Food options in the park range from light fare to gourmet meals. There is a snack bar at Wetherill Mesa; cafes at Spruce Tree Terrace and Morefield Campground; and restaurants at Far View Terrace and Far View Lodge. The Metate Room Restaurant is reported to be especially good. I opted for a restaurant in Cortez that was much better than the crappy motel.
Favorite Dish: The Shrimp Scampi at Nero's in Cortez was excellent.
Main Street Brewing sounded promising, being owned by a Munich transfer to Colorado. We stopped in Cortez en route from Arches National Park in Utah and Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado. While it's only about 15 minutes to the park's entrance, it's another 30 from there to the campground and the sites a bit further still. Hence, the stop on the way. It would have to be pretty damn good to come back out and that was not the case.
Right on the very old town USA Main St. of Cortez, the brewpub looks like a real throwback with lots of memorabilia in the storefront windows. It was icy cold when we arrived, perfect for the hot dry climate of Cortez though we'd find it quite chilly up at the higher elevations fo the park later that night.
Favorite Dish: We sat at the long bar and since we'd just eaten a good size picnic lunch on our way, relegated our tastings to the beer. We did scan the menu and saw nothing super enticing. The beer would have to be the reason for a repeat visit from the campground and what followed did not in any way do that. Just to note, my wife is German and we have traveled extensively sampling the beers of her home country. Most of the beers at Main St. are in the Germanic styles.
First up we tried the Über Pils which in no way was Über or over hopped. It was more like a Corona and quite light.
The Pale Bock boasted to be a Maibock, one of my favorite styles in Munich. It was appropriately light amber with a dense creamy head. The palate was a good mix of malt and hops. The finish while not exactly cloying but was not really as clean as one would expect of a good German Maibock. At 6%, it was a fair representation of the style but obviously this brewer didn't work at Häcker Pschor in Munich either.
The Schnorzenboomer Dopplebock at 7.8% was dark with a creamy head. Dried fruit and big malty palate was balanced by some roasty bitterness with hops in the finish. It had a cleaner finish than the Maibock but something was still missing.
We moved onto their non-Germanic styles. The Porter had unusual butterscotch notes and was on the sweet side. The finish was again unsure. The Rasberry Wheat was lacking any real fruity flavors but wasn't overly sweet as can be a problem with such beers in the US. The Pale Export was an easy drinking balanced beer. It was smooth with a creamy head but lacked the kind of finish you'd expect of a German brewer.
We were polite to the bartender who was excited that “we” were from Germany and insisted we come back in the evening when the brewer would be around. We didn't think that would be a great idea considering we were none too enamored with his beer. If you love beer, it's worth a stop if in the area but I would not go out of my way.
A place from where it is good to start your day in exploring cliff dwellings. For only about $6 without tax you will have 2-3 pancaces with 2 sausages. By the way, pancakes were good. I was also surprised how strong coffee was, it was good to know. Cafe opens at 7 am, and there were already a line.
Favorite Dish: Pancakes