Admittedly, when I first received the invite to stop by Spanky’s Roadhouse for brunch I was puzzled. When I think brunch, I don’t really think of stopping by a roadhouse. Do you even know what the word “roadhouse” means? According to Merriam-Webster it is “an inn or tavern usually outside city limits providing liquor and usually meals, dancing, and often gambling.”
So in my mind the upside of attending this event would be the absence of gaggles of Lululemon-clad fashionistas taking photos of their perfectly manicured hands holding up a Bellinis, cackling with every *clink* of their champagne flutes. But on the downside, would there be a bearded man in a leather vest threatening to crack a pool cue over my head while I was eating pancakes? I mean, not the usual vibe I’m going for… at least before 3pm.
After doing a little research, I learned that Spanky’s Roadhouse was more DU dive bar hangout than the type of down-and-out establishment frequented by belligerent roughnecks. Additionally, I was assured by the publicist that Spanky’s had just undergone a remodeled and a menu overhaul geared at elevating the experience. “Ok,” I thought. “I’ll give it a try.”
Please note: Financial compensation was not received for this post. I was invited by the PR firm working with Spanky’s Roadhouse to come in for a meal on the house. Opinions expressed here are my own.
The new look echos an upscale lounge, with tufted leather bar stools and booths in earth tone colors, and an orderly and attractive-looking bar area.
However, rough edges like the unfinished ceiling with Edison bulbs hanging from the exposed wood beams remain, an intentional way of finding the balance between upgrading a dive bar but not going overly fancy and forgetting their base customer.
The menu offers technicolor dishes like Green Eggs and Ham and Red Velvet Pancakes ($8.95), all fine, playful twists on breakfast staples.
The comfort-food dish that had eyes glistening when mentioned was the Tennessee Hot Chicken Benedict ($11.95), although ultimately it was not as tongue-searing as the hot chicken name suggests.
For some actual burn, you instead should turn to, the surprising favorite of the whole meal was the Hangover Helper ($10.95). This pile-on of scrambled eggs, bacon, cheese, and hash browns over buttermilk biscuits is a rib-sticker of a dish with a blistering jalapeño chorizo gravy sauce that is served as more of a downpour than drizzle.
All in all, I think Spanky’s attracts a college crowd, but it’s no longer the place where you feel like your slumming it the whole way through. Judging by the mix of patrons dining while I was there, it’s now the place kids bring their parents for brunch when they are visiting, or the fun spot friends gather for a reasonably-priced meal to kick off the weekend.
The waitstaff is quite friendly and sassy in the way that you’d expect to be appealing to a crowd of young adults.
Spanky’s Roadhouse – 1800 E Evans Ave, Denver, CO 80210
- Decor: Upscale diner/bar with a casual atmosphere
- Crowd: DU students, families