September 24, 2011

HB Eats: A Feast For Meat Lovers, Buckhorn Exchange, Denver, CO

Walking into the Buckhorn Exchange in Denver, Colorado is like walking straight onto the set of an old western movie, if the set was decorated by an overworked and giddy taxidermist.  Yes,  the deep red walls of the Buckhorn are lined from floor to ceiling with stuffed animals of all kinds, and while that may sound a bit strange at first, there are tons of reasons why tourists and locals flock to this fun Lincoln Park establishment.  The Buckhorn was founded in 1893, making it Denver’s oldest restaurant and home to the State’s first liquor license ever. The site history is definitely worth reading about, and is celebrated everyday with the cool vintage menu and display of Old West artifacts. The Buckhorn is conveniently located right across the street from the 10th and Osago light rail station, and offers an extensive menu of exotic meats, which is why I personally had it at the top of my must-try list for Denver. 

The Buckhorn is also known for serving up the very popular appetizer of Rocky Mountain Oysters, which isn't at all what it sounds like (if you watch Chopped then you know what I mean).  I must admit I didn’t try the mysterious delicacy, but I did watch plenty of nearby visitors squirm while they did.  I focused my appetizer energy instead on the famous bean soup (a must!) and the grilled duck breast served with a raspberry, red zinfandel sauce.  For an entrée I had the special game trio of yak, quail, and elk.  The yak and elk were firsts for me, which was exciting, but I definitely liked the quail the best.  It was cooked and seasoned perfectly, and I probably could have had a dozen more because the meat was so light and flavorful.  A trip to the Buckhorn is a trip back in time worth taking!   

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