565 Mountain Village Blvd., Mountain Village, 970/728-7467
Named after one of Telluride’s richest gold mines in the late 1890s, the Tomboy Tavern, located in Mountain Village at the base of Lift 4, has plenty of riches all its own.
Outside beneath a gigantic yellow umbrella, it offers a European-style beer garden and full bar. Inside, it’s a rustic mine-like setting with another large bar, plenty of tables, TVs and a few comfortable couches.
Whether you’re inside or out, the Tomboy Tavern is first and foremost the place in Mountain Village for après ski. For libations, the emphasis is on local. There are plenty of local and Colorado brews on tap, all at affordable prices. Cocktail? The Tomboy Tavern features spirits from the Palisade, Colo. Peachstreet Distillers. Try a Kentucky Mule made with Peachstreet Colorado straight bourbon, lime juice and ginger beer ($9).
Once the head is straight, move right onto Tomboy Tavern’s impressive lunch menu that features unique gastropub fare that easily fills a hunger created from a day on the mountain. For lunch, two specialties of the house include a chicken pot pie ($14) and grilled shrimp tacos ($12). The chicken pot pie is loaded with fire-roasted chicken, carrots, celery, peas and onions, smothered in mushroom cream. The shrimp tacos feature pickled radishes and tomatillo-cilantro slaw.
The pork schnitzel stack ($13) is gigantic. A soft pretzel bun is loaded with pretzel-encrusted pork loin, stone-ground mustard slaw, red apple onion relish, pickles and jack cheese. It’s the sandwich dreams are made of.
Another sandwich option worth diving into is the tavern’s French Dip ($12) that’s made with shaved ribeye, caramelized onions, loads of melted Gruyere cheese, all on a hoagie roll that when dipped in French onion jus makes for a perfectly soggy bite, the way a French dip is supposed to be.
While the flavors in these sandwiches are bold enough to stand on their own, perhaps the centerpiece to any lunch is Tomboy Tavern’s truffle fries, which are an upgrade to any sandwich for $2. Served in a seemingly bottomless stainless steel bucket, these fries are tossed with truffle oil, and topped with Parmesan cheese, parsley, rosemary and thyme. You’ll thank yourself for upgrading to these fries – and curse the one you’re with who didn’t.
For those who are really, really hungry, go with one of Tomboy’s burgers made with a blend of ground brisket, chuck and short rib. The Tavern Cheese Burger ($12) is made with N.Y. Black Wax cheddar. The G$ Burger ($14) has it all with bacon, avocado, jack cheese and a roasted poblano pepper. All burgers can be ordered “grande” for an additional $2.
Kids can find satisfaction at the tavern as well. On this particular Saturday, one youngster dove into a generous serving of mac and cheese with a side of fries. There’s also Roast Your Own S’mores ($5) that are great for kids as well.
If you find yourself après skiing into the dinner hours, you can still get most of the tavern’s lunch menu items, along with some dinner specialties including a dry-rubbed flat-iron steak ($22), buffalo bangers and mash ($18) made with locally sourced Colorado bratwurst, garlic mashed potatoes and gravy.
For more local fare, there’s elk Bolognese ($18) made with locally sourced elk, fresh tomato sauce, Rigatoni Pasta and finished with Colorado goat cheese.
Lunch, dinner, and most especially après ski, the Tomboy Tavern has the culinary riches to make a history all its own.
CHUCK’S SPECIALTY: There are few places to taste Telluride Ski and Golf Co. owner Chuck Horning’s famous chili. Tomboy Tavern is one of them. Grab a bowl that’s topped with extra sharp cheddar, red onions, sour cream and served with jalapeno corn bread ($8). You can also find his chili on top of the San Juan Nachos ($12) made with kettle chips, cheddar cheese sauce, pico de gallo and sour cream.
DESSERT: Try sharing an apple cobbler ($7) or a giant seven layer chocolate cake ($9).
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.