Brunch at Zolo

by Grace Boyle on June 24, 2013

Zolo Southwestern Grill was Big Red F’s first restaurant which helped launch them into one of the most prominent and respected restaurant groups in Colorado.

Opened since 1994, for 19 years, Zolo has been a consistent Central Boulder staple for mouth-watering Southwestern cuisine.

You might not think of Zolo as “sexy” but it shouldn’t be forgotten in the East Arapahoe strip mall on Arapahoe and 28th and they truly have, withstood the test of time, not something many restaurants can boast. Their atmosphere isn’t pretentious, it’s comfortable and it’s very family friendly. Many friends with allergies always share that they love Zolo’s as their flexibility and understanding of their made-from-scratch menu, allows them to provide food for anyone’s needs.

Zolo Southwestern Grill

Chef Brett Smith ensures that everything is made in house from their smoked chorizo, to pickling, to sauces and salsas. The menu has seasonal components and their bar, shouldn’t be overlooked. They have over 150 varieties of tequila and their margaritas are classic. After 20 years, they have it down pat.

Recently, we went to try their newish brunch menu (extended hours and special brunch menu started in February of this year). I sat on their comfortable patio, that albeit on busy Arapahoe, you can still see the Flatirons with a great view.

The menu is small – there are just six brunch items but they keep it varied. Each weekend, you can also find an additional special of the day on brunch and there are plenty of sides to add-on or cocktails. The menu items are reasonably between $6-9 and mimosa and bloody’s are just $3.

Brunch cocktails

Bloody Maria and Santa Cruz – Brunch Cocktails

Brunch is served from 10 AM to 2:30 PM on weekends and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved each dish. As we’re big brunch goers, I didn’t consider Zolo until before and now, it’s one of my favorite spots for brunch.

Check out some of the mouth watering items we ordered. I encourage you to, as well.

Churro DoughnutsCanela Dusted Churros with pomegranate-chile puree and caramel

Breakfast skillet
 Breakfast Skillet with goat cheese fundido, summer vegetables, crispy potatoes, spinach and eggs over easy
country ham and cilantro biscuits
House made cilantro biscuits with country ham, smothered in green chile
The Breakfast Sandwich
 The Breakfast Sandwich – egg over easy, shaved pork loin, cotija, poblano ketchup, house bun and crispy potatoes
Country Waffles Country Waffles – tender belly ham, poblano chiles, oaxaca cheese, maple-pecan butter, guajillo chile syrup

As part of my ‘research and development’ you can see, perhaps, I went a little overboard with as many dishes as we had. However, now you can see the unique dishes and variety they’ve put together for brunch. Myself, well, I’m not complaining.

I would like to acknowledge, the side of bacon we ordered (above). Speaking of, the waffles were actually somewhat light and fluffy and this dish had a bit of spice, smooth creamy sweet and salt. The textures and flavors were amazing.

Even with a smaller brunch menu, it’s impressive in terms of flavor and value. The other benefit? You likely won’t have to fight the regular brunch lines and waits you might find at breakfast centric joints around town. The atmosphere is friendly and laid back, and if you aren’t up for brunch, their lunch and dinner never disappoint. If there’s one thing Zolo’s is known for it’s their consistency over the last two decades of business.

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