’s for break...er, brunch, and you want to booze it up, there are plenty of palate-pleasing options. Perhaps you should join us at our table with a Deluxe Bloody Mary, made with Durango Craft Spirits Soiled Doves Vodka, house-made bloody mix, celery, pepperoncini, olive, a lemon, and your choice of a pickle or bacon. Maybe if you sweet talk, they’ll give you both. No promises, though.
Or, are mimosas more your thing? Well, you should maybe step outside the box with a Razzmosa, which is part orange juice, part Carver’s Raspberry Wheat Ale, a squeeze of lime, a splash of Chambord, and 100 percent delicious. It’s kinda like a beermosa, but all gussied up with raspberry and Chambord. So fancy you are! (Pro-tip: You should also consider getting a bellini so you can double-fist it. The two go together like birds of a fruity feather.)
You’ll probably need some carbs to soak up some of that booze, and there are plenty of options for you to choose from at this spot. If you want to go full-on glutton, try the Cowboy Benedict, which is a fresh-baked biscuit topped with BBQ pulled pork, smoked cheddar, two eggs over medium, and BBQ hollandaise. BARBECUE HOLLANDAISE. Paradise. It’s served with a side of country potatoes, just like any good cowboy breakfast should be.
And, we aren’t kidding when we say this menu is extensive. There are rows of pancakes, burritos, scrambles, and omelets galore, and there’s even a breakfast banana split, which is as sweet as it sounds. It’s also healthier than it sounds, cause it’s a banana stuffed with vanilla yogurt, homemade granola, and fruit. And, as a bonus, you’ll feel less guilty about all those booze calories you’re taking in if you order it, which is why it’s one of our favs.
DGO food pick: The Cinnamon Pull Apart Biscuit, which is biscuit dough with cinnamon sugar and sweet vanilla cream cheese frosting, or the Bananas Foster Pancakes.
DGO booze pick: For the third time, we say go with the Razzmosa, part orange juice, part Carver’s Raspberry Wheat Ale, a squeeze of lime, and a splash of Chambord. Beer for breakfast is so pro.Irish Embassy900 Main Ave., theirishembassypub.com, 970-403-1200Irish Embassy only started serving brunch about three months ago, but it’s quickly become one of our go-to places for a little bit of booze and a little bit of bread...er, banana bread french toast, to be exact.
Does that sound delicious? Of course it does. So do the other brunch dishes served at Irish Embassy, like the Bangers and Egg Sandwich. It’s a grilled banger (yes, just like bangers and mash, but this time for breakfast), two scrambled eggs, Irish cheddar, and tomato jam, served on whatever bread you choose, with a side of Irish boxty. For those of you who don’t speak, well, Irish, a boxty is kinda like a potato pancake, but somehow MORE delicious. We highly recommend it.
But, if that’s too out of the banger box for you, there are also options like the Durango Nasty, a dish we like in part because of the name, but mostly because it’s homemade biscuits made with pimento cheese in the darn biscuit, and it’s topped with fried chicken strips and country sausage gravy. Is it good for you? Hell no. That’s not the point of brunch. But what it lacks in like, kale or whatever, it makes up for in being baller af. Everything should be covered in gravy, you Durango nasties.
Or, you could go a little south of the border with the Huevos Rancheros, which are these fancy little crunchy corn tortilla cups filled with black beans, queso asadero, two eggs poached to order, green chili, and pico de gallo. It’s a spicy little cup, you guys, so be forewarned. Make sure to order lots of Magners before it arrives at your table so you can put out the fire.
You probably want to know about the booze, too, right? Okay, well, here goes. This is a freaking Irish pub, so you have plenty to choose from, friends. There’s the Black and Gold, made with Jameson Black Barrel, Kahlua, and bitters, and served on the rocks, or if that’s too stiff for your morning brunch jaunt, you can always order a Strongbow Cider or a Honeyville Hot Toddy, a hot toddy made with Colorado Honey Whiskey, hot water, honey, and lemon. You can pretend it’s healthy. We won’t tell anyone. Or, just go with the Apple Pieder, a drink made with Tuaca, hot apple cider, and topped with whipped cream. Tuaca at 8 a.m. sounds just fine to us.
