At Paris on the Platte late Sunday morning, my waitress caught me photographing the menu and whisked it away after she took my order. I felt a little sheepish, but that passed as soon as she brought my “Providence”: 2 pieces of rye bread with an egg over easy on top of each, drizzled with lemon butter and cayenne, all for $3.95. The small house salad (overpriced at $3.95) huddled next to it; the cilantro ranch dressing tasted of hot pepper rather than cilantro.
Denver’s oldest coffeehouse (according to the rather annoying website) is a great place to hang out, though definitely not a quiet place. The fun mix playing while I ate included Modest Mouse and Man Man. Also, those who are sensitive to smoke might be put off by a fume or two wafting in from the smoking room, which is not closed off but somehow manages to meet the legal requirements.
I remember going to Paris on the Platte with my writer’s group in the early 1990s. At that time, there were hardly any businesses in that area. I suppose My Brother’s Bar was open, but I don’t believe REI had moved to the confluence yet. I think Rock Island (1996–2006) was somewhere in the neighborhood, but my sense of Denver was so confused at the time, I remember little but a gray fog with coffeehouses and clubs rearing up out of it.
Paris on the Platte offers many details to delight the eye: brick walls to my left; a black, ridged ceiling near the door; red walls to my right with some of the two-by-fours exposed (Hasn’t that look been done for a while?); and a large beige-and-black chessboard hung diagonally over the counter where you place your orders. Tucked in between the counter and the tables is the coffee roaster. The smoking room is off to the left, and there is a cheery bathroom. (I have a thing about photographing bathrooms. Someday I’ll do a Denver bathrooms series.) There is a wine bar next door that has a separate entrance.
The menu features these categories: Breakfast, Hot Drinks, Cold Drinks (including milkshakes and malts), Boards (finger foods such as cheese and fruit), Sandwiches, Pizza, Salads, and Cakes. Paris on the Platte is located near 16th and Platte.
I reviewed Paris on the Platte again on January 25, 2010.