So, I said I would be back to talk about buffalo antlers, some crazy peanut-butter concoction, and sundry....Wait, you didn't believe me? Actually I might not have believed me. But, here I am.
The #1 comment from the peanut gallery after my last post was, 'Ummm, are you going to talk about food.' And, my response was, I guess I will if I must.
Ok, first side note (probably not the last) - one of the things that delayed my very first post was a fear that I would be terrible at writing about food. I am much more comfortable writing about experiences, developing characters, or describing ridiculous situations. And, I am known to be completely oblivious to my surroundings. In Jason Bourne style I know where the exit is, but in general I feel things more than I see them. I have never spent any time developing my food-describing abilities. In fact, in every creative writing exercise since elementary school, I have struggled with describing objects. I was most successful when I could personify objects (am I personifying a buffalo in the above pic - don't be ridiculous, that's not what personification is). As any teacher worth their salt will tell you, you cannot abuse literary techniques. Anyway - I think I'm going to have to practice to get any good at this. So, poor reader, bear with me, as in prepping this, I've learned that I am going to have to take MUCH better notes, as well as pics. These first few posts may be a little sad in the food-describing category.
Ok, getting back on track - we got a little lost. I mean, not too lost. We just drove a few miles down a very dark and scary road to finally have to do a U-turn in someone's driveway, which is one of the most humiliating things. The good news is that we did not follow Siri's directions or we would have made a left turn down an embankment and into a nice, bubbling brook.
Luckily, we course-corrected very quickly. We had just turned a 100 feet too soon. So after finding our parking spot down the hill from the restaurant, we stepped out of the car into a star moment. No, there was no red carpet, but it was indeed a starry night as are most nights in Colorado. Morrison sits about 5,764 feet above sea level, or at least that's what Wikipedia told me. So, we were a little closer to the stars than in Denver. And, they were gorgeous.
The food, the food, I know. Ok, so they seated us at a nice little spot in a pseudo- corner that was very cozy. We were immediately greeted by the Server Assistant (SA) who was quite charming. The waiter immediately followed, and I was gleeful. I hadn't had an SA in quite some time. You can say what you will about Commander's Palace in New Orleans, but there is nothing like 8 server assistants to make a gal feel important. I was happy with my one.
To start things off, we ordered some boutique beverages from the menu. I had The 1840 Hailstorm Premiere Julep and my friend started with the signature Sangria (wow, these details are exhausting). They arrived in cute little mason jars that were definitively NOT the mason jars of my college days in Alabama. The drinks were delish, and I could see the benefit of having one of those suckers in a hailstorm. Hail, what hail?
I had already decided to be a little more adventurous than usual. Ok, wait, second side note, I am NOT an adventurous eater. Another reason I have my doubts about the wisdom in writing a food blog. My time in Asia, for example, resulted in about a 20 lb weight loss. But, again, I was determined, so I told our waiter, who had less personality than the SA, that we were ready and willing to be semi-adventurous.
We heard the specials (no, I can't remember them. I promise, in about 5 blogs from now, I will) and the entrée highlights, one of which I do remember: The Fort's Game Plate. The Game Plate consisted of a bone-in Elk chop, Buffalo sirloin medallion, and a grilled teriyaki Quail and was served with seasonal vegetables, Fort potatoes, and wild Montana huckleberry preserves. If I was really adventurous I would have ordered that for sure, but I convinced myself that's what any old food blogger would order, sooooo, to be radical, I decided to go with the William Bent’s Buffalo Tenderloin Filet Mignon (which, let's face it, I knew would be more palatable to yours truly, cuz what I've really been seeking since moving to Colorado is the perfect filet).
But, wait, I'm jumping ahead. We decided to start with the Jalapenos Escabeche Stuffed with Peanut Butter, house-made pickled jalapenos with a mango whipped peanut butter, and the
Bison Eggs, pickled quail eggs wrapped in house-made buffalo sausage, served with a raspberry-pepper jam (thank goodness they post their menu online because I forgot my notebook).
Drumroll, I guess I have to be a food critic now. Third side note and the third reason I'm not sure I should be writing this blog, is that I hate to be a critic of experiences. Give me an article, a literary masterpiece or the recent tirade by my boss, and I am indeed a happy critic. But criticizing adventures is hard, regardless of how bad the experience. However, I guess I have to think about the greater good...of my resolution.
