DENVER: The Delectable Egg

When traveling on business, I prefer to have my meals away from the hotel whenever possible. Generally, the food is better and the prices are almost always more reasonable. So I was pleased to find The Delectable Egg just a half block from my hotel during a recent stay in downtown Denver.

The restaurant's eggs-terior
The Delectable Egg is a chain of five locations that has been in existence since the early ‘80s. While its trademark is “Home of the Denver Omelet,” its vintage makes that unlikely. I remember ordering Denver omelets when I was a kid in the ‘60s, so it was obviously not invented at The Delectable Egg.

Nonetheless, that relatively small matter aside, the more important questions involve the food and the service.

I visited three times during the four days I was in Denver. The Delectable Egg has a distinct coffee-shop vibe to it. The tables – there are no booths at the downtown location – are four-tops and deuces, placed fairly close together.

Service was at least efficient; at best, it was warm and friendly. It depends on which server you get and on how busy it is when you sit down.

The food also varied, from OK to very good; it depends on what you order.

On my first visit, I ordered a Sicilian frittata and found it rather unremarkable. Basically, it was scrambled eggs with bits of ham and tomatoes poured into a skillet, baked, then topped with too much melted Swiss cheese. It’s rare when I have to peel the cheese off a dish because I found it to be too much, but that was the case with my frittata. In addition, it was pretty bland. I’d expected some Italian seasonings in the egg batter, but it was not to be.

Eggs Benedict
The next visit, I chose the Texas Toast French toast with a side of scrambled eggs and ham. The eggs and ham were good – freshly prepared without using too much butter for the eggs, and tender ham without too much fat. The toast, however, was disappointing. Because Texas Toast is thick, it needs to be soaked in the egg batter longer than thinner bread, then cooked more slowly to ensure it is cooked all the way through. My French toast was obviously not soaked in the batter long enough because the center was simply dry bread.

The English muffins that came with both orders were warm, so they had obviously been through a toaster, but neither was brown nor crisp, as they should have been.  The wide selection of jams, jellies, and my favorite, orange marmalade, at each table helped make the muffins munchable.

On my last morning in town, I chose the Eggs Benedict, which the restaurant called one of its signature dishes. Bingo! Delicious!

The order came quickly, the eggs were hot but the yolks were still properly runny. The Hollandaise sauce was fresh and light with a bit of the lemony tang I love. I still had to ask for lemon wedges to kick it up another notch, but that’s just my taste.

The home fries were also good, and nicely augmented by the Tabasco sauces and ketchup waiting on every table.

Finally, the prices were quite reasonable, especially compared to the typical $20 breakfast at your average conference hotel.

I recommend The Delectable Egg but, based on my experience, I would stick with the egg dishes. They are the place’s namesake, and they also seem to be what it does best.

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Photos by Carl Dombek
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