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Rosie

Hell's Backbone Grill

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Boulder, Utah is the most inaccessible town in the state. This Mormon town with a population of 100 was the last place in the US in 1941 to receive mail by mule train. Don’t let that deter you from driving to Hell’s Backbone Grill although we ran into a snow storm with white outs coming over the 9000 foot pass and also had white knuckles after driving the “hog back” a sliver of road on the spine of a mountain with precipitous drops on both sides. But once in Boulder you will be able to dine at Hell’s Backbone Grill, a Buddhist based restaurant which specializes in organic regional cuisine using locally produced ingredients. When approaching Hell’s Backbone Grill you can’t help being moved by the Tibetan prayer flags and a small Buddha statue. We stayed at Boulder Mountain Lodge which is connected to the restaurant.

We had two breakfasts and two dinners here. For breakfast we savored the homemade organic granola with yogurt; steaming bowl of creamy oatmeal with stewed fruit; delectable apple-pecan streusel coffee cake; and oatmeal molasses bread that was so tasty that it didn’t need butter or jam.

For dinner some of the items we feasted on were organic greens house salad with jicama, pumpkin seeds, sweet dehydrated corn, and strawberries; black bean soup; free range chicken tortilla soup; pot roast with potatoes and vegetables; chipotle meatloaf; blue corn bread, cornmeal-molasses, and pecan skillet trout with pueblo rice and steamed spring vegetables; chile-crusted locally raised and grass fed filet mignon with poblano crema, lemony mashed potatoes, and spring vegetables; and. strawberry-rhubarb fool. The restaurant has a small wine and beer list.

I can highly recommend owners Blake Spalding and Jen Castle's inspiring and captivating stories and recipes which can be found in their newly published cookbook (I couldn’t put it down) called “With a Measure of Grace: The Stories and Recipes of a Small Town Restaurant” by Blake Spalding & Jennifer Castle with Lavinia Spalding and photos by Eric Swanson. It can be ordered online from their website at: http://www.hellsbackbonegrill.com/

Hell's Backbone Grill is open daily for breakfast and dinner including preordered takeout lunches for hikers; (435) 335-7464 or www.hellsbackbonegrill.com.


Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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Rosie,

Thanks for the great write up. "Measure of Grace " is my new favorite cookbook and the cause of a pilgrimage to Boulder later this summer. Now , I can't wait to get there.

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We stayed there last fall, and it is a very special place. I really liked the feel of this town, lodge and restaurant. The service is quite leisurely (or the kitchen, I couldn't tell which), and the sandwichs we took on a hike were not up to par, but breakfast and dinner were very nice, and the atmosphere and feel of the whole area is wonderful.


Fred Bramhall

A professor is one who talk's in someone else's sleep

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The sandwiches are made on a thick hearty herb bread so they will keep in the heat while hiking.


Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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Unfortunately, they were out of the bread, as I recall, and the sandwiches were wraps made in very stale tortillas. At least, I believe that was it. At any rate, we enjoyed our stay and food very much, with this exception.


Fred Bramhall

A professor is one who talk's in someone else's sleep

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The recipe for Chocolate-Chile Cream Pots that is served at Hell's Backbone Grill is in the July issue of Bon Appetit. p25.


Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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Hello All,

I thought I would bounce this thread back up, though I wish I had done it a few weeks ago right after my husband and I got back from a driving trip in Utah. I’m having a hard time remembering what we had even though we really enjoyed the restaurant, including the setting and the staff. When planning the itinerary I purposely put us in Boulder just so we could eat here. Plus, as far a convenience goes, it is a good halfway point to spend the night between Moab and Springdale. The room at the connected Boulder Mountain Lodge was really nice as well.

Now, onto the food. We were able to have dinner and breakfast here.

For dinner, they were out of their award winning house salad for the appetizer. My husband had the asparagus soup, and I had a nice light salad. Both were very good.

I really liked the pepper biscuits, which I was a little wary of. I'm not a big fan of something being encrusted in black (or white) pepper or where it is specifically mentioned as a key ingredient. The biscuits were perfect though, and I would love to make them for friends for a dinner party. Luckily, the recipe is in the cookbook, which I plan on getting soon.

As our entrees, I had the ruby red trout. It was beautiful in color, more like a salmon. I guess I'm used to white trout, so it was a pleasant surprise. It had a nice molasses, brown sugar coating, which had the right amount of sweetness, and was done perfectly with the right amount of crispiness. My husband declared me the winner between our two entrees. He had a chili rubbed steak, which he really liked, but he just kept saying "should have gotten the trout."

We did have the chocolate-chili cream pots. Which I liked, but did not love. Not as much chili flavor as I would have expected. Actually, I detected very little, but as a chocolate cream pot they were good.

For breakfast, I had the chilaquiles, which were spicy, but not too hot. This is something I never make at home, but am planning on doing so in the future. I unfortunately can’t remember what my husband had, but I do remember that we both enjoyed the food. We did get blueberry coffeecake to go, which made for a nice snack later on. I guess not many people get this to go, as we did hear them in the kitchen trying to decide if they should heat it up before wrapping it for us. That’s really nice service.

I’m really glad we made a point of going here. And now I’m off to order the cookbook online.


I like cows, too. I hold buns against them. -- Bucky Cat.

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We just returned from a Southern Utah excursion. We spent 3 days in Boulder at the lodge. Breakfast and dinner were at the grill every day. Between the four of us we managed to try just about everything on the menu and there were no disappointments. We had been there 2 years ago and the food was as good as we remembered. They can run out of some items when they are busy and they were busy every evening of our stay. Reservations are definitely recommended in spite of the fact that this town is tiny and so remote. Our next stop was Springdale, Utah, for some hiking in Zion National Park. We really enjoyed a restaurant there called The Spotted Dog which is very close to the western entrance to the park. We have dined there many times before but it has improved so much in its current incarnation that it has my nomination for the best restaurant is Southern Utah. Reservations there are definitely recommended as Zion now draws something like three million visitors a year.

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