Ever since reading Anthony Bourdain’s food industry tell-all, Kitchen Confidential, it’s difficult to eat brunch without feeling like you’re getting ripped off or having a sub-par dining experience. It’s with that in mind that I normally reserve my weekend morning-ish meals to making something at home. However, this weekend Stanton and I were looking to kill some time and warm up before it was our turn to scoop up dirt-cheap goods at the Denver REI Garage Sale, we strolled up to the Wooden Spoon Cafe and Bakery, a charming little spot in Highland.
With its bustling kitchen, cheery yellow walls and chalkboards touting the daily specials, the cafe radiated with a warm, inviting feeling. The line of locals waiting to order nearly stretched out into the street, a good sign. Families and couples seated in the tiny dining area filled the space with sounds of chatter and chewing.
The restaurant’s bookshelf was filled with nods to some amazing New York chefs — David Chang’s Momofuku cookbook and Daniel Humm and Will Guidara’s I Love New York, to name a few. Oh, and a book on New York City — another good sign.
I exercised an incredible amount of will power while ordering at the glass counter. Directly below me were plates piled with delectable-looking pastries, complete with Instagram-worthy sticky buns sitting on the counter, their nutty gooey goodness dripping over from every side. Drool…
We grabbed a couple bar seats by the window and placed our numbered wooden spoon (obviously) in a visible spot, and it wasn’t long before our meals arrived at our table.
Based on the wonderful atmosphere and delicious-looking pastries, my hopes were pretty high for the food, so I was slightly disappointed. My egg sandwich with mushroom, arugula, and cheddar was slightly salty, however, overall the dish was otherwise very good, especially the fresh brioche bun it was served on. The eggs were perfectly pillowy and the arugula added a nice peppery kick. Stanton’s egg scramble with mushroom, spinach, mozzarella, and a side of fresh bred and jam needed some work. Flavors were muted, and required some liberal dollops of hot sauce.
However, I plan on returning to see if the saltiness was a fluke or the standard, or perhaps try their lunchtime offerings instead. The fantastic-looking macaroons, pies, and cakes in the dessert case were very tempting, and if they taste even half as good as they look, this place may be a gem — I just haven’t found their winning food combinations.
How do your ‘hood’s brunch spots compare? Do you have an adorable joint you recommend?
Wooden Spoon Cafe and Bakery – 2418 W 32nd Ave, Denver, CO 80211
- Decor: Cozy, cute, cheery charm
- Crowd: Families and couples
- Recommended: Egg sandwich with mushrooms, cheddar, and arugula