phobicfoodie

My Year of Adventurous Eating

Friday May 14, 2011

Filed under: Next!,Random Thoughts (or sometimes maybe not so random),Restaurants — PhobicFoodie @ 10:40 am

We were an hour late for dinner.

I went to the pet store to buy a new toy for the cat we already have, and left with this:

Ok, you try to take a photo of an all-black cat in a poorly lit, small, enclosed space.

Her name is Roxy, but I’ve been calling her Friday.  I ask you, what better day to bring home a black cat than Friday the 13th?  She is sweet and friendly and was headbutting the window to her kennel so hard I was afraid she’d give herself a concussion.  I couldn’t stand the thought of leaving such a sweet kitty in that tiny kennel.

So we decided to bring her home. 

“It’ll take five minutes,” said the pet store employee.

An hour later I left the store with:

1) a second litter box

2) a bag of fresh litter

3) a bag of the food she was eating at the pet store

4) a bag of new cat toys

5) a crying cat in a cardboard crate

Obtaining a kitty now is a very different process from when I was a kid, when most of the time they just showed up, crying, on the front porch.  Usually on a wet night. 

(Monster needs a friend.  He’s bored.)

Anyways, the moral of the story is: we were an hour late to dinner.

Luckily since our good pals had agreed to meet us at our apartment, they just headed down to the bar downstairs and had a couple of drinks.  I apologized profusely for being so late and they have completely forgiven me.  I think….

And we decided the hour-long drive to Idaho Springs to visit the Buffalo Grill and Bar was just too long to wait to eat.  So we went here instead:

On the way my very best gal pal and her husband agreed to join us for dinner, so we had a decent crowd out on the patio.  It was a lovely night, and our server was friendly and started the evening off right with a dish of delicious little dill pickle slices, and prompt beer service.  Most of us kept with the buffalo theme and ordered a beer called the Buffalo Gold.

It was nutty, mild and not overly hoppy.  I don’t know much about beer, but I do know I’m not a huge fan of the really hoppy ones.  In fact, my plan was to get a stout (that’s right, I’m a stout and porter girl…I like a beer I can chew) but in the end I couldn’t resist the fact that it was called the Buffalo Gold.  And it paid off…it was delicious.

Ted’s Montana has a pretty well-rounded buffalo (actually, it was bison.  I should get that straight…) menu with quite a few more choices than I had originally thought.  There were bison pot roast, bison burgers, bison meatloaf, bison filet, and bbq bison shortribs, among other equally exciting sounding bison related choices.

We decided that the best thing we could possibly do at that moment was order a large mound of bison nachos.

Bison chili, cheese sauce, and numerous other toppings piled on top of crunchy corn chips.  We decided the nachos were considerably undertopped, but the toppings that were there were delicious.  The chili seemed to be more beans and sauce than actual bison though, and because it was so heavily spiced we thought it didn’t seem to be the best way for me to get my first taste of bison.

For dinner most of the party ordered burgers (though my best gal pal broke the pattern with a revolutionary bison meatloaf sandwich), while Hubby ordered the bison filet, and I ordered the bbq bison shortribs.

Everyone watched as I took my first official bite of bison.

“Tastes just like beef.”

“We told you so!!!”

So, we all ate bison, and it was excellent.  The short ribs had been braised and were fall off the bone tender, conservatively sauced with a sweet bbq sauce ( I loooovveee me some sweet bbq sauce–especially if it is a little spicy!)  The meat itself was a bit dry, and I suspect the Braised Shortribs with Sundried tomatoes I like to make here at home would probably have been a worthier preparation.  The restaurant critic side of me is inclined to blame the restaurant, not the meat, for the dryness.  The flavor of the meat however, was rich but mild–not overly gamey, or even overly beefy, and delicious.

I stole a small bite of Hubby’s bison filet, and found it to be beyond excellent–unbelievably tender and juicy–maybe it had something to do with the giant pat of butter that came on top.  The meat was melt-in-your-mouth tender, flavorful, and perfectly (in my book) cooked at a succulent medium rare.

I have very little to say about the sides, honestly, except that they were fitting accompaniments to the bison.  I really think I make better garlic mashed potatoes, and the green beans might have come from a can.  But this isn’t a restaurant review–it’s an account of my first encounter with bison.

It was supremely successful, and I’ll never be afraid of bison again.

Unless I’m locked in a field with it and it gets angry.

But I don’t think bison do that, do they?

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