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Glory hole



Glaze Craze did not, as far as I could tell, exist. No website. No sign out front. Nobody on the phone.

Actually, that's not completely accurate: A quiet voicemail greeting advised me that I had called "after hours." No mention of what those hours actually were, information that somebody — say, somebody trying to eat there — could probably put to good use.

Not that it matters, because no one's sure what the hours are anyway. A sign out front says 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., but it turns out service begins at 9 — at least until mid-spring, when it'll likely change to 7.

Then there's finding the place. Glaze Craze — whose name owner Sam Carter chose before realizing that donut-making machinery wouldn't fit in the kitchen — is behind The Hub car wash. It's the old home of the Easy Street Café, whose name still graces the entrance.

Even when you walk into the spacious restaurant, it's tough to figure out what's going on. There's a large '30s-style painting of men, women and cheetahs puttin' on the Ritz; zebra-skin-patterned booths; a corner chalkboard for kids; a wine grape mural; and a large glass enclosure running around an open kitchen.

But what you'll find, eventually, at Glaze Craze are breakfast and lunch plates that you'll be happy to clean, whether or not the adjoining car wash does the same for the horse that brought you.

The breakfast burrito ($5.99) is a good option, covered in cheddar then smothered in a tangy, tomato-forward green chili. The tortilla is too thick in places, but hearty cuts of bacon — interspersed with sausage, egg, potato and green pepper — provide some balance.

A textbook plate of chicken-fried steak and eggs ($6.99) offers a thin steak, breaded and bumpy, covered in a gray spread of salty house gravy studded with brown sausage chunks. If the morning demands even more of the good stuff, the biscuits and gravy ($2.99) plate is cheap and huge, packed with four or five soft, homemade mounds, and great with Colorado Coffee Merchants' Ümpire Estate coffee.

For lunch foods, Carter gets all his meats from back East; the ground beef in his hamburger ($6.99), for instance, hails from New Jersey. It's a personal preference, he says, and it works out fine. A thick patty gets topped with crispy lettuce, pickle, red onion and American cheese, then sandwiched in a toasted sesame seed bun, smeared with mayonnaise and mustard.

Even better is Carter's Reuben sandwich ($9.99): Perfectly toasted rye bookends a choice of pastrami, corned beef or turkey with the ideal amount of steaming sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing.

The only downsides are the chicken burger ($7.99) with Swiss cheese, bacon, lettuce and tomato arriving drenched with ranch dressing; and the chicken Caesar wrap ($6.99) of lettuce, tomato and chicken chunks coming with a homemade, oil-based Caesar dressing, as opposed to a cream-based version.

But those are very small quibbles, considering that Glaze Craze is essentially a donut-shop-turned-diner run by an ex-casino chef in the bones of a jarringly decorated ex-café connected to a car wash and gift shop in the middle of suburbia ... that dishes really good comfort food.

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