When I got to this restaurant and was lucky enough to find an actual parking spot in their lot (an almost impossible of feat according to the food forums I prowled through to find this place). When I checked I was pleased to find I only had a 20 minute wait, which again is a total score for this place (apparently I should’ve played the lottery – the force was with me this day). There was free coffee and water just outside the restaurant to keep those milling about waiting for their tables placated. I realized when I walked in that I had been to one of their other locations in Scottsdale when I was there this past August. This made me very happy since my Mom and I had both had stellar meals at that location. As you may have guessed the place was pretty busy and waiters and waitresses were bustling around taking and filling orders and making sure everyone was happy. The place is pretty loud, but I was eating alone so definitely not an issue but if I was trying to have a hushed conversation it would be a no go in that place. So if you need to have a quiet conversation do so in the car before or after your breakfast! I was seated at the counter and promptly asked if I wanted a beverage (their beverage list is extensive and includes mimosas, bloody Mary’s, and many other breakfast booze choices). The cafe mocha (no day drinking for me) I asked for came quickly and was one of the very best I’ve had (and I’ve had more than a few in my 49 years). I ordered the pancake flight (sort of the breakfast version of the wine flight, with a sugar high instead of an alcohol high) with their famous upside down pineapple cake pancake, sweet potato with caramel sauce and pecans pancake, and the special pancake of the day that was a buttermilk pancake with candied coconut and Girl Scout cookies drizzled with chocolate. While it sounded kinda gross and like the sort of thing that might send a diabetic into a coma, I wanted to venture out of my safety zone (since I had 2 backup pancakes if it sucked) and turned out it definitely was NOT one bit gross. The pancakes came looking like sweetness on a plate and were pretty damn good with one caveat. The flavors were beautifully subtle but tasted like exactly what they were supposed to be. The drizzled sauces were sublime and the crumbled and/or buttery flavor filled toppings were excellent. My only issue with these gourmet hot cakes was that there was a sort of bitter flavor from what I’m guessing was baking powder that was added to the pancake mix. It was too bad because it really ruined my desire to give a full out effort to finish these (though my waistline was thankful). In fact I only ate about ⅓ of each pancake before I had to call it quits because of the bitter taste. I was hoping each would’ve been made from a different batter but I’m guessing it was all the same or that whomever made them used the same basic ingredients in each before adding the different flavors. It really is too bad about the baking powder or baking soda or whatever was added to the mix to give these pancakes a metallic bitter taste. They would’ve been heavenly if not for that. I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt and guessing they don’t usually taste like this…I didn’t have time to go back so that I could try some of the other menu items but I have a feeling I would’ve been pleased with anything else on the menu. Apparently their chilaquile eggs Benedict is worth a try so that is on my to try list for my next go round the next time I find a Snooze restaurant during my travels. Despite the bitter pancakes and the inevitable wait I’d say this place is worth a shot, though you might want to skip the pancakes and try one of the many other items on the menu, unless metallic bitter is a flavor you enjoy. .
I was sooooo in love with Jelly U Cafe that when my sister, brother-in-law, and mother came to hang out with me for the last few days of my visit to Denver I excitedly ranted and raved about the place and then suggested we go to the sister cafe named Jelly Cafe. After all, this way I could try both and could still say I went to two different restaurants (thus adding to my list, yet getting to enjoy virtually the same food). As it turned out these were two totally different restaurants. On the surface they appeared similar. The cereal box art on the walls, the retro vinyl counter stools, the menu were all the same. The similarities however turned out to be only skin deep.
The Jelly Cafe was in a different part of town and was similar inside to the Jelly U but a tad different. The waiters and waitresses seemed a bit more hipster at the Jelly Cafe with wilder hair colors and more tats. Because they were such a hit with the friends I’d brought them to last time, I quickly ordered up some donut holes for the table. the lemon filled donut holes 3 out of the 4 of us ordered were actually not filled but were glazed with lemon. Odd since I’m pretty sure the ones from Jelly U were actually filled with lemon instead of just rolled around in it. They were okay but a tad disappointing. Our orders came out without much wait and I am sad to say that they deliciousness factor was far below that of the Jelly U cafe’s deliciousness factor. I ordered the tart cherry and chocolate covered pancakes which from the description any reasonable person would realize that these would be insanely tooth rottingly sweet. Well they were that and then some, but despite the sweetness, the flavor was lacking. Luckily I ordered only one and was able to beg a few bites of the other entrees from each of my family members who took pity on the sad look on my face after I took my first bite of the pancake. The other entrees were okay, but none were remarkable or even memorably delicious. It was just breakfast. The price was also pretty high for an unremarkable breakfast. I won’t be going back to Jelly Cafe EVER but Jelly U still has a place in my heart and is high on my list of favorites in Denver.
The Jelly U Cafe was easy to find, had street parking and had a cool retro vibe.
The menu was loaded with favorites and things that sounded quite yummy from the lavender blueberry pancakes, the cinnamon roll pancakes (drizzled with sweet cream cheese glaze), bananas foster French toast, corn flake French toast, many tasty looking scrambles, several creative kinds of biscuits and gravy to include bacon chili, veggie, and “ultimate biscuits” (which included sausage gravy, bacon, caramelized onions, tomato and cheddar cheese).
I ordered the chilaquiles (which could be done with chicken or tofu) and TOTALLY out of character for me, I actually ordered the tofu version, figuring I could pick around it if it was less than spectacular. Happily, it was spectacular. I was truly surprised and may even continue adventures in tofu as a result!
Also on the menu were 4 types of eggs Benedict (apparently they like their haco chili because they had this in a benedict as well as the biscuits and gravy option). There were also something they called sliders, which are the breakfast version of the usual mini hamburgers you expect when you order sliders. They sliders were mini frittatas in various flavors. The hashes looked impressive (red flannel hash with beets and sweet potatoes, harvest hash with rutabaga and other root veggies, as well as the expected corn beef hash). they also had a lunch menu with sandwiches but the piece de resistance was the donut holes. They not only had a fantastic variety of flavors, they also had gluten free (one of my friends excitedly told me it was the first donut she’s been able to eat in 5 years). The flavors included thai peanut, Mexican chocolate, lemon filled, maple bacon, salted caramel, creme anglaise, cinnamon sugar, and jelly filled. This place was on my top 2 list of favorite breakfast places I tried while in Denver (and that’s not too shabby considering I ate at 10,000 breakfast places… give or take).