Last week, I shared with you part one of my two-part “Meet Me in Meeker” series. In last week’s post, I wrote about the surprisingly vibrant downtown we encountered. Click here to read it. This week, I want to introduce you to where we ate, drank and stayed in this fun little northwest Colorado town.
As a reminder, we were in town for the Jammin’ Lamb Festival, a culinary event that’s part of the Meeker Classic Sheepdog Trials which I wrote about here. I’d been invited to town to be a judge for Jammin’ Lamb Festival.
After discovering all the neat stores in downtown Meeker, we drove the short distance to 8th Street to find our bed and breakfast. Festival organizers had booked us a room at the Bear Mountain Inn. Cheryl Houser welcomes guests into her home as if each one were a long-lost friend. Her husband Dale and son Toby are also very sociable and accommodating to guests.
To stay at Bear Mountain Inn is to become part of the family and no one leaves hungry because Cheryl loves feeding people. Whether it’s baked goods in the family room or eggs and bacon at breakfast, it’s all about home cooking here.
For dinner on our first night in Meeker, we dined at Ma Famiglia Restaurant, due in part to their fantastic reviews on TripAdvisor.com (they are #1). The place was packed when we arrived, but we were greeted promptly and offered a glass of wine to drink while we waited.
We dined on the patio where the weather was just shy of being uncomfortably chilly. I ordered a pizza while Ryan ordered a pasta dish. I’m not sure why, but several of Colorado’s small towns have incredibly Italian restaurants, and Meeker is one of them.
Ma Famiglia has a cozy and inviting vibe and appears to be family-run. Even on a busy night, the staff was extremely friendly and we enjoyed the experience and the food.
Despite feeling like we’d never be hungry again, we breakfasted at Outfitter’s Diner. We’d decided to eat only one breakfast at Bear Mountain Inn so that we could try one of Meeker’s breakfast hot spots.
<<Please visualize an amazing breakfast picture here. The two I took turned out blurry. Thank you! >>
We went to Outfitter’s because three different Meeker residents had recommended it. Breakfast is our favorite meal when we’re traveling and we’ve learned that asking locals is the best way to find the best breakfast.
My ginormous breakfast burrito was smothered in some of the best green chile I’ve had in Colorado (and I’ve had a lot of green chile). However, even more outstanding was Ryan’s critique of Outfitter’s pancakes. He declared that they were the best pancakes he could remember eating in years. This is extremely high praise as my husband eats A LOT of pancakes. So three cheers for Outfitter’s Diner.
For lunch, we enjoyed meat pies at the Meeker Classic Sheepdog Trials. They had an array of yummy eats at the event and I really wanted to try one of everything.
Back in town that evening, as one of three judges for the Jammin’ Lamb Festival, I indulged in a lot of amazing lamb dishes. The event is a culinary competition pitting chef against chef in a battle of lamb.
This year, five chefs competed to gain the votes of the judges and the public. There were live bands, drinks served up by the Lions Club and festival goers could purchase tickets to taste lamb dishes and purchase Dutch oven desserts.
We were all seriously impressed with what the five competitors created. Here is a photo sample of their fantastic culinary creations:
Jammin’ Lamb Festival is only a couple of years old and I have no doubt that it will continue to grow with additional competitors entering every year. If you love lamb, you won’t want to miss it next summer.
That evening we ended up at Chippers, a local watering hole. Friends from Palisade has joined us for the festival and the four of us enjoyed chatting with the bartender, Reno, and friending the locals over games of pool. Chippers is a great little Colorado bar.
On our last morning in town, Cheryl served us a hearty breakfast and we got to know some of her other weekend guests. Meeting people is part of the charm of staying at Bear Mountain Inn, and we had a fascinating discussion about wrangling cows on Grand Mesa with a husband and wife who actually do this job every summer.
There aren’t many places like Meeker left in the Rocky Mountain West. It’s a genuine Colorado town with authentic folks, and we are thankful to the individuals who invited us to experience their corner of our beautiful state. We look forward to a return trip.
Thank you to the people in Meeker who invited me to be a culinary judge for Jammin’ Lamb Festival and for covering our lodging.