Ouray, Colorado is a beautiful place. It’s an old mining town not too far from Durango and Ridgway but far enough away it’s another world. The little town is surrounded entirely by mountains and is nicknamed, the Switzerland of America. We’re spending a few days here and then on to Santa Fe for 3 days. We’ve enjoyed seeing the colors of the Aspen trees, an unreal gold when the sky is blue and the sun is shining. We drove up to Silverjack Lake today and were over 10,000 feet above sea level and the scenery was breathtaking. The wind blowing the leaves off the trees really looks like golden snow. After walking an hour in that altitude a nice relaxing soak in the hot springs fed hot tub was in order. Later we’ll have dinner at the Outlaw Restaurant, the oldest restaurant in Ouray (since the 1920’s), and celebrate our first date which was 10 years ago today. Normally we go back to the place we went on our first date, Uncle Julio’s in Fort Worth, and we have chicken fajitas, just like we did on September 30, 2000.
I hope dinner tonight is better than the last two dinners. We’ve had some pretty bad food so far on this trip. We stopped at Sophia’s in Albuquerque on the way here and although it was featured in Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, it was not very good and kind of dirty. I had some pretty bland huevos rancheros. We were looking forward to dinner at Buen Tiempo in Ouray, a Mexican restaurant we’ve been to before and had good food. I had some really great chile chowder there last time we were here so I ordered it and the special grilled seafood dinner. The chile chowder was not cooked enough–crunchy vegetables and a raw taste. My seafood was inedible–the tuna was like rubber. Steve’s refried beans were a big, dry lump on the plate. They didn’t charge me for the seafood dinner, though. We even struck out at breakfast the next day at the Artisan Bakery on Main Street. They were making fresh bread and it looked great, but our order, a breakfast croissant for Steve and a bagel for me were nearly burnt to a crisp. Really. Our best meal was lunch at Katie’s Place in Ridgway–homemade Italian wedding soup and fresh turkey panini and roast beef sandwich. Dinner last night at the Thai Paradise was anything but paradise. An overly ornate place with the door open letting in many, many flies. Food was low average and high priced, particularly having to share it with the flies. My favorite place in Ouray so far is Mouse’s Chocolates and Coffee. They make all sorts of chocolates, including my favorite, the truffles. Steve’s favorite is the “scrap” cookies. They take scraps from the candy making such as truffle pieces, toffee pieces, caramel, dried fruit and nuts and bake cookies filled with the scraps. You never know what scraps you’ll get but they are all good. Today I decided to give the Artisan Bakery another chance by ordering a sandwich to take up to our excursion at Silverjack Lake. I figured a sandwich on their fresh bread would be good.
Our $7.00 sandwich, as we discovered later when we got our picnic lunch out, was made of little bitty scraps of turkey, and I mean scraps. Scraps of chocolates were Ok but not scraps of turkey. They fell out of the sandwich as we were trying to eat it. Seriously–what kind of rip off was that? We shook our heads and contemplated writing bad things on trip advisor and yelp. At least Steve had a scrap cookie to cheer him up and I had an organic orange which was really a grapefruit.
So, I have to hope that the food adventure is much better when we get to Santa Fe. I’ve always had great experiences there so I’m not too worried. I am signed up for a cooking class on chiles at the Santa Fe Cooking School Saturday morning. I know that will be interesting.
Report on dinner at The Outlaw, our last night in Ouray: John Wayne visited this restaurant during the filming of the movie True Grit so it’s well known and popular. I had a NY steak and potato. I won’t say alot, just that it was pretty tough and the food overall was like your average steak place. Sadly, it was our best dinner in Ouray.
Santa Fe here we come!