Bad ‘n’ Brunchy: Denver BrunchFest 2017


By Jessica H.

The 2017 Denver BrunchFest was held in sunny Civic Center Park at the end of August. We’re a little late on our write up since we’ve been super busy at our day jobs, but finally — it’s here! BrunchFest was our type of festival, offering bottomless boozy drinks, bites, and plenty of other goodies like Califa Farms’ delicious coffee and Kevita probiotic drinks. There was a photo booth and plenty of iconic places to take photos– check out our shot below in front of the Denver City and County Building! Proceeds from BrunchFest went to support Kids’ Compassion Project and Minds Matter of Denver, two Mile High City-based nonprofits.



BrunchFest took place on one of the hottest days we had experienced all summer, so cold drinks were necessary for cooling our bodies down. An array of drinks was served at the main drink stand, ranging from a Morning Screw to the BrunchPunch, all made with Keel Vodka or champagne. Keel Vodka is low calorie and has a lower ABV than usual spirits so you wake up feeling good the next day! We are more accustomed to higher ABV though; we drank nearly 7 drinks each at BrunchFest without getting too buzzed.

Our favorite libations included the Bloody Mary and the Bullmosa– a twist on your classic mimosa with the addition of Red Bull Tangerine. We also were quite pleased with Bar Helix’s Tiger Woods cocktail, as well as Aperol’s good ol’ Aperol Spritz. Mind you, we probably should have started our morning with the Aperol Spritz instead of ending our morning with it, but alas we were so full after the event that the Aperol didn’t quite “whet our appetite” like aperitifs are supposed to.



Denver BrunchFest had an assortment of sweet and savory brunch foods from some of Denver’s hottest brunch spots. Traditionally we are fans of savory food, so our favorite bites were savory options. Element Kitchen’s steak and eggs won for our personal favorite dish. They made a perfectly cooked (i.e. medium rare) steak with scrambled eggs, sweet potato hash, and veggies (asparagus, anyone?). Esters Neighborhood Pub’s shrimp and grits were packed with flavor, while Departure’s Smoked Salmon Blini with creamy egg yolk, lemon miso, chili, mint, and lime combined Asian and Russian roots full of umami. The best sweet dish was Acero’s pancake stack– topped with glazed bananas!

We are already counting down the days to next year’s BrunchFest and we hope to see you there.

The Brown Palace’s 125th Birthday & Ellyngton’s Champagne Brunch

Denver Restaurants, Events

By Jessica H.


The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa is celebrating their 125th anniversary this year! The Brown Palace was built in 1892 and reigns as the second oldest hotel in Denver. Located in the heart of downtown, the Brown Palace is an iconic building boasting Italian Renaissance architecture designed by architect Frank E. Edbrooke, including an atrium lobby, grand ballroom, and various rooms adorned in Mexican onyx. The building is the second-known fireproof building in United States and was built with sandstone and red granite. Over the past 125 years, famous faces have frequented the Brown Palace, such as The Beatles, Theodore Roosevelt, and the legendary Molly Brown who survived the Titanic shipwreck.


Upon walking into the historic hotel, you are greeted with warmth and nostalgia of the past. Inside, there are various restaurants and bars to choose from, such as Ship Tavern, Palace Arms, Churchill Cigar Bar, and the famed Ellyngton’s. We were delighted to spend time at the Brown Palace recently for the Sunday Champagne Brunch at Ellyngton’s, which is a place where everyone from politicians to movie stars have mingled and dined.

Champagne Brunch at Ellyngton’s is an experience that both Denver residents and visitors to Colorado alike should dive into at some point in their lives, whether it be for a special occasion or when you’re in the mood for a rock star brunch. The Sunday extravaganza recently made Open Table’s “Top 100 Brunches in the US” List; it is the only brunch in Denver on the list. Ellyngton’s is an old-school, evocative restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows and ornate decor, located on the first floor of the Brown Palace Hotel. There is a live slow jazz band every Sunday that will serenade you while dining.


Our recent brunch at Ellynton’s was incredible beyond words. We chose the middle-tier champagne, Moët Chandon, for our bottomless option. If you’re looking to live lavishly, opt for Dom Pérignon. The chocolate fondue fountain (with both white and milk chocolate flowing) was our first stop on the bottomless brunch train. We then moved onto the salad bar to get some greens in our body before devouring nearly every other food group in existence.

Next up: seafood dreams. Plates full of raw oysters, fresh sushi rolls, and sashimi graced our taste buds. As we are huge fans of raw fish, this may have been one of our favorite parts of Ellyngton’s brunch. Most modern brunches leave out the raw fish component and opt for your cooked delicacies; Ellyngton’s has no shame in serving up that raw deliciousness bright and early on Sunday morning. To ready our palates for breakfast food, we then nibbled on fresh pastries (all baked in-house) and various artisan cheeses. Subsequently we moved onto an array of breakfast items: sausage, bacon, hash browns and breakfast potatoes, and omelettes made to order (right in front of us!).



At this point, the average person may think they are full, but we prepared our minds (and bellies) to be ready for more. Lunch delights came next. We tried the famous Brown Palace prime rib as well as the meat of the day, which was lamb with raspberry crème sauce (definitely one of our favorite meat-and-sauce combos to date). Then it was time for more fish, barramundi to be exact. The barramundi was delicate and buttery — just like any perfectly-cooked white fish should be. We also tried the cheese blintzes and ordered eggs benedict from our server – -which you can get by the half order. To top it off with finesse, we tried a slice of the freshly baked cherry pie. We left Ellyngton’s full of delectable food, bubbles, and lifetime memories. 

If you are interested in making a reservation for Ellyngton’s Champagne Brunch, you can do so here. The Champagne Brunch takes place from 10 AM – 1:30 PM every Sunday in the famed Brown Palace Hotel.