Here’s the truth. When we tell people we’re going to Pueblo, there is often a short look of confusion followed by the word why. That’s changing, especially among my friends who’ve been listening to me champion Pueblo for the past several years.
Pueblo isn’t fancy and doesn’t end up on “best of” lists in trendy travel magazines. However, it is a town full of gems and, to use a cliche, many are hidden. Also, some of the best stuff happens to me when I visit Pueblo and I am going to share one of those stories with you.
We had planned on eating Mexican food on our first night in Pueblo. I was in town for Pueblo Chile & Frijoles Festival, and it just made sense. Before dinner, we decided to hit Walter’s Brewery & Taproom. We were overdue, having had Walter’s beer, but never having visited the taproom.
As we parked and walked into Walter’s, located downtown inside an old Coors factory, we passed a food truck called Steel City Cafe. I always check out food truck menus and noticed steaks were on the sandwich board.
I’d never seen steaks on a food truck menu. We were discussing this when owner, Chef Harvey, started to chat to us. He showed us the steaks, right out of the cooler, and we realized he was the real deal. He has opened restaurants from the East Coast to Las Vegas and moved to Pueblo six years ago to retire. Then, he started a food truck with his wife Kathy (I think he was bored). His energy and joy is contagious. I could tell he loved to feed people and I love to eat.
As we walked into the taproom and sat down to sip our beer, we mused over our dinner options. It is a ridiculous oversight that we have never stopped at Walter’s before. The taproom is cozy. I like the odd configuration and it feels a little like a puzzle, especially after a beer or two. In addition, the history of Pueblo is written in these walls and it is palpable.
Also, the beer is good. We went twice during our trip buying tons of six-packs for the beer fridge and a t-shirt. I am very partial to Walter’s Blood Orange.
Of course, on the first evening, we stayed and ordered a New York Stip steak from Chef Harvey and the Steel City Cafe. We just had to try Chef Harvey’s steaks from his food truck (or in this case it is technically a food trailer).
When our buzzer buzzed, Ryan went out came back with boxes piled high. We had a well-appointed salad (big enough for two), bread, little carrots, onions and roasted potatoes perfectly cooked, and a huge steak cooked to order, medium rare. When Ryan has asked Chef Harvey how we were going to eat a steak out of Styrofoam, he cut it for us. That worked out well.
For $36 plus tip, we had an amazing steak dinner from a food truck at a brewery. I am still impressed with the experience, and I am so glad we stayed for steak. It’s a good reminder that sometimes we’ve got to chuck the plan, and believe me, I occasionally need this reminder.
Chef Harvey visited our table to see how it all tasted. His genuine interest in our thoughts really meant a lot to me because it signified that he cared.
By the way, Chef Harvey had no idea who I was until we said goodbye and I gave him a HeidiTown sticker right before we drove away. He would have treated anyone exactly the way he treated us and we felt like royalty, a King and Queen full of steak and beer.