First Stop - The Ouray Brewery
In June, Don and I spent one night in the sweet little Alpine town of Ouray.
We were staying right on Main Street, at the Beaumont Hotel. That meant we could pretty much walk to everything. At 5:00, we headed for the Brewery, with its rooftop sitting area.
Beer and Views
We grabbed two stools, ordered beer and took in the sights. Obviously, the mountains were stunning.
The slow parade of traffic on Main Street was equally entertaining. The non-stop flow of dusty trucks and Jeeps was downright comical. Where were these vehicles going, in this town of 1,000? Watching the wandering locals and tourists, was an added plus.
Mr. Grumpy Pants
We made one more beer stop at The Ourayle House... because Don likes beer. I don't love beer, but I like entertaining places, even when they have intimidating signs.
The owner was more quiet and expressionless, than grumpy. He pretended to be annoyed when a young woman asked for a beer sample. He looked like he was suppressing his smile, when he handed it to her in a baby bottle.
I was amused by the sliding chair that Mr. Grumpy used, to whizz down from one end of the bar to the other. I was surprised when he allowed me to take his photo. When I asked what you had to do to earn a ride on that thing, he pointed to the wall. There were photographs of all the people who had paid for a ride, by doing the splits on the bar.
"Any men?" I asked. "Just one." he answered, pointing to a photo of a smiling man, performing the stunt with the help (or without the help) of his prosthetic legs.
Time For Food
The sign also attracted and amused me. I love a little mix of old west saloon and mid-century cocktail lounge. The Outlaw name was given to the restaurant/bar in 1969. That was the same period when John Wayne was in the area, filming "True Grit". He was a visitor to The Outlaw and his hat is on display behind the bar. I failed to get a photo!
I took in the scene as we entered. Right away, I noticed the shake shingles on the upper walls. I couldn't really read the writing, but I learned they had been signed, by local miners and cowboys.
The long wooden bar and hanging wagon wheels made me think saloon. The stools made me think of a soda fountain. The folded cloth napkins made me think of dining, which was just what I wanted.
A friendly man with dark hair greeted us and ushered us to a great table in the back. I had a nice view of the bar and tables, to do a little people watching.
A child sitting on a nearby stool was greeted by lots of staff. One happy table celebrated a birthday. A young man played for tips on a honky tonk piano. A couple had an intense conversation for much of the evening, but stopped after each song to applaud the piano player, like proud parents. I'm guessing everyone was local.
Everyone who served us looked related, with dark hair and friendly dispositions. Could these be members of the original Bonatti family, who immigrated from Italy years ago? I guess not. The Bonatti family sold to the Chaotes in 2009 and there were lots of different folks running the biz, in between.
My huge Greek salad made me smile too. It was packed with all the good stuff.
Out of Outlaw, by 8:30
It was still light when we stepped outside after our meal.
It's fun to imagine John Wayne coming here in 1969. Now I can add The Outlaw to our fairly long list of restaurants, bars and hotels that we AND John Wayne have enjoyed. Hmm? Maybe I need to make a new John Wayne category.
Ending the Evening
All dining adventure's are better enjoyed when they don't involve a car. It was wonderful walking back to our hotel while the skies darkened.
I ran up to the second floor of the Elks Club, to see if the Bingo happenings were still underway. They were indeed going strong, but we figured we weren't excited enough to pay $15. a card. We headed back to our fabulous hotel and enjoyed the rest of the evening.
Yippee for enjoying some good food and drink and strolling, in Ouray!
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.