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  • Writer's pictureEric Elkins

Ode: The 2am Gyros and Eggs at Pete’s Kitchen

Updated: Sep 29, 2023

Listen: I’m not just talking about the dish — I’m waxing poetic about the entire experience.

You roll in three or four deep after a full night of Colfax carousing. Maybe you hit a show at The Bluebird and then kept the party going across the street at Mezcal. Or you started with a sugar steak and bourbon at Bastien’s, then drank your way down the boulevard, dipping in at every dive until the last one kicked you out. Or you got shit-ass blasted on cheap spirits and Jamo shots at The Squire, barely avoiding a shoving match between two older dudes in denim vests before the bouncer gave them the heave-ho.

Or maybe you weren’t anywhere near the best diner in Denver, but everything else was closed or closing, you and your friends were housed and hangry, and your lizard brain remembered the full satisfaction of a protein-rich, salty, starchy gut bomb before bed.

“Man, I haven’t been there in years,” someone in your group will say, now that post-midnight forays into the city’s wildlands require more effort than they once did, what with the kids or the job or the lack of friends who can still rally until the bars close.

The retro neon sign pointing down to the door is a harbinger of old-school eats and the lady at the counter waves you to a table toward the back of the searingly bright restaurant. You pass a couple off-duty cops or firefighters, a gaggle of what might be strippers or hookers or just local ladies bedazzled for a night out of the suburbs, some biker dudes hunched over their food — each with an arm in protective vigilance around his plate. Nobody gives a shit who you are at Pete’s Kitchen or why you’re settling in for breakfast at midnight or two or four in the morning. Mind your business.

The best thing about the gyros and eggs is that they show up four ways on the menu — as a breakfast platter, a pita sandwich, an omelet, or in a smothered breakfast burrito. You can get your meat ‘n’ papas as Greek/American, Greek/Middle Eastern, Greek/French, or Greek/Mexican depending on your craving du jour (de la nuit? du matin?) and still fulfill the promise of that magical combination. They’re all served with hashbrowns (always ask for extra crispy and they’ll come that way at least half the time), but you might be able to sub in fries if you ask nicely.

Your meal will arrive almost before you ordered it, and you’ll pack it away nearly as quickly because it’s just exactly precisely specifically what you needed — and the check will hit the table pretty close to when the food does. It’s a burn-it-and-turn-it kind of place when the tables are full with a line out the door. Order, eat, get the fuck out. Give someone else a chance to settle in and settle their bellies.

Which is probably for the best, anyway. No need to linger over your empty plate or bug the server for more water.

Go home. Pass out. Wake up happy and grateful.

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