Rustic mountain cabin with lots to look at
The Ultra Game Grill
on the walls? Oh yeah ....
34185 U.S. HWY 6 | Edwards | 970.926.3613 | gashouse-restaurant.com
I saw my first “jackalope” when I was 7. The darn thing looked bigger than a Saint Bernard, a regal-looking jackrabbit with antlers sitting in high prairie grass somewhere out on the Colorado plains, staring out from a postcard my mom bought for me for 15 cents when I saw it in a souvenir shop.
A couple months later, I think I saw a real one — mounted on a wall at the same souvenir shop. I knew it wasn’t real, but no one would admit otherwise, either, causing my young brain to do the somersaults we all do as kids trying to figure out what to think about Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy … and jackalopes, apparently.
Flash-forward to The Gashouse Restaurant & Bar in Edwards, where you can have a jackalope sausage for lunch, the meat wrapped around a habanero pepper with an extra kick of dried cherry. Made with rabbit and antelope, this is more real than the real thing.
Co-owner Andy Guy also has a jackalope mounted on the wall of the former gas station — a wall filled with a moose, a Cape buffalo from Africa and other assorted game animals, as well. He also sells smoked buffalo and wild boar sausages at lunch, along with grilled quail, duck tenderloins and a game sampler appetizer plate that includes the whole shooting match — quail, buffalo and elk tenderloin, buffalo ribs and game sausage.
Even more to my liking on a sunny summer afternoon was the buffalo carpaccio — loin sliced paper-thin served with arugula, crostini and a drizzle of virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Plenty of salads round out the lunch menu, too, from a crab avocado salad with jumbo lump blue crab and mandarin oranges to an old-school iceberg wedge salad.
Local history, meanwhile, is laminated on the Gashouse’s main bar and surrounding tabletops — ski passes of local notables and Olympians, the not-so-famous, and Guy’s darling daughter Gloria. Former Vail Associates owner George Gillett is on the bar, as is Andy Daly, a former president of Vail Resorts and town mayor.
But I digress. …
Outside is a pleasant space surrounded by hanging flower baskets and shaded by umbrellas; and the staff is eager to please. You may never see the mounted animal heads and clubby/woody atmosphere of the former gas station, however, until you need to go the bathroom.
In addition to wild game, the Gashouse is known for its surf and turf for lunch or dinner. Maryland crab cakes are made from an old family recipe with crab flown in fresh from the East Coast. Dinner is where surf and turf shines, from the lamb T-bone with a blackberry demi-glace and fresh mint to the 10-ounce buffalo rib eye. Make sure to try the venison combo grill, with a bone-in venison chop, a game sausage and grilled quail or two 5-ounce steamed lobster tails.
Come for the food, but stay for the stories. You can catch Guy or co-owner Connie Irons pretty much any day of the week to discuss the building, constructed in the 1930s; where the pumps were located; what was in the back room; and when the addition was built. If anything, make sure to peruse the pictures on the walls, and make sure to come back for more.