Sunday, February 20, 2011

Best of Pueblo ~ Coyote Grille

The Nature Center

One of my favorite places to go has always been the Pueblo Raptor and Nature Center down by the Arkansas River.  I fell in love with The Nature Center when Jim and I were dating.  Early in our dating life, I was still living in Colorado Springs, when he took me for a romantic stroll along the Arkansas River one Sunday afternoon in late fall of 1991.  After our stroll, I remember sitting in the warm sun on a log under the beautiful gold colored cottonwood trees and watching people enjoy biking, running, and walking along the path next to the river.  In other spots, people were fishing either from the shore or in the river itself.   I found myself thinking, I like this place.  No, really, I love this place.  I can see me living in Pueblo and enjoying this setting for many years to come.

Now, the Nature Center just got better.  Have any of you been down to the cafe/restaurant since it is now under the management of Jim Beatty?  If not, you should enjoy a wonderful meal at Coyote Grille as soon you can.  I guarantee you will put it at the top of your list of "places to go" for good food, ambiance, and friendly service.  I don't want to sound like I work for Jim Beatty, or the Chamber of Commerce, but really, I just don't know where you can go for a better setting that offers fabulous than the Coyote Grille.
Jim Beatty

Chips & Salsa
Coyote Grille
Let me tell you just a little bit about the owner/operator of this venture first.  We were first introduced to Jim Beatty's food at a graduation party four or five years ago.  Actually, my husband Jim fell in love with Jim B's food when he first bit into a tortilla chip that he had dipped in amazing salsa.  Before long, he was also raving about the guacamole. Now in Pueblo, there are a lot of places to buy great chips and salsa, but in my husband's mind (and mine) you can't beat Jim Beatty's.  These chips are served hot and fresh and are made from homemade flour tortillas.  The salsa is also made from scratch.  I honestly don't know where you can get better chips and salsa.

Jim Beatty's Catering Company
Classic Catering

Jim enjoying a taste of the good food
Jim serving food to the grandkids
When it became time to have Jim's retirement party, we decided to have Jim Beatty's catering company, Classic Catering,  cater the family party.  When you have a blended family of eight children, their spouses, and seventeen grandchildren, you cater.  Anyway, I do.

 The food that was served that day was a huge hit with everyone!  We were thrilled with the food, the cost and service.  All these things helped make our day special.  We didn't have to worry about anything except enjoying our family and celebrating the milestone of Jim's retirement.

Coyote Grille
5220 Nature Center Rd.
Pueblo, CO 81003

We were thrilled when we heard that Jim Beatty had taken over the management of the Coyote Grille.  Yesterday, my husband suggested that we go to the Nature Center so we could check out Jim's new venture, eat some lunch, and go for a walk.  As soon as we arrived at my favorite dining location, I was excited to see so much life.  Folks were sitting outside on the patio of the cafe enjoying the sun, the view, and the food.  Many were dressed as if they had just stopped in to eat after a bike ride or a walk.  
After entering Coyote Grille, we noticed that a number of people were also enjoying their dining experience inside.  Once inside of the Grille, we saw friends and stopped to chat before selecting a perfectly situated table in front of the large windows.  This allowed us to feel connected to the patio and look out to the river.  This particular table was also placed next to the warm, inviting fire that was burning the southwestern style fireplace.  Talk about great ambiance!
We had a hard time selecting from the menu because there were so many delicious sounding items.

We both decided on the dish above.  This was no ordinary burger!  The meat was good, as good as I've ever had anywhere.  The bun is homemade.  The burger is topped with onions, Pueblo peppers, and cream cheese.  (I passed on the cream cheese.)  The chips are hand sliced and made fresh.  The side relish featured some sort of wonderful tasting pickled red onion.  (I think that is what it is.)  Just as we'd been warned by our friends who were eating there, we found the servings to be large.  We both ate every last bite despite the size!

Jim with the manager
A former SHS student
daughter of a faculty member
We decided to go back to Coyote Grille for lunch today.  I didn't have a camera yesterday, and I wanted to get some pictures for my blog.  When I asked Jim Beatty if he minded if I wrote about his new venture in my blog, he said, "I'll have to think about that...for about two seconds. Yes, feel free to write away."  

While studying the menu yesterday, we both wanted to try the quiche and the three bean soup.  Guess what we ordered today?  Those who know me, know that my favorite place for quiche is at Wooglins in Colorado Springs.  I have long maintained that Wooglins has the best quiche around.  That is, until I tasted the quiche at Coyote Grille.  I now have a new favorite place for quiche.

Jim had the spinach quiche and the three bean soup.  I tasted it, and it was very good.  I had the green salad which was also very good.  The salad was set apart from ordinary green salads by the addition of those yummy red onions and rye bread croutons.  

If you are looking for a great spot for some delicious food, remember to stop by and see Jim Beatty and his great staff at Coyote Grille.  Tell him I sent you.

For my friends who don't live in Pueblo, I'm attaching some photos shot at the Nature Center and the cafe this past December when we took our international students there for a Christmas Party.  (The cafe was under different management then.)  I want you to see the setting that I enjoy so much.  As you can see it is dry in this part of the country, but I think it has its own unique beauty.
Photo's of Previous Visits
Some of the international students, staff and tutors
Nature Center - Arkansas River in background

International Program Christmas Lunch
Nature Center - 2010

Jeanne & Sally
in front of cafe at Nature Center
Wind swept xeriscape grass
at the Nature Center Garden
Backside of Coyote Grille
Structure near Coyote Grille
Bringing Home a Bit of Pueblo's Best
Coyote Grille

Before we left the Coyote Grille today, we bought a homemade cookie and a cherry turnover for our snack for this evening.  I think I'll go make a cup of tea for hubby and me and enjoy the treat we brought home.