It’s a small, local, no-name saloon and eatery. If you’re not a local or you haven’t eaten here before, you’ll never notice that it’s here.
But the uniqueness, charm and amenities make it a mountain stop that you’ll never forget. From the time you enter until you mosey on down the road, you’ll be glad that you discovered it.
The rumble of laughter and conversation suggests that the location population today is comprised mainly of locals. As people enter the building, the hostess/server greets many of them, expressing her pleasure at seeing them again. Altogether, there are approximately twenty tables, for a total occupancy of fewer than thirty.
The ladies room was probably as indicative of the rustic, unpretentious attitude as anything else. One stall was rendered out of order, with a hand-written note taped to the door. The other had a swinging door with no lock and the entire restroom appeared that it hadn’t been painted since Prohibition.
To complete the unapologetic ambiance, the beer selection was primarily Colorado brews, the menu was simple and “Turkey Reuben” was scrawled on the small whiteboard precariously perched on an easel in the corner. Thankfully, I continued my habit of selecting the special of the day and was thoroughly glad that I did.
If I’m very fortunate, my next visit to this part of the state will take me to this road, this restaurant and this turkey reuben. It was delectable and impeccably crafted. Undoubtedly, any reuben that I experience anywhere else will be decidedly inferior.
In retrospect, I must wonder how much of our restaurant enjoyment is impacted by the surroundings. Was the sandwich so good because the location was modest and uncontrived? Maybe the venue was fun in part because of the quality of the food. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter.
This is one more reason to love Colorado. In spite of the classic Rabbit Ears Pass whiteout at 9,426 feet that followed the meal, the majesty and grandeur of this state never cease to enchant and inspire me. Shalom.