Established 1893. The Buckhorn Exchange

On our quest to Date America, we decided to be sure that we try the signature dishes in each state we visit (sorry Kansas–not coming your way). One of Colorado’s signature dishes is, none other than, the Rocky Mountain Oyster.

Rocky Mountain oysters are skinned bull testicles that are breaded and fried. Sometimes, like in our case, they are also pounded flat before the frying. We were offered cocktail sauce, ketchup and mustard as dipping sauces. A single bull testicle contains about 26 grams of protein, and very little fat. Plus, testicles are naturally rich in zinc, an immune-system booster…could they become the next SuperFood?!

I assumed that they would come in pairs. Alas, I was wrong. We got a basket full o’testicles for our nibbling pleasure.

The Oldest Restaurant in Denver

In any case, we decided to head to the Buckhorn Exchange to get our testicles. They are the finest purveyor of the Rocky Mountain Oyster AND the oldest restaurant in Denver. We were sold.

It opened in 1893 by none other than one of Buffalo Bill’s scouts, nicknamed Zietz by Chief Sitting Bull. Zietz picked the location as it was right across from the train station and, gosh, wouldn’t folks like a nice meal after traveling from spots across the country? Ziets was also an avid hunter and taxidermist. Can you guess what adorns every last inch of wall at the Buckhorn Exchange? Yes, you will be watched by many eyes as you eat your testicles, including a canoe full of stuffed racoons.

If taxidermy and testicles, with a side of 1900’s hypermasculinity aren’t your thing…consider skipping this iconic Denver institution. If you are game (get it?), go for the Rocky Mountain Oysters, a drink, and enjoy dinner elsewhere (like maybe the Truffle Table!!!)

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