What: A Baja inspired brunch filled with spicy kicks and amped up bar food classics
Where: Billy’s Inn in Northwest Denver, 4403 Lowell Blvd
When: Saturdays and Sundays 10am-2pm
You’ve Got to Try: The Breakfast Tacos with a side of tequila! Go for a Bloody Maria or the strong but smooth Coin-Style Margarita
In what was once the last gas station on the way out of Denver, Billy’s Inn has been serving up food and drinks to Denver since 1933. After a change of ownership in 2008 and a renovation that included the addition of a spacious patio, Billy’s Inn has kept its relaxed neighborhood atmosphere, drawing regulars that frequent the eatery more than once a week. But if you’ve been missing out on what this restaurant has to offer, check out their weekend brunch for a wide variety of tasty eats and a selection of over 100 tequilas ready for sipping.
I knew I was in for a boozy brunch as soon as I walked in the door and saw the packed lines of tequila bottles waiting behind the bar. The $2 Mimosas were tempting, but for $3.50 a Bloody Maria kicked off my meal right and got me ready for the rest of the tequila to follow. If beer is more your style, start brunch with a Michelada-Style brew complete with fresh lime juice, tomato juice, ice and a salted rim. Billy’s Inn also has a variety of margaritas to choose, so plan on staying a while. I hate picking margarita favorites (it’s like a parent picking a favorite child!), but the classic Coin-Style Margarita has a punch and goes down smoothly and the Smoky Margarita was a stand-out for its unique flavor profile. They’ll even whip you up a Paloma which is ideal for early drinking adventures with its tangy grapefruit juice. That counts as fruit for breakfast, right?
After sampling a large portion of Billy’s brunch menu, I can say with some confidence that it’s pretty hard to go wrong. The Crispy Cinnamon Sugar Churro Sticks served with maple agave syrup for dipping made me feel like a kid sneaking dessert for breakfast. The Strawberry Cheesecake Stuffed French Toast also more than satisfied my sweet tooth. It comes filled with strawberry and mascarpone cream cheese, topped with graham cracker crumbles and served with two slices of bacon like any good sugary breakfast should be.
That bacon is no normal bacon either, its applewood smoked, sugar cured bacon made in house which is why Billy’s Inn regulars call it a favorite. For a truly one-of-a-kind meal, get a taste of that thick, slightly sweet and perfectly crisped bacon on the Skippy Burger, a patty made from fresh-ground chuck topped with pepper jack, bacon, and (yup) peanut butter. I was skeptical of this creation, but somehow the creamy peanut butter, salty bacon, and cheesy kick all came together in a way that was both unsettling (do I really like this?) but delicious (I do!).
Another adventurously yummy choice is the Borracho Bowl, a layered brunch dish that comes with creamy cheddar jack scallion grits topped with chorizo, scrambled eggs, bacon, more cheese, pico de gallo, crema, and crispy tortilla strips atop along with two salsas on the side. Billy’s Boulevard Tacos, smaller street-style tacos are a great choice for the indecisive as you can mix and match five different meat and topping combinations like blackened salmon with pineapple-coconut salsa or braised short ribs with richly flavored mole. The Breakfast Tacos, though, are my pick for easing your way into a long-term relationship with Billy’s. With scrambled eggs, chorizo, lettuce, pico de gallo and crema tucked inside two flour tortillas, these tacos are simple but addictive.
There is an abundance of brunch choices at Billy’s that go beyond the expected. From Slow Roasted Pork Hash to a Skillet with Grilled Mahi and even a Greek Omelet, this is an easy-going dining choice with options for all and a bar that will keep you relaxed while you make those tough ordering choices.
All photography by Eric Goitia