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Start strong

Paul E. Anna

Ribs and Eggs. Yum.If you live here, you know we’re talking breakfast at the Hick House.They say (they being the experts) that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s the repast that pumps you up, puts the lead in your pencil so to speak, gets you ready to face the challenges that lie ahead. Be it a powder day in Deeep (yes, that is with three eees) Temerity, a trading day in front of your computer, or a workday hanging wallpaper in a stylish townhouse, all will go better after a good breakfast.Unfortunately, despite being a town of 6,000 people with somewhere near 75 restaurants, Aspen is not a great breakfast town. Sure, it was good to read earlier this week that the ‘Stube was sticking around for the foreseeable future, and the Lemon Soufflé Pancakes with Raspberry Syrup at Montanga at The Nell rock, but for the most part, breakfast in this town is a cuppa joe and a muffin at one of the coffee emporiums.So, we are mighty fortunate indeed to have the venerable Hickory House holding court at the top of Main Street next to the Christian Science Reading Room. Many believe the reading room is there because, well, God needs barbecue too. And lest we forget, barbecue is a religion unto itself.The Hickory House is a no-frills, no-nonsense, three-squares-a-day kind of place. Ribs are their stock in trade, and they do great sandwiches, salads and soups as well for lunch and dinner. But it is at breakfast where the place rises and shines.Omelets, grits, biscuits, orange juice, toast, eggs (fried, scrambled, poached and more) are all prepared in the appropriate greasy-spoon manner. And I mean that in the best way. Smoke-free and morning-newspaper-heavy, the Hick House has a good southern exposure, so when the sun peaks over Shadow Mountain it’s like someone turned the day on.But it’s the ribs and eggs that make the Hickory House king of the local breakfast scene. Personally, I like my pair of eggs sunny-side-up and the tops and bottoms of my hash browns crispy brown. The spicy sauce in the short squeeze bottle complements the tender bones, and if it’s a casual Friday, they might be washed down with a Sunshine Wheat beer from the New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, or even a spicy Bloody Mary. Yum.This weekend, the X kids will descend on the Hickory House because they’re in the know about these things. Next Sunday, expect a Super Bowl crowd nibbling on ribs while watching the Steelers and the Seahawks.But sometime soon, when you roll out of bed thinking breakfast and barbecue, head to the Hick House and give the ribs and eggs a go.Dare I say it again? Yum.

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