Re:High Plains Drifters
Thu, 12/29/11 2:50 PM
Saturday June 18, 2011 cont. We were thinking that our reservations at Juniper Valley Ranch were for 8:00PM. When we arrived at 7:15PM, I asked if they could seat us early and they told us no problem. Later that night when we got back to our hotel room, I was looking through papers and discovered that our reservations were actually for 7:00PM and instead of being way early, we were actually late. And the restaurant never told us. Juniper Valley Ranch is a hard to find restaurant a good distance south of Colorado Springs. Reservations are essential, in that it is a popular place. The building itself is an adobe home, with several small dining rooms, all as equally dark. We were seated at a table in the back, right next to the kitchen. They have a small fix price menu here, served family style. To start off, you get your choice of either consomme or cherry cider. Johnny went with the consomme, that had a slight curry flavor, while I got the cider, that tasted strong of cherry and was surprisingly cold. By this time, some of the dishes that we would be sharing started to roll out of the kitchen. The finely chopped cole slaw was a little bit sweet and a little bit tart. The okra casserole was a big hit with both of us and contained rice, celery, okra, green beans and tomatoes. And the significant amount of black pepper in it also provided some heat. The waitress told us that as the night went on, the okra casserole would get hotter, due to the black pepper settling in. Note the big chip out of the bowl, which we saw repeatedly over the course of the meal. The biscuits were hot and small, as eight of them came to a pan. They easily seperated when you pulled them apart and were delicious when covered with the homemade extra cinnamony apple butter. Next up was the mashed potatoes. Only, I didn't recognize it. After we had received all the rest of the food, I asked the waitress when we were going to get the mashed potatoes and both her and Johnny pointed at what I thought was plain ol' rice. I swear, I have never seen mashed potatoes like this before. Well, at least there isn't any lumps in it. And as we stirred, it became more like typical mashed potatoes. The gravy was very thick, creamy and slightly peppery. Because of my reaction, the owner, who visited our table frequently, brought the ricer out of the kitchen for us to see. That looks like a well used tool! For your entree, you get two choices, ham or fried chicken. In the interest of trying everything, I got the ham, Johnny ordered chicken and then we shared. The ham was thick cut, lean and very good. The skillet fried chicken, which came as two thighs, a wing and a leg, was even better. It had a thin, brittle coating and was tender and juicy on the inside. Dessert time! You get to choice one each between peppermint ice cream, butterscotch sundae and brownie pudding. Unable, or more likely, unwilling, to make that choice, we paid extra and got one of each. The brownie pudding had a deep, rich chocolate flavor, with small bits of walnuts. The butterscotch topping on the sundae was homemade and on the thin side. My favorite was the peppermint ice cream, which made me feel like I was in Indiana. The check arrives on a plate with some mints. Before we left, the waitress grabbed my camera and took a photo of us. With the really good food and interesting atmosphere, both Johnny and I considered this our favorite meal of the trip. Juniper Valley Ranch South Highway 115 Colorado Springs, CO 719-576-0741 From here, we drove straight back to the hotel in Denver for the night. More to come.....
<message edited by buffetbuster on Thu, 12/29/11 2:59 PM>