Asher on Aspen: The art of brunching |

Asher on Aspen: The art of brunching

Shannon Asher
Asher on Aspen

It’s 3 on a Friday afternoon, and I’m already fantasizing about my brunch plans the following morning.

For me, the most enticing thing about brunch is the breezy freedom associated with it. This leisurely meal, usually held in the late morning/early afternoon hours, holds no pressure to wake up early, and it offers the opportunity to dilly-dally and be careless. I always look forward to brunch, but I was especially excited for these particular plans at Chica Aspen.

The breakfast club crew on this sunny Saturday morning consisted of three friends and a 1-year-old baby hunkered down at the base of Aspen Mountain. Chica Aspen now offers an oasis for the avid bruncher with their two-month Yardbird takeover. Known for its highly-acclaimed brunch, the Yardbird menu features fan favorites including Chicken & Waffles, Shrimp & Grits, Steak & Eggs, and Smoked Brisket Huevos Rancheros.

The Whole Bird, chicken and waffles by Yardbird at Chica, Aspen.
Chica Aspen/Courtesy photo

We took our seats at a booth near the front and were immediately offered mimosas and bloody marys. The three of us looked at each other and shrugged our shoulders as if to say, “Sure, why not.”

For some reason, brunch has this powerful ability to shame the notion that it might be too early to start drinking. It pushes aside all prior beliefs as to what time is socially acceptable for people to start consuming alcohol. Saying “yes” to a mimosa is satisfying, liberating at best. After all, as the saying goes, “Brunch without champagne is just a sad breakfast.”

I wish I could bottle this feeling: This feeling of no hesitations, no responsibilities — just the elegant taste of bottomless mimosas and fantastic company. At this moment, I wasn’t worried about responding to emails, writing my column, renewing my car registration, or even filing my taxes. My only concern now was deciding on whether my order would be savory or sweet. The meal kicked off with biscuits and gravy, deviled eggs, and three, brightly-colored cocktails.

After scouring the menu and deciding that everything looked delicious, I eventually decided to indulge in the Crème Brulé Waffles. This scrumptious-looking dessert, served with fresh whipped cream and strawberries, was quite possibly one of the most Instagram-worthy meals I had ever been served. I skipped the picture and decided to dive right in. Whoever said, “The phone eats first,” clearly has more self-restraint than I do.

Deviled Eggs are on the menu at the Yardbird pop-up at Chica, Aspen.
Chica Aspen/Courtesy Photo

I looked up and gazed out the floor-to-ceiling windows that covered the back half of the restaurant. It was a bluebird day, and we couldn’t wait to venture out on the slopes. We watched a pack of skiers with matching ski suits fly down the mountain in tandem as we sipped our cocktails and conversed about our happenings from the night before. Before we knew it, a few hours had gone by, and we wondered where the time went.

Brunch never has any intention to last as long as it typically does, but I think that’s what makes it so special. The best is when one mimosa unintentionally turns into four and you find yourself just a little bit lighter, a little bit happier three hours later when you and your pals waltz out of the restaurant.

For those who prefer lunch for brunch, Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich.
Chica Aspen/Courtesy photo

With seven locations across the country, Yardbird has built a reputation for delivering wildly-imaginative riffs on traditional breakfast classics. Each item on the Yardbird menu is intended to be a little edgier and a little more off the beaten path. This isn’t your typical brunch experience — and it shows. Aspen is only graced with Yardbird’s presence for eight weeks, so be sure to stop in before the end of the month if this is on your radar. If you’ve fallen in love with their food as much as I have, keep a look out for their forthcoming Yardbird Denver location opening in June.

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