Where in the World are Bernie & Karen?? travel blog

The Innkeepers invited us to their Thanksgiving Dinner! All the kids and grand kids came to the Inn for the weekend (5 kids and 17 grand kids!). Dixie had been cooking for probably a week straight and had lots of great food......

Since there were guests actually checking in (yes, on Thanksgiving!), we volunteered to help with that so Dixie could be with family.... well, Dixie insisted we eat as well....

What a feast...... we had lots of everything and actually ate in the kitchen/office area so we didn't have quite so many kids around us!!! However, they were really good and ate lots of food...... Turns out Dixie checked the guests in anyway so we just had lots of great Thanksgiving food and desserts (4 different pies!!!! - Yes, to all of them for Bernie!!!

Our boss here loves us….I’m not surprised either…and for a Christmas present sent us to Hell’s Backbone Grill for their Thanksgiving dinner. It was technically the day after (the actual day was booked solid so they did a second) but who is keeping track. This is a small restaurant in an even smaller town far from a city. It is owned and operated by two women who obviously love what they do. It is part of Boulder Lodge, in Boulder Utah and blends in with the other buildings except for the flags strung all around it ….if you look closer you notice they are prayer flags. Somewhat different for small town Utah. The two owners are Buddhist and true to their beliefs only use organic locally grown foods. The menu changes seasonally to what is available and fresh. They do serve alcohol and from what I read in their book, they were the first establishment allowed to do so (except the grocery store) in the town. So again they only serve wine and beer from Utah or a few western states.

We only heard good things from all of the guests we sent there but somehow never managed to get over that way ourselves. We had rather high expectations and I am happy to say they were very much exceeded. When we arrived a few minutes early they sent us to the Lodge meeting room for appetizers and hot cider (yum). Pate on fresh made bread mmmmMM…it had a sweetness that paired well with the cider. Bernie didn’t want to share….luckily most people were right on time.

On to the restaurant which was set family style (appropriate for the day). We were seated opposite a couple from Salt Lake City who had driven down just to eat thanksgiving dinner at this place. In our travels we find we run into people from the east and New Jersey all the time. Well, this woman was from Baltimore, and to make it even better she grew up in Overlea and went to Seton High School. For those who don’t know, that is only a few neighborhoods from where I grew up! All through dinner she kept saying I looked familiar…I told her I had lots of older sisters that looked like me…weird, it was like my childhood all over again….I was always being told by people I had never seen before “Oh you must be ___’s sister, you look just like her”. She never did place me but you could tell it was bugging her. The man next to Bernie was also from Maryland and the woman opposite was from Philly…. but notice they don’t leave there anymore!

The menu on the table filled an entire sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 paper and the print was small so I was glad I wore the loose skirt. All of the portions were small, the idea being you could try everything and not leave the table feeling like you would explode….not like an American restaurant at all. Homemade pickles and a bowl of spiced walnuts and peptitas started it all….I really wanted to eat the entire bowl of nuts …they were like popcorn - yum….but I had to share…bummer. Carrot soup was a first and worth getting again. They had all of your standard American side dishes only they were well above my standards. All had just a little different spin on the norm and a lot of Mexican influence like the spicy Mole gravy. There were two kinds of stuffing, two kinds of gravy, cranberry and cherry sauce, potatoes and root veggies, and butternut squash that tasted like sweet potatoes, so many I can’t remember them all. We gave the menu to Dixie because she said she may go next year but I am wishing we kept it so I could post it and make all of you understand how fabulous it all was…

The best idea I have ever heard in a restaurant was after everyone had stuffed them selves they gave us a 20 minute break to walk around before desert and coffee. How brilliant is that ?? It gives them time to clean up and the patrons time to settle so they can enjoy their desert….just like you do at home.

Desert was 4 different things and Bernie was tickled beyond words when they made it clear you could have them all as many times as you wanted…(all the men had huge smiles….you could tell they were doing their happy dance on the inside). They served the coffee in hand thrown mugs with the restaurant name on them. They felt good in the hand and on the lips and since this didn’t cost us anything we bought them as a souvenir. They have turned out to be our favorite mugs.

All around a wonderful experience, I highly recommend to anyone in the town of Boulder, Utah or for that matter within an hour or 2 drive…you won’t regret it. It’s on Scenic Route 12 that goes through the Escalante Grand Staircase – an incredible ride in itself!!! We did it earlier in the RV when we went to Capitol Reef National Park in the spring!

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