Warning: Viewer Discretion is Advised
It’s an end of an era.
Our cars are no longer strutting their stuff with Michigan plates.
We’ve had our Colorado driver’s licence for a couple of months now but we’ve hesitated to switch our car license plates until a few days ago. Partly because we’ve had other things occupying our time (read: testing out Denver’s infamous craft beer scene) and partly because Colorado enjoys annoying new residents with jumping through hoops to get your car plated (read: your car has to pass emissions testing).
Emissions testing is a normal thing for many people in the U.S. but for us coming from Michigan, it was a completely new experience. Our Pontiac actually failed during the first test but fortunately, we simply needed to replace the gas cap. The Subaru we recently purchased IN Colorado is a different story (one that I won’t bother to bore you with on here).
So, with getting our cars plated, we have officially cut all legal residence to Michigan.
Michigan will forever reside in our hearts.
Nevertheless, it’s still an end to an era.
To commemorate becoming Coloradans, we decided to indulge in a delicacy of the American West. When I picture age-old traditions of Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, anywhere in the Rocky Mountain region really, I picture them set within expansive, beautiful ranches. Ones where cowboys herd cattle while the burnt orange sunrise illuminates a commanding stretch of jagged mountains in the background. The hay covered fields are only interrupted with dry stream beds and properties are separated by rickety fences that can’t even hold in a prairie dog.
We now know that ALSO ingrained in that Rocky Mountain tradition is the consumption of cattle (the ones pleasantly referenced above) beyond their beef and milk. This means eating Rocky Mountain Oysters.
Read: Bull Testicles.
You read that right… bull testicles.
Let that sink in… bull testicles.
These tasty testes are oftentimes coated in flour, salt and pepper and deep fried. This puts them in the same category as fried chicken, right? As you can imagine, bull balls can be… how do you put it… large. Seemingly larger than your newborn baby’s head.
Sorry for that.
That’s a truly terrible comparison.
Let’s just say they are massive. More than one bite’s worth. Fortunately, the restaurant we decided to “treat” ourselves to balls at sliced them paper thin. So this:
Turned into this:
Almost as entertaining as the Rocky Mountain Oysters was the restaurant in which we chose to eat them. The Buckhorn Exchange was built in 1893 and is dubbed Denver’s Oldest Restaurant. We only had drinks and appetizers but a quick glance at the dinner menu shows an eclectic mix of wild game – buffalo, elk, quail, and Cornish game hen are all readily available.
We took pleasure in some buffalo sausage to accompany our bull testicles – only fitting, right?
The dining hall is not for those faint of heart. It is believed that the original owner worked as a hunting guide for Teddy Roosevelt. I guess that would explain this:
Our favorite part of the whole experience was sitting at the bar. Not just for the $10 scotch Rob drank, or whatever it was that I drank (I guess it did it’s job then), but for the entertainment. Our bartender was top-notch and spouted out what seemed like the entire history of the restaurant, quizzed us with trivia games (of which we lost terribly), and had us laughing like drunk sorority girls all night (sorry, Rob).
The white oak bar is original to the restaurant dating back to 1857 when the founding family brought it over from their family tavern in Essen, Germany. Unfortunately, if you look close enough, you will see some deep indents in the general vicinity where you would set down your drinks. The story goes, once upon a time, the founding owner’s came upon a piece of petrified wood that appeared to be an exact replica of a GIANT penis. He would tell his customers if you acted like one, you would get hit with one. Apparently, he had a few of those customers. You know those types, right? The ones you wish he would’ve aimed straight for the head rather than messing around with the hands. That’s boring business.
Alright. Now that I have diverted your attention away from Rocky Mountain Oysters, this is the point where I bring you back: