February 10, 2023 | OPINION | By Sam Treat | Photos: Sam Treat; The Catalyst
As a student journalist (barely), I aim to report on the most topical and important issues affecting my audience. For too long, this column has focused on the latter half of the day– lunch, dinner, etc. That ends today. Morning birds, rejoice! This week’s focus is the breakfast/brunch menu at Garden of the Gods Market and Cafe.
Named for the natural landmark that is one of the only reasons people visit Colorado Springs, GoG MC (as it will be referred to henceforth) is located on Tejon Street, just down the road from the busy millennial hangs of Dos Santos, Fat Sully’s, and other Colorado College student favorites.
Not quite off the beaten path, the main clientele at this breakfast and lunch eatery consists of tourists bamboozled by the name (perhaps rightfully thinking that the park and cafe would be near each other) and elderly Broadmoor types. The breakfast menu nevertheless remains fresh and appealing, with college student favorites galore.
In terms of drinks, no place serving brunch would be worth its salt as a restaurant without an adequate mimosa selection. GoG MC does not disappoint, as it offers a mimosa flight with your choice of juices. A word of warning, stick with the straightforward juices (as in orange juice).
After sampling all three of the $9 juices on the menu, I decided that no juice should ever cost that much. In particular, stay clear of the Green Goddess in your mimosa. The juice alone was hard to get down, and adding champagne did not make it better. The freshly squeezed OJ, despite being shockingly yellow, was actually quite good. Still, though, it is not worth the $9 mark if you don’t get it in a mimosa (for only $5 more).
The coffee was strong and hot, but for those who prefer to go for a more fun coffee drink, the tea and latte menu is robust. Chai, specifically, shines on the drink menu. With three options: honey, golden, and spicy, one can choose their preferred balance of sweet and spicy.
It is rare, in my experience, to order appetizers for a breakfast/brunch meal, but at GoG MC I started with the doughnut holes. A bit too doughy and not covered in nearly enough sugar or cinnamon, the saving grace of these munchable balls was the raspberry jam that came for dipping.
The greatest dilemma that faces, nay— haunts, brunch enjoyers is whether to order sweet or savory dishes. On this nutritional venture, I ordered both (oh, to be a food reviewer for the Colorado College student newspaper).
For my sweet dish, I chose a half order of the Banana Bread French Toast ($8.50 for half, $16 for whole). I consider myself a french toast connoisseur, so when I tell you that this was top-tier toast, take my word for it. From the moment the caramel-drizzled bread entered my awaiting mouth, I was at peace with the world. With each bite of sweet banana goodness, I felt a piece of my inner child heal. Truly, Garden of the Gods Market and Cafe did something with this bread.
For my savory meal, I sampled the Lox Bagel ($18) and the Farmer’s Classic ($17).
The Lox was underwhelming and bafflingly constructed. For some reason, it comes with a grainy mustard, something that offended my notion of a lox bagel and set the tone for the rest of the dish. Offered the option of deconstructed or put together, I got the bagel put together. Still, for some reason, tomato and onion were left off the bagel, while spring greens were on it. With no rhyme or reason for the choices, the Lox bagel doesn’t even hold a candle to its counterpart down the street at Einstein Bagels. Skip this item.
The Farmer’s Classic, however, held its own as the classic breakfast it’s meant to be. With well-scrambled eggs, chorizo sausage (or your choice of meat), and locally baked toast, this is a filling, hearty option for those who desire a traditional diner-style breakfast. Do not sleep on the homemade pomegranate jam for the toast, a “bougee” touch that helps separate this dish from the other classic breakfasts in the Springs.
The restaurant itself has an aesthetic I can’t quite put my finger on: somehow upscale, modern, and casual all at the same time. Distinctly different from the millennial stronghold of Tejon, I’d say the best way to describe the interior of Garden of the Gods’ Market and Cafe is ‘brunchy.’
The service was exceptional, and my waitress, Alexis, was helpful and informative with my many questions and recommendations that I desired. CC student Claire Irigoyen ‘23 also works at GoG MC and, if she is working, make sure you ask for her to do some of her signature latte art!
Overall, Garden of the God’s Market and Cafe does brunch well. A varied menu allows for the Avocado Toast enjoyer ($15) to be satisfied alongside a more carnivorous eater (see the Mountain Man Hash for $18). In other words, there is something for everyone. However, beware the high price points.
From 7-9 AM Monday through Friday, breakfast happy hour makes this a very affordable option for those morning people out there. Plus, this is the ideal spot to go with one’s grandparents (both because of vibe and price). Ask for Claire on the weekends!