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SW CO report - Durango, Pagosa Springs, Alamosa

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SW CO report - Durango, Pagosa Springs, Alamosa

Tha Groovin' Gourmet | Apr 6, 2006 04:41 PM

Spent a week in the area, based out of my mom's timeshare.

Durango - first time in as long as I can remember when I didn't visit LADY FALCONBURG'S BARLEY EMPORIUM. Still a solid choice...nice menu, good food, LOTS of beers on tap and FREE wifi. Tough combo to beat.

I did visit SERIOUS TEXAS BBQ twice, both times at the location on the south side of town. This place gets it. Having grown up in Texas, I've eaten plenty of Q, and very few places outside TX and the Southeast have a clue when it comes to serving quality smoked meats. This place lives up to it's name. Meats are excellent, with some unique touches. First lunch I had a brisket sandwich and a Shiner Bock. Nice slices and shards of succulent, smoky beef, smoke ring intact. Their sauce is definitely Texas-style, though it does lean a bit towards the sweet side.

Next visit was on my way out of the area. I went with the Pulled Pork sandwich, which they prepare with their own Cherry Chipotle salsa.
MAN!!! Awesome stuff...some of the smokiest pulled pork in recent memory, and the salsa totally rules, working very well with the BBQ sauce.

I went with a couple of sides...slaw which was OK, albeit a bit dry for my tastes, and Cheesey Potatoes which I would not order again. As I had a major drive in front of me I went with a Zuberfizz Key Lime soda, from a local soft drink company...very nice!

The rest of my meals outside the condo were Mex, starting with RAMON'S in Pagosa Springs. I sat through the timeshare presentation to get a $25 gift certificate to the restaurant. Started with their Chile Con Queso, which is very different from the usual Velveeta/Rotel combo. This was more like a cazuela, with melted Mexican white cheese and a smattering of chopped green chile. A bit messy, and a bit difficult to cut out edible portions of cheese from the blobby whole, but it was very tasty.

I went with Steak Picado, sans the green bell pepper, and was very pleased. They gave me extra onions and jalapenos instead of the nasty bells...muy sabroso! Both beans and rice were very good. My leftovers wound up in an omelet the next morning.

Next night, also in Pagosa Springs, was TEQUILA'S, located literally atop the hot springs. The funky sulphur smell was a bit disconcerting as I walked the parking lot, but it disappeared once I was inside the restaurant. Chips were warm, salsa was decent with a bit of kick to it.
I chose Camarones Ala Diabla, a very nice rendition, with a sweetish sauce (still plenty hot) and adorned with sauteed mushrooms.f

I also hit a couple of Mex spots in Alamosa, starting with dinner at CALVILLO'S. This is a large, family-run space, offering daily lunch and dinner buffets. I've never been a fan of steam-table Mex, so I ordered off the menu, going with a yummy Chile Relleno burrito, smothered in a fairly spicy green chile.

Next day I hit EL CHARRO CAFE, a funky little spot around the corner from my appointment that morning. The place seats maybe 14 tops, and is very casual. Service is prompt and friendly. I went with a 3-item combo...cheese enchilada, pork tamale, and a relleno, all smothered in green. Very nice...the chile was milder but porkier than the night before. Enchilada was OK, tamale was very nice. A very nice plate of food for $6.

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