1393 N. Highway 191 (just north of town) (435) 259-5201.
Dinner is served nightly starting
at 5:30, reservations accepted and Take-Out is available.
Thanksgiving Dinner will be served
on November 27, from 3:30 to 8:00 p.m. (Reservations
required) and is $19.95 for adults, $12.95 for kids.
The usual images associated
with Thanksgiving are warm thoughts of family gathering
around mounds of mashed potatoes, roast turkey, savory gravy
and spiced pumpkin pie. The downside, of course, is mounds
of dirty dishes, crowded grocery stores and hours of prep
time making the copious traditional meal. For those would-be
cooks of Thanksgiving dinner who are awaiting the holiday
with mixed anticipation, buck up! Or better yet, get up
Chef Tim Buckingham of Buck’s Grill House is once
again increasing Moab’s fine cuisine options. His
restaurant is serving a traditional Thanksgiving menu this
November 27. Bucks is making it possible for the entire
family, Mom included, to enjoy a sumptuous holiday feast
of roast fresh turkey or glazed ham, home-made soup or chowder,
stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberry chutney without
the traditional mess and fuss.
Thanksgiving is not the only occasion that warrants a trip
to Bucks, on the other hand. Just about any special circumstance-a
first date, a birthday celebration, a desire to treat yourself
to good food-makes eating refined southwestern cuisine at
this moderately-priced restaurant worthwhile.
Considering Buckingham’s impressive vitae as both
a chef and restaurateur, of which he is both at Buck’s,
diners at his current place are getting a real bargain while
getting a chance to sample authentic southwestern and Mexican
dishes tailored to refined palates.
A native of Moab, Buckingham grew up during the uranium
boom, but found himself drawn to a very different career
path. He quickly realized that he wanted to turn his interest
in cooking into more than a hobby and moved to Santa Barbara
to attend a two-year culinary program.
California turned out to be a good choice of locale in which
to embark on his kitchen pursuits. Buckingham worked under
various experienced chefs during a revolutionary time for
California cooking, and he found himself “learning
so much more after school had ended.” His experience
includes working at the first-class San Ysidro Ranch, where
he cooked for celebrities such as Robert Mitchum, Bette
Davis and Mick Jagger.
obviously proved his mettle and became the executive chef
at a reputable California-style bistro, The Wine Cask. Under
this guise, he earned the distinguished honor of being rated
by The Food and Wine Companion as one of the top ten “New
American Star Chefs,” which praised his dishes as,
“delicately prepared, yet flavors are robust.”
Eager to return to his hometown to raise his son in the
spectacular outdoors he’d grown up enjoying, Buckingham
returned to Moab in 1991, just as the area was becoming
discovered as a vacation destination. He opened The Center
Cafe, a highly rated restaurant specializing in haute cuisine
which still exists today under new chefs and owners. Although
maintaining such an elegant restaurant in a town still pulling
out of an economic slump was touch-and-go at first, The
Center Cafe eventually caught on.
By 1995, Buckingham was eager to start a new endeavor with
what he describes as “a more widespread appeal.”
He sold The Center Cafe and took the opportunity of buying
Buck’s current location, which was property settled
in 1898 as part of a ranch. He envisioned Buck’s Grill
House as fine dining western-style, hence the restaurant’s
motto “Feed Your Spirit.” Buckingham describes
his place as “keeping the quality of the dining high
but offering it at a more medium price range,” which
sums up Buck’s appeal.
Buck’s opened in the spring of 1996 and has been providing
dressed-up, homemade southwestern cuisine ever since. Everything,
from the bread to the sauces, is made from scratch in Buckingham’s
kitchen. Most of the dishes are his own creation, with certain
exceptions like the Machacha Beef Tacos, which are slow
cooked, shredded and air dried with spices and served in
an adobo sauce-an authentic recipe he learned from the Mexicans
he cooked with in California.
a chef, Buckingham likes to take traditional fare and put
a twist to it that enlivens it without engulfing the original
appeal of the dish. For example, his Elk Stew is slow cooked
and tastes like an elegant blend of game meat, root vegetables,
cabbage, fennel and beets. The dish is a notch above the
usual while still retaining all of the wholesomeness and
comfort one associates with stew. He tops his Blackened
Utah Trout with mango ginger marmalade, his Cowboy Pork
Chop with barbeque butter and his Roasted Game Hen with
roasted tomato garlic butter to add a deeper dimension to
Buckingham has also kept his menu interesting for non-meat
eaters. He creates excitement in his vegetarian dishes the
same way as he does with the meat ones, by adding unexpected
but inviting ingredients to traditional recipes. His Vegetable
Enchilada incorporates feta cheese in with the black beans
and adobo sauce. A refreshing cilantro pesto wakes up his
Southwest Pasta dish of linguini tossed with grilled vegetables.
Even the desserts at Buck’s exhibit this fine tuning
of Buckingham’s. The offerings include Port Flan and
Bourbon Pecan Pie, tempting both for their decadence and
enticing marriage of flavors.
Thanksgiving dinner at Buck’s promises to blend traditional
with sophisticated, true to Buckingham’s form. You
don’t have to cook, clean and shop for a sumptuous,
homemade meal this November. If the thought of piled-high
dishes in the sink is getting you down, buck up. Simply
pick up the phone and make reservations at Buck’s
so that everyone in the family can enjoy the holiday.
Buck’s Grill House is located at 1393 N. Highway 191
(just north of town) and can be reached at (435) 259-5201.
Dinner is served nightly starting at 5:30, reservations
accepted and Take-Out is available. Thanksgiving Dinner
will be served on November 27, from 3:30 to 8:00 p.m. (Reservations
required) and is $19.95 for adults, $12.95 for kids.
Buck’s Grill House
Makes One 9-inch pie
traditional pumpkin pies have a soggy crust. In
this version, prebaking the pie shell before filling
it remedies the problem. For a truly spirited
pumpkin pie, add up to 2 tablespoons of either
rum or brandy to the filling.
1 3/4 cups canned pumpkin (pureed) OR 1 3/4 cups
pumpkin (fresh, well-drained puree)
1 3/4 cups milk
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
fresh ground nutmeg (optional)
Sweetened Whipped Cream (optional)
Heat oven to 450°.
Using your favorite pie dough recipe, line a 9-inch
pie tin with the dough and crimp the edges. Prick
the bottom and sides of the pastry with a fork.
Line the pastry with double thickness of aluminum
Bake in a preheated oven until the pastry begins
to brown, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375°??remove
the aluminum foil, and continue to bake unitl
the crust is lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Reduce heat to 350°. For the filling, melt
the butter. In a large bowl, combine butter, ppumpkin,
milk, eggs, brown sugar, spices, and salt. Pour
the filling into the prebaked pastry shell. Bake
pie in preheated oven until a knife inserted in
the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes.
Pie can be baked several hours ahead.