Rodeo, New Mexico
February 27, 2005
We ordered a couple of amber beers and took a look at the menu. We didn’t get further than the very first thing on the appetizer list because it sounded so good: Ozark Mountain of Nachos. "Tri-colored tortilla chips beneath an avalanche of refried beans, onions, tomatoes, cheddar and jack cheese, and jalapeno peppers." Our waitress showed us with her hands that the plate was truly of mountainous proportions, so we didn’t even order the optional chicken fajita slices on top. About halfway through our beers, the steaming nachos in all their splendor arrived and we dug in. Just the right amount and proportion of everything left us feeling quite satisfied, adding a couple more beers before finishing. Cost: $7.50 for the Mountain, $12 for the four Amber Bocks.
Balcony Bar and Restaurant’s menu deserved more attention than we gave it, though. We don’t follow any rules about menus, primarily heeding our hunger and respecting our budget. Although Bob’s and my taste in foods differ to some degree, we can almost always find menu items appealing to us both. Sharing meals does the double duty of saving money and avoiding "doggie bags," a nuisance to carry when on foot. That said, Balcony Bar’s wild mushroom soup by the bowl or cup, coming with bread sticks, sounds particularly good to me. Under salads, Elise’s Swiss Melody with baked brie cheese topped with raspberry sauce and served with fresh seasonal fruit is an intriguing selection. There is a good selection of burgers and sandwiches, which includes the natural veggie burger and fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The well-rounded dinner menu had 10 entrées (including baby-back ribs and steak, a couple of Bob’s favorites) and four desserts.
With our hunger (and thirst) quenched, we set out to explore the hotel. The restaurant also contains a fully stocked bar and cozy indoor dining with a fireplace in one corner. In the ancient-looking elevator, we pressed Rooftop Billiards, 6th floor. A vast light room with shiny hardwood floors, chandeliers, and innumerable windows in colored glass panes greeted us. It looked like more of a venue for conferences or weddings than billiards. A most curious sight awaited us downstairs in the lobby, which we’d rushed through on our way up to eat. A futuristic-looking time capsule of stainless steel cores sits in one corner, created in celebration of the new millennium in 2000, due to be opened in 2100.
From journal Ozark Surprise: Eureka Springs, Arkansas