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Brunch of the Week: Give It the Ol’ College Try at Spanky’s Roadhouse

Bridget Wood / Westword

Spanky’s Roadhouse has long had a “college bar” reputation because of its close proximity to the University of Denver. That reputation may hold true on weekdays and packed Friday nights, but brunch attracts a more diverse crowd. From a build-your-own drink bar to inventive dishes and classic favorites, Spanky’s can entertain all comers.

Spanky’s isn’t content with pouring you the same old orange-juice mimosas; instead, you have a choice of five juices — orange, cranberry, grapefruit, pineapple or mango, plus a rotating weekly special — all for only $11 bottomless. Last week’s special was fruit punch, but general manager Katie Kingston says she plans on changing the flavor every week to keep patrons on their toes. Just step up to the mimosa bar and mix and match; servers come around with pitchers of sparkling wine to top you off.

To continue the fruity theme, I started brunch with peaches and cream French toast. These slabs are built with thick-cut Texas toast, so the interior stays moist while the coating is just a little crunchy. They were covered in sweet mascarpone cream and diced peaches; the portion is generous and hearty enough to soak up multiple rounds of mimosas. The dish also comes with a choice of three syrups: maple, blueberry and strawberry.

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Spanky's Jam Burger

Spanky’s New Look

Spanky’s most recent inclusion in The Denver Business Journal’s article titled, Full Plate: This Week’s Denver Area Restaurant News.

Spanky’s Roadhouse, a longtime University of Denver dive bar, has revamped its look and its menu, offering up “sleek and contemporary finishes” and more health-minded food options — but keeping a variety of bust-your-gut burgers available to signify it hasn’t forgotten its roots.

Spanky’s Roadhouse’s jam burger is topped with applewood bacon, brie, bacon onion apple jam and arugula. The 27-year-old hangout, part of the Roadhouse Hospitality Group, rebooted its 2,500-square-foot space and open-air patio to make it a relaxing space for families and greater Denverites as well as students. The menu revamp includes entrée salads and a paleo bowl but also options like the Jam Burger (pictured), featuring applewood bacon, brie, bacon onion apple jam and arugula

Denver's Best Chicken Wings

Denver’s Ten Best Chicken Wings!

If you have any history with the decades-old Spanky’s Roadhouse near the University of Denver, you may think of it as a simple college dive bar. That’s no longer the case: The space and menu have both undergone a complete overhaul in the past few years, and one of the house specialties is wings. With nine sauces and/or rubs to choose from, you could be there all day sampling flavors. However, follow our lead and stick with the sweet and spicy sesame sauce. It’s a perfect marriage of classic American-Chinese food and pub culture. The chicken itself is plump and juicy, making for a fulfilling wing.

If you want to balance the richness of the sesame chicken wings, consider also ordering a plate of dry-rubbed wings coated in a spice mixture that chef Justin Adrian created with the local company Spice Guys just for Spanky’s.

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