Pro-tip: If you want to grab brunch at Irish Embassy, you’ll have to be willing to drag yo’ ass out of bed. They open at 8 a.m. for brunch on Saturday and Sunday only, and the menu runs until 3 p.m. C’mon. Your hangover can’t be THAT bad.
DGO food pick: The Corned Beef Hash & Eggs was so delicious that we couldn’t stop eating it, even though other dishes awaited us. The trick is, well...we’re not going to tell you. Just know there’s a trick to the way the corned beef is made, and it takes this skillet next level.
DGO booze pick: The Irish Coffee (duh), which the bartenders make with Powers Irish Whiskey, a fresh shot of espresso and hot water, sugar cubes, and cream they whip themselves behind the bar with the power of love. Or, you know, you can always grab a plain ol’ Guinness. Can’t go wrong with a dark, frothy beer for brunch.Lone Spur Cafe619 Main Ave., lonespurcafe.com, 970-764-4280We have never seen a breakfast menu as long as the one at Lone Spur Cafe. Yes, they call it breakfast, but we call it brunch, cause you can get booze and breakfast foods at Lone Spur well after the healthy productive folks get it, so it counts. Anyway, back to the menu.
On Lone Spur’s breakfast/brunch menu are dishes like the freaking ribeye steak and eggs, which is a massive 10-ounce steak and, well, eggs, just like the name would suggest. It’s massive, perfect for the hugest of appetites, and is basically guaranteed to put you into a meat coma after you consume it. So, perfect for a weekend brunch meal, if you ask us.
Or, if that’s too heavy for your lightweight tastes, maybe you’d enjoy something like the French Toast Special, which consists of, get this: Two pieces of cinnamon raisin bread, which are battered and rolled in corn flakes and then lightly grilled. Uh, can we get a hell yes? It’s served with two pieces of thick cut bacon, two eggs any style, and a cup of strawberries and bananas so you can feel healthy. Let your mind play tricks on you as you ingest 3,800 calories worth of carbs. Okay, we’re exaggerating, but whatever the carb count, it’s worth it.
DGO food pick: Chicken Fried Steak and Eggs, a dish that you for real can’t go wrong with. A battered breakfast steak? Hell yes.Three Rivers Brewery Block113 E. Main, Farmington, threeriversbrewery.com, 505-325-6605Three Rivers Brewery Block may not sound familiar, and that’s because it’s not in Durango. It’s in Farmington. But while it may require a jaunt across the New Mexico border, Three Rivers is still a designation worth of a designated spot on this list, because it’s a place that serves brunch and booze. And, what makes that booze factor even cooler is that it’s made in house.
Three Rivers is a brewery and brewstillery first and foremost, and they have boozy breakfast drink options like the 3 Hail Marys, a classic Bloody Mary made with Entropy Vodka and house made Bloody Mary mix, and the Happy Ending, a mix of Entropy Vodka and house made Asian Bloody Mary mix. Pro-tip: Ask for it to be made “grand” if you’re brave enough. Just do it.
We know, we know. Bloody Marys aren’t for everybody. So for those of you who abhor that spicy deliciousness, there are plenty of other options to drink brunch away, like the Bootleggin’ Rhubarb, a drink made with Entropy Vodka, rhubarb simple syrup, fresh basil, and bruleed rhubarb. Sounds like the perfect morning wake up call to us.
Brunch food at Three Rivers ain’t like your normal ol’ brunch, though. This brewstillery only recently started serving carbs to counter your booze intake, and they offer weekend brunch specials that change frequently. So, you just kinda have to take your chances if you’re lookin’ for something specific. But the brilliant drink menu makes up for it just fine.
Our drink pick: The Imperial Biscotti Break, an imperial stout made with coffee, almond and vanilla.