Peep this

Le Peep is where it’s at, so long as you accidently find it

Susan France

It would be a lie to call Le Peep “Boulder’s best kept secret.” For one, the diner is a chain with dozens of locations, and it’s been in Boulder for 30 years or so. The chain has been around even longer. Then there’s the fact that it’s got a reasonable level of bustle in a central location.

But the secret elements come in that the Boulder outlet reportedly operates independently (it even has its own website), thereby elevating the quality of its chow from Denny’s to delightful, and that its location, while central, isn’t exactly on a parade route, so much as the disguised interior of the fortress-like shopping center that sits between Arapahoe and Canyon streets at Folsom, and is anchored by McGuckin’s. If you’re not looking for it, or a parking place, you’re not likely to happen upon Le Peep.

And that’s a shame, as what it lacks in visibility it makes up for across the board, including its blatant and pervasive affordability.

The highest priced items on the menu require the knavely sum of $10.99 and the lunch menu tops out at $9.99.

And while low prices in central Boulder is certainly a golden opportunity to slum it up a bit, Le Peep ain’t having it.

My Jack Beni had a tiny mountain of shaved ham atop an English muffin crusted with parmesan and covered up with poached eggs, mozzarella, tomato, arugula and a fine hollandaise. On the side was a sizeable helping of nicely roasted potatoes.

It took only a single bite of my brunching companion’s “spinach power” omelet ($9.39, with spinach, mushrooms, bacon, shredded parmesan and hollandaise) before she turned and said outright: “Can this be our new favorite place?” 

A cheese blintz we ordered came with fresh blueberries as well as blueberry compote.

The other breakfast offerings included varieties of crepes, waffles and pancakes, as well as skillets and the requisite Colorado “south of the border” section. What innovation the menu contained was more in the area of small prep details like the parmesan crusted bread than it was in selections as a whole. The most unusual item on the menu was a pan-fried rainbow trout with eggs. Lunch is primarily simple sandwiches and salads.

But those details count. A lot. And they add up. Like how the menu also features a number of highlighted gluten-free items, and when I asked my dining companion which fruit she was allergic to so we could narrow our choice of compote, the server then took the added step of reporting that conversation back to the kitchen to be sure that her plate was free of all possible throat-irritants as a whole. That’s the sort of attention to detail that pays off.

In a town full of foodie delights, I’m not going to say Le Peep is the best brunch in Boulder. But it’s certainly one of the best that you can afford to go to regularly without being a member of the 6 to 13 percent.