Just north of Durango on 550 (Million Dollar Highway), this place is open Saturday's only in May then also during the week when the weather is more predictable into the summer.
Absolutely worth the stop if you're just riding by and a MUST stop if you are staying in the area.
This family owned and run enterprise has been in Durango for more than 50 years. The James parents raised 5 children here and all of them have come home to work separate enterprise sections of the farming. This is a true local success story in my book! The siblings individually support enterprises in the raising of organic chickens and eggs, organic farming, a farm to table family run grill where you can get the hands down best burger in the area, organic milk production from which they make their cheese and more!
We had already planned to stop in today to check out their meat, eggs and cheeses for sale in their market. This morning a neighbor in the RV park suggested we might enjoy having lunch there - that was their plan for after errands. With that recommendation in mind, we ran our other errands and stopped in to see what was what.
The Ranch provides information to allow for self guided tours. The market sells all manner of fresh frozen grass fed organic beef, sausages, 'dogs', etc. as well as fresh brown and green eggs, home made cheeses and more. We perused the items at the market and then sat down to lunch at one of the picnic tables provided. What a fantastic view we had out across the valley, the meadows where their cows were grazing and the mountains in the background!
For lunch I couldn't make up my mind. The signature burger looked amazing...but then so did the 'inside out' grilled cheese sandwich with carmelized onions. Wanting both I took the high road and ordered a kid's sized burger and a kid's sized 1/2 inside out sandwich. i was NOT disappointed! The burger was juicy and more flavorful than any I can recall. Perfectly sized at 3 oz. and cooked just this side of medium it was garnished with my choice of garlic mayo, lettuce, caramelized onions and a grating of James Ranch cheese. The inside out sandwich was grilled heaven! gooey cheese melted inside the bread with my choice of additional caramelized onions was made that much better by the caramelized cheese on the OUTSIDE of the 2 pcs of bread. Hubby had the steak sandwich and said it was fantastic...must have been cuz he didn't so much as offer me a nibble. LOL
We also enjoyed conversations with 2 of the James girls today and learned a lot about the ranch and the business. Wish we lived nearby as we'd support this place heavily!
the durango dogs we bought at the market will be part of dinner tonight - going along with my red beans and rice. betting they'll be as yummy as everything else we enjoyed here.
NOTE: no alcohol is sold onsite so if you've gotta have a beer with your burger you're kinda out of luck. if my hearing was correct as we were leaving there was discussing about getting their license to allow sales of beer but that would be in the future. I can just see (taste) having a Durango Brewing Company Wheat Beer with a Signature Burger or Steak Sandwich!
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