In July, we escaped the Great Plains broiler for a week in Colorado, where the temperatures peaked in the low 80s and you could sleep with the windows open and a light blanket. Ahhhhhh.
We stayed in Granby, Colorado, which is nestled in a broad valley northwest of Denver. Although Granby’s surroundings are scenic, the town itself is pretty utilitarian. A quaint little mountain town it isn’t. Our primary reasons for staying there were unbeatable lodging prices and proximity to AA Barn in Arapaho National Forest, where our friends M. and S. were getting married.
We started most mornings with a mountain hike followed by lunch in Granby. One day we opted for Maverick’s Grille on the main strip (Highway 40). We’d bypassed the place on previous days, but were quickly arriving at the end of Granby’s array of dining experiences. From the outside, it looked like a typical mountainy, westerny restaurant—lots of heavy woodwork. We went in expecting a cross between country fare (chicken fried steak) and bar food (hamburgers). Granted, those items are on the menu, but there were surprises—such as prize-winning green chili and mac ‘n cheese made with cavatappi noodles and mushrooms. Wait…where are we again?
I ordered the green chili, and if I could bestow my very own Best Chili Ever award, Maverick’s would win it. This is the kind of chili you live for—the consistency was delectable (not at all slimy or congealed), it was just spicy enough to do the sinuses a favor, and the ratio of chunky ingredients to soupiness was perfect.
The guys ordered the smoked brisket sandwich and French fries. You know how brisket can be sliced quite thinly just in case it’s a little dry and tough? Maverick’s piles their sandwiches high with proudly thick slices of brisket. And with the very first bite, you’ll discover a mouthful of succulent, tender brisket. Do I have your mouth watering yet?
And now for the piece de resistance—the French fries. I didn’t actually order French fries (trying to eat a little healthier, and all), but had to steal some from the guys when they started raving about them. Fortunately Maverick’s portions are generous, because once I’d had one, I couldn’t stop. None of us could. What makes them so special? All I can say is that they’re batter-dipped and delectably seasoned. I also have to confess that they are FACTORY FRIES. Our waitress confirmed our fears. You know I’m a bit of a snob about hand-crafted food and loathe factory food. But, when you’re wrong, you’re wrong. And on this day I was wrong. There are great exceptions to the quality of factory food, and Maverick’s has found one of those exceptions—mass-produced French fries that really are delicious.
On the street in front of Maverick’s is a sign that says Motorcyclists Welcome. Judging by the number of cycles in the parking lot and the black-leather-clad patrons inside, I’d say the cyclists take the welcome sign seriously. You should too.
Maverick’s Grille 15 E. Agate Avenue (Hwy 40) Granby, CO 970.887.9000
© Sherry Burns and sushipoet.wordpress.com, 2012.