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The Saloon at Minturn, Minturn, Tex-Mex

Caramie Schnell
Vail CO, Colorado
BY PRESTON UTLEY
ALL |

The Saloon at Minturn

146 Main Street

Minturn, CO 81645

970.827.5954

The space

Signed photographs and other memorabilia line nearly every square inch of the Saloon’s walls. On sunny afternoons opt for a seat on the riverside deck. Brightly colored flowers line the rails and the Eagle River, roiling below provide a nice soundtrack to your meal. Don’t worry if the sky opens, either “~a newly installed retractable awning will keep you dry.

Careful of the creepers

Nothing complements spicy Mexican food like an icy margarita. The Saloon’s top-secret recipe was passed down from the previous owner and has likely been served to patrons since the mid-’70s. If you’re a tequila connoisseur, there are 26 varieties to choose from. But unless you’re shooting straight, try the Cuervo Gold with a Grand Marnier floater. A word of caution ” just because the margaritas go down easy, doesn’t mean they’re weak. Over the years they’ve acquired the nickname of “creeper margaritas,” said~Saloon co-owner Andy Kaufman.

The food

The Saloon’s chili relleno’s are wrapped in pastry dough instead of batter before being fried ” the result is a crispy, uniform golden layer that conceals the chili and oozing cheese inside. The Saloon is known for charbroiled quail and the Pato Vercruz, a 16-ounce boneless duck breast the menu labels as both the chef ‘s and staff’s favorite entree. Homemade pepper jellies flank the duck breast but careful, the usual rules don’t apply – the aromatic red jelly is hotter than the sweeter, green jalapeno variety.

Queso with a kick

Start with a cup of the queso and a basket of the Saloon’s chips, made in house every day. If the green chili cheese dip doesn’t have enough kick for you, ask for a side of “number 10” sauce and be careful about adding more than a teaspoon or two. The fiery deep red sauce is a combination of anaheim, poblano and jalapeno peppers, with “nothing else to moderate the heat,” Kaufman said.


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