Billed as Colorado’s most historic eating and drinking emporium the Buckhorn Exchange opened its doors in 1893. It is filled with stories of the ‘wild’ west including colorful characters such as William F. ‘Buffalo ‘Bill’ Cody, Sitting Bull and President Teddy Roosevelt.
Upon entering the building I feel like I am in Northern Wisconsin. The walls are filled with dead animals and photos of Presidents, movie stars and royalty who have dined there over their many years of business. In Wisconsin we have dead animals, gangsters and movie stars; same thing.
Although I am not big on tourist spots I have to admit this is one interesting place to visit. We started the evening with appetizers including Smoked Buffalo Sausage that was served with red chile polenta and spicy wild game mustard. Of course since we were in Colorado we also ordered the Rocky Mountain Oysters, which were served with a horseradish sauce. The delectable sac treats were lightly breaded and deep-fried. For the most part they do not have much flavor, just a reputation. By the way it is true they go very well with martinis. Our waitress also told us they had a special on Calamari and Fried Alligator Tail. For the life of me I cannot figure how they fit into the mix. It’s an odd feeling having that many critters watching you while you nosh on their body parts. I even thought the moose above me cringed when I took a big bite of testicle.
I ordered the High Plains Buffalo Prime Rib Blackened and served with Horseradish sauce ($46), it was accompanied with garlic-mashed potatoes, garden salad and a carrot/broccoli mix. The Buffalo was served rare and had nice spicy finish. The salad, potatoes and veggies were average.
The evening was topped off with Hot Dutch Apple Pie with Cinnamon Rum Sauce ($7.25) and Espresso ($3.25). The apple pie with the sauce was like sex for your mouth; sweet, creamy with a touch of spice but not enough.
The Buckhorn is an experience to be had once. There are many other places in Denver with better food; however, no one has the history and lore found here.
The Big Ragu gives this joint a 4 outa 5.