When the weather cooperates, it’s not unusual to see crowds spilling onto the sidewalk in front of Mountain Shadows Restaurant in Old Colorado City. But this time of year, patrons typically bypass the outdoor seating for a spot inside the homey structure. Whether dining indoors or al fresco, the food’s the draw.

Breakfast and not-breakfast (per the menu) are served from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. That means you can have a burger with your morning coffee and a platter-size pancake in the afternoon. My group opted for two breakfast entrees and two lunch items.

Of the dishes ordered, two were exceptional and two were ordinary. For example, the huevos rancheros ($8.99) is standard variety with eggs on flour tortillas smothered by house-made green chili and shredded cheese. Besides the chili, the creamy/crunchy hash browns were my favorite food on the plate.

Several omelet options made it difficult to choose one, but the country omelet ($10.59) won over the veggie, ultimate (basically the kitchen sink) and the Alamosa (filled with chorizo and diced green chile). The Reuben omelet didn’t make it to serious consideration — although, when it comes to Reubens, we were traditionalists and ordered the sandwich ($9.59).

The country omelet is filled with pork sausage, hash browns, onions and cheese. It’s then covered with savory sausage gravy. As a friend noted, “It gave me everything I would have had anyway. This way each bite had it all, which made it even better.” She was right.

Omelets come with toast, an English muffin or a homemade biscuit. A last-minute switch from toast to biscuit was a wise choice. Fluffy and light is the best way to describe a good biscuit, and the description is apt at Mountain Shadows. A bonus is the strawberry, pineapple and blueberry spread. It’s not thick like most jams but highlighted the natural fruit flavors. It’s also sold by the jar.

The green chili and beef burrito ($10.59) is on the so-so side. A thick flour tortilla is filled with ground beef (which I wasn’t expecting and I found disappointing) and cheese, then topped with the redemptive green chili, shredded lettuce and tomatoes.

The Reuben sandwich is a winner ($9.59). Each ingredient — marbled rye bread, corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing — plays nicely with the others and doesn’t overwhelm on its own.

Nearly everything on the “not breakfast” menu comes with a choice of sides, which include fries, mashed potatoes, hash browns, coleslaw, salad, Caesar salad, fresh fruit and soup.

I’d be remiss to not mention the cinnamon rolls ($8). Easily 6 inches high, weighing in at a pound and covering a plate, these are not made for the average single appetite. We saw two women sharing one and taking more than half home. A sign just inside the door explains the restaurant’s “Cinnamon Roll Policy: 2 c-rolls per table — 2 rolls feed 8 people. When they’re gone … they’re gone!”

Service is friendly and fun. And although some of the entrees wow us less than others, nothing is substandard.

Our group agreed that we want to return. Perhaps to share one of those mega rolls!

Restaurant: Mountain Shadows Restaurant

Address: 2233 W. Colorado Ave.

Contact: 633-2122; mtnshadowsrestaurant.com

Restaurant character: Family-style diner

Rating total: 4.08 of 5 forks

Food: 4 of 5 forks

Ambiance: 4 of 5 forks

Service: 4.25 of 5 forks

Hours: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily

Entrees: $6.99 to $10.99 for breakfast; $8.99 to $11.99 for lunch

Alcohol: Yes

Credit cards: Yes

Vegan options: Yes

Outdoor dining: Yes

Gluten-free options: Yes

Wi-fi: No

Facebook: Yes

What’s online as of Dec. 23:

• 8.8 of 10 rating based on 96 votes on Foursquare

• 4.5 of 5 stars based on 522 reviews on TripAdvisor

• 4.4 of 5 rating based on 114 votes on Zomato

• 4.5 of 5 stars based on 678 reviews on Yelp

Good rating on Dec. 10, 2018, by El Paso County Public Health.

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