The peanut-butter stuffed jalapenos were incredible. There were hints of bacon that made it even more delightful. My only suggestion would have been, more bacon! I'm not typically a bacon enthusiast, but even I had to admit that the flavor worked. For me, The Bison Eggs were a disappointment. They were cold and slippery - probably as they were supposed to be - but I couldn't take the texture. My friend loved them. Back to third side note, I didn't even tell her I didn't like them because I hate dampening other people's experiences.
Another side note (I'm going to stop numbering them), I cannot promise objectivity. There will be things I like that no one should like and vice versa. So, I will try to bring in differing opinions to offset my boring palate.
Off to the entrée....so my bison filet, was well - gamey. So, probably game is supposed to be gamey, but before you judge me, I have had some spectacular bison in Montana that was not gamey. Who knows. This was my inauguration meal. I was excited and not in critic mode. I will probably have to go back for a re-do.
The sides were, well, not memorable. I can't remember anything about them (repeating myself for affect).
Service was impeccable until dessert and our server got bored with us. Our SA continued to stop in, but we had become campers. Little did our server know that there was a famous critic at his table. Not!
We finished off the meal with a signature tart (I think it was apple) and the cheesecake which was indeed light and fluffy.
Besides the minor annoyance of having to ask for the bill, we were thrilled. We tapped dance our way to the exit. But, wait, we had to get our picture taken. Giggling, we asked the hostess, 'Excuse me, ma'am, but we had heard tell about some antlers.'
Voila, a cabinet was opened, and there they were. Antlers were donned, flashes flashed, and our starry night ended in great delight!
Recommendation: Yes, for special occasion when not special for others.
Pure coincidence, it was, that the Inauguration Dinner of my 2017 Colorado Eating Tour occurred on Inauguration Night. In typical fashion, I had no clue. Driving west on C-470 with my friend, I exclaimed over the fireworks that exploded in front of us, "What are those for?"
Ummm, yeah, it was not planned, but we'll figure out the significance, probably at the end of this tour.
It was New Year's Day, and I was taking my weekend drive to Lariat Loop when I decided that I was going to do a restaurant tour of Colorado. I was going to find good food if it meant exhaustively combing the plains and mountains of Colorado.
Anyone who ever read this blog or who knows me is well aware that I'm a wanderer. I've lived in more places than most people visit in their lifetimes. And, my favorite pastime is a good meal with good company and good wine, or insert beverage of choice here.
Soooooo, as much as I absolutely loved the natural beauty of Colorado, I was dying for a good meal. And, I did not want to assume that there wasn't one out there. Let's face it, I moved out here after a happy summer of freedom to a job that demanded (at least) 14 hour workdays, including weekends. My span of experience included one bourgeois suburb and that was about it.
Therefore with Western-frontier determination I decided I would Picard-style "make it so". I would spend 2017 traversing Colorado to find a good meal.
I haven't really made a resolution in a very long time, if I ever did (I will have to check with my sisters on that), so it was a funny feeling driving down Highway 8. 'Am I joining the rest of society,' I wondered. Maybe so.
Fast forward a few weeks, and there we were heading down C-470 to a Colorado staple, The Fort, on Inauguration Day.
When The Fort began construction it was meant to be a private residence in the form of an adobe castle, but due to the cost of construction, the owners decided to re-purpose the ground floor for a restaurant (http://thefort.com/the-history-of-the-fort/). Known for the wild game on the menu, the adobe design and its location near the amazing natural amphitheater Red Rocks, I thought, this is perfect.
And, I was told, they take your picture. 'What?' I hate getting my picture taken as did the friend that I bribed to come with me, but I thought, maybe that was perfect. I know I'm going to have to force myself to do uncomfortable things if I'm going to be successful in my mission. So a little hardship seemed apropos.
So, how was it? Geez, the impatience. Check back soon......more to come on buffalo ears, or antlers (whatever) and peanut-butter stuffed jalapenos.
Freeing Sisyphus (aka Melody)
Putting the shoulder to the boulder and taking small steps each day to achieve freedom from the mundane.