Denver, CO 80211
- Sun, Sat 7am-2:30pm, Mon-Fri 7am-2pm
- All Major Credit Cards, cash
- Kid Friendly, Takeout
- Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch
- Lot Available
"Fryers still bring me nightmares," says Steven Sharp, who opened the Universal in Sunnyside in the summer of 2012 with his wife, Kourtnie Harris. Sharp’s first job was frying chicken at a fast-food restaurant in California, and while the experience wasn’t so bad that it scared him away from the food industry, it scarred him enough that decades later, when he opened his own spot, he did so without a fryer. No fryer means no fried chicken, which would seem a natural for the Universal, a cozy, comfort-food spot that emphasizes breakfast and lunch (and happens to be open at brunch). But it also means that the food is a lot less greasy than you might expect, given the strong Southern bent of the menu. The pulled-pork sandwich is pure Tarheel, with meat smoked out back and tossed in a vinegary North Carolina-style barbecue sauce, as are the grits, which can be ordered as a side, with two eggs and meat, or as the daily grits special. And the biscuits would do pre-scandal Paula Deen proud. The butter-laden delights can be ordered with sausage gravy or as a side with raspberry jam; coupled with a cup of Denver-based Coda coffee, they’re a great way to start a meal.
Tips from foursquare
One recent grits special featured crispy pork belly ($13) that was so much more than slow-braised swine. There were three slices of pig about the size of playing cards. Things got really interesting.
Best coffee in town. Get just one pancake. They make huge pancakes. It's one of my favorite spots in the world!
Blueberry pancake. Do it!
Excellent food and service! Try the banana walnut pancakes and the fried egg sandwich!
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Reviews and News
Mirror, mirror on the graffitied wall -- which is the hippest hangout of all? Denver is suddenly bursting with hipster neighborhoods,... More on The Universal »
This week, Gretchen Kurtz reviewed The Universal, where the Southern-inspired biscuits are nearly three inches tall, with as "many layers as... More on The Universal »
I didn't think much about dessert at The Universal, which I review this week, until I'd finished my tempeh banh mi. "Will that do it for... More on The Universal »
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