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Asie welcomes breakfast crowd

Janet Urquhart

Noting the typical wait for a table at Aspen’s handful of downtown breakfast spots, Asie owner Charlie Huang will begin welcoming the breakfast crowd to his Main Street restaurant starting Saturday.

“This town definitely has a market for another breakfast place,” declared Huang, who opened Asie (pronounced ahzee) last spring. “Everywhere you go, there’s always a line.”

Though Asie has gained a following with its contemporary Pan-Asian cuisine for lunch and dinner, its breakfast menu will feature traditional American fare.

“I want to make it a place for the locals,” Huang said.

Aspenites still remember the Main Street restaurant as a breakfast place, back when it was Pour la France, a French-style bakery and cafe, Huang said.

Asie will serve breakfast from 7 to 10:30 a.m. on weekdays and from 7 a.m. to noon on the weekends. The menu features breakfast entrees priced mainly at $7 or $8, as well as $4 smoothies.

Huang, a native of China, can often be spotted with a smoothie in hand from a local coffee shop. He’s also partial to bacon, eggs and bagels, he said.

Eventually, Huang said he may offer a breakfast special or two with an Asian influence, like scrambled eggs and ham with fried rice. But for the most part, the morning crowd will choose from breakfast standards: omelets, eggs Benedict, huevos rancheros, waffles, pancakes, French toast and the like.

A traditional Chinese breakfast, according to Huang, might be a bowl of rice or noodle soup or dim sum (Chinese dumplings).

“Most Americans want an American breakfast,” he reasoned with a smile. “They don’t get up and have Chinese food.”

But for lunch and dinner, diners will find an expanded menu at Asie, Huang boasts proudly.

The lunch specials include a number of the dinner specialties – like Parisian shrimp – for under $10.

New to the dinner menu are appetizers such as Vietnamese egg rolls in a mint and lettuce wrap, dim sum shumai (dumplings filled with minced pork, shrimp and fresh vegetables), and Pan-Asian calamari.

“My Pan-Asian calamari is kick-ass,” Huang said.

New dinner entrees include Chinese filet mignon on a sizzling plate, orange mandarin tenderloin and Chinese bouillabaisse in a fire pot, which the menu describes as: shrimp, scallops, lobster, clams, fish, baby red potatoes and fresh tomatoes in a hearty broth.


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