Buckhorn Exchange, Denver, CO Report #162


I saw this place on either the Travel Channel or the Food Network years ago and couldn’t wait to get here sooner or later.  Well, I made it.  They bill themselves as, “Colorado’s most historic eating and drinking establishment”.  They are old.  So old  they actually have Colorado liquor license #1!  I was impressed.  We dined under a signed picture of Theodore Roosevelt.  He did eat here, but I’m not sure if he signed it then, or at all.  This is a steakhouse, and after a great seafood lunch (Report #161), I was ready for some beef!  Or, some other kind of hooved animal.

They start you out with a basket of sourdough and pumpernickel bread.  Neither were hot.  That was disappointing.  I like hot bread.  I didn’t realize that would be a reoccurring theme during the meal.  Seems like serving food nice and hot isn’t one of their strong points.

My dining partner had a beer and cheese soup.  She said it was pretty good.

They actually have Rocky Mountain oysters (beef testicles) on the menu here.  I was game to try them, but my dining partner wanted no part of that, and the smallest order was a dozen I think?  I wasn’t going to order that many just for me.

But I did want to try something a little more exotic.  Our waitress told us they had a rattlesnake queso.  A cheese dip with rattlesnake meat on top.  Growing up hunting and fishing in Louisiana I killed several water moccasins.  I think they’re our state snake.  Whenever I killed a big one, I’d bring it home, skin and fillet it, and we’d fry it like fish.  Delicious.  So I’m was no stranger to eating snake.  I just never had rattlesnake.  So I figured I’d try it.

I cannot express how terrible this dish was.  The rattlesnake might as well have come out of a can.  Not even heated.  Totally flavorless.  Like it had been boiled and allowed to come to room temperature.  The queso wasn’t really good, and even the chips were stale.  And when I got the bill at the end and saw the dish was $22 dollars, it just added to my displeasure with it.  If you come here and decide to try this, you were warned.

I had a salad with my meal.  That was really good.  They put cranberries in it, some pecans, and serve it with plenty of blue cheese crumbles on the side.

My dining partner had the 12oz NY Strip, which I tasted.  “Ok” at best.

I had a combo plate.  4oz buffalo with a garlic butter and 4oz pepper crusted elk steak.  The buffalo was my favorite.  Very tender and flavorful.  The elk wasn’t all that great.  However, they did serve it with a red wine sauce that was delicious.  All of our steaks were room temperature, as was that soup I mentioned earlier.  Not sure what they have against serving hot food here.

For dessert we had the hot Dutch apple pie a la mode with cinnamon rum sauce.  Unlike the rest or our meal, THIS was nice and hot!  And delicious!  The pie, sauce, ice cream, all were great.  By far the best thing we had here.

Well, I was a tourist here in Denver, and that’s what this place seems to be designed to suck in.  Tourist.  You come here for the history and atmosphere.  Not the food.  As far as steakhouses go, I’m sure Denver has far better.

1000 Osage St., Denver, CO  80204  Ph: 303-534-9505

Blaine 12-17-2018


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