Feedlot mixes original recipes with ‘grandma’s’



• WHAT: Feedlot Restaurant.

• WHERE: 456 Kokopelli Blvd., Fruita.

• HOURS: Breakfast and lunch, all day until 3 p.m.; dinner, 5 p.m. to close; happy hour, 3–5:30 p.m.; closed Monday.

• CONTACT: 858-9899.

• CUISINE: Prime rib, steaks, barbecue ribs, shrimp.

Today’s Feedlot Restaurant had its start in a love story. But its history goes back much further in Fruita lore.

When Russ and Tami Parker opened the new Feedlot in 2009, they had a rich and sentimental attachment to the original Feedlot restaurant. That landmark restaurant closed its doors in the mid-1990s. The new spot is a modern building in a shopping plaza.

In their early days as a couple, the Parkers sparked their courtship at the Feedlot. After they started their family, they brought the kids along. It was a family tradition.

When the old place closed, they, and many other people they talked to over the years, were sad. A piece of their history, upbringing and memories were snatched away.

Last year, the Parkers resurrected the tradition, wanting to create new memories for generations in the Grand Valley. The couple secured recipes and the original sign from the Feedlot, which opened its doors in 1977.

Tami added recipes from her grandmother and aimed to evoke a family-friendly feeling of the West and grandma’s cooking.

It was a beautiful day when we visited, so we opted to sit on the patio. Good choice. The birds were flitting about in a nearby field and the sun was shining. A patio umbrella shielded us from the western setting sun.

The whiff of smoked meat was floating in from out back, where ribs were barbecuing.

Our server, Jess, who doubled as bartender, was a doll. She said we were her “first,” as in the first table she had ever waited on. I would wish my first customers to be an easy party of two, but she handled the five of us and all of our order changes with aplomb.

Jess easily convinced most of us to order the daily special, ribs with all the fixings, $13.99.

I should have ordered prime rib or steak, so I could report on those, but I was seduced by her description the ribs.

Prices on the non-special entrees, most were $14.99 to $34.99, seemed a smidge high for a strip-mall location, but that was before I factored in the accompaniments: homemade soup or salad, rolls, choice of potatoes and vegetable.

It’s not a nouveau cuisine kind of place. And, to be honest, the $34.99 big-ticket item was a 24-ounce Porterhouse steak.

The ribs were beef, not pork, and falling-off-the-bone good.

I had expected to find more beef ribs when we moved to cowboy country 15 years ago. Instead, pork ribs seem to be the norm. So, these excellent bovine bones were a welcome surprise.

The general sentiment from our crowd can be boiled down to: “That was some pretty good grub.”

The rest of the rundown:

Garlic smashed potatoes: creamy and yummy and guaranteed to give you aromatic breath.

Green beans with garlic and bacon: Infused the Southern way, so as to make it comfort food.

Salad: Traditional iceberg lettuce and veggie mix.

Soup: Choice of the day was tomato bisque or French onion.

Fried shrimp: Good quality, traditional preparation. In the appetizer column, 1/2 pound of boiled shrimp for $6.99 and a pound for $15.99.

Cocktails: None of us ordered the special lemon drop martini, but the table next to us seemed to be enjoying them immensely.

Tuesday at the Feedlot is “date night.” For $45 per couple, they offer crab-stuffed portobello mushrooms, prime rib or 8-ounce ribeye, choice of vegetable and potato, chocolate cake and either a draft beer or house wine.

ON THE MENU: Seven grain almond granola pancakes, $6.49; Portuguese linguica smoked sausage and eggs, $7.99; and the sasquatch — must be for teenage boys or other competitive eating machines — nearly 1 pound of thick-cut bone-in ham with eggs, potatoes and biscuits, $9.99.

You’ll find these at Black Bear Diner, a chain that started in the shadows of Mount Shasta, Calif. 624-C Ray Lynn (corner of F and 24 roads), 243-4100.

THREE OF A KIND: Carino’s Italian is serving these wine pairings on Tuesday for $29.95, excluding tax and tip. 2480 Highway 6&50. 255-0560.

Sun-dried tomato pesto and grilled shrimp paired with Francis Ford Coppola pinot grigio.

San Marzano tomato basil and chicken gnocchi paired with Mirassou pinot noir.

Salmon picatta with artichokes, mushrooms and seasonal vegetables paired with Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve chardonnay.

For dessert, peach gelato with valpolicella-soaked peaches with Beringer white zinfandel.

QUOTE: “A nickel will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat.” — New York Proverb

Send Tess Furey any tips or ideas to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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970-242-5050; M-F 8:00 - 5:00
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