800 Main Street, Ouray, 970/325-7273
When taking in the scenic beauty of the San Juan Mountains or after a winter or summer excursion into those mountains, sometimes you just need an unpretentious hideout where you can grab a beer or a drink and some simple, yet satisfying American fare at a reasonable price. If you are in Ouray, the Goldbelt Bar & Grill is this place.
While the Goldbelt has been a Ouray mainstay over the years, the restaurant recently went under new ownership. Grab a seat at one of the many tables in the large, open dining room that’s surrounded by windows. Or grab a seat at the long Western-style bar. Either way, the Goldbelt is a place for kids and adults alike. And because the menu remains simple, patrons of all ages won’t have to look far for a favorite.
With dough kneaded daily and housemade sauce, the Goldbelt is all about the pizza. Because it’s made-to-order hot and fresh, patience, as they say, is a virtue. It takes a little extra time to turn these 12-inch and 16-inch pizzas out. As for toppings, there’s nothing too unfamiliar to be found. Go for a classic pepperoni ($15/$19), a meat special that’s loaded with Italian sausage crumbles, Canadian bacon and pepperoni ($16/$21).
If you are one for fruit on your pizza, they offer a traditional Hawaiian pie ($18/$22). If you are one who wants everything on a pizza, go with the “scrumptious” supreme ($18/$22). It’s loaded with the works including sausage, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, bell peppers, tomatoes, black olives, mushrooms, onions, and garlic.
For those who don’t do gluten, the Goldbelt offers personal-size gluten-free pizzas ranging from $8 to $10. The gluten-free crust came highly recommended from a colleague who knows that gluten-free baking can be no easy task.
She also recommended the deep fried zucchini starter ($8). They come with a side of homemade ranch dressing for dipping. Other meal starters include 10 hot or barbecue wings ($12), sweet potato fries ($6) and chicken finger strips ($7).
A menu of American favorites would not be complete without a great burger and the Goldbelt serves them up one half-pound patty at a time. A single goes for $9 and a double, a full pound of meat, goes for $13. Top it the way you like it with a variety of cheeses, including habanero Jack, for $.75 and add bacon, avocado, jalapenos, mushrooms or grilled onions for $1 each.
You may notice a large barbecue smoker outside on the porch releasing wonderful scents of smoked meats. A specialty at the Goldbelt is its pulled pork sandwich ($9). The pork is smoked on site, pulled and then mixed with its signature barbecue sauce. If you like a barbecue sandwich that’s both sweet and tangy, this is it. Other sandwiches include a Philly served on a savory focaccia bread with provolone cheese ($10), a Reuben ($10), and a BLT ($7).
Wraps including a chicken avocado ($9.50), a chicken Caesar ($9.50) and a chicken bacon ($9.50) are also available.
The menu for both lunch and dinner is the same at the Goldbelt but be sure to check the board for lunch and dinner specials. On this Friday night, smoked ribs were being served with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy. It was yet another example of what the Goldbelt does best. Familiar food, served in an unpretentious atmosphere.
GET A DOG: If you are like me, anytime meat in any tube form shows up on a menu, it must be tried. The Goldbelt has a foot-long coney served with curly fries for $6, a chili-cheese dog smothered in homemade chili for $8 and an onion ring dog that’s smothered in chili, cheese and then topped with beer battered onion rings for $8.99. How could you go wrong?
DESSERT: Like the lunch and dinner specialties, pay special attention to the Goldbelt’s dessert of the day, like a caramel torte à la mode.
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.