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Slaton's Tejon Street Grill (Colorado Springs)
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 Posted: Tue Apr 17th, 2012 08:10 pm
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Vargr
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Slaton’s Tejon Street Grill  (http://www.rockymtnrg.com/slaytonsbbq )

 Wuff was planning on heading to one of his favorite NY-Style Deli’s, wandering up the street from the side-road parking place (Down town parking is always an issue on Tejon St). Suddenly, the alluring smell of hickory and apple wood smoke wafted though the air. Completely unexpected in the industrial, urban down-town venue, it immediately seized the wuff’s attention! Following his nose, Vargr spotted a tell-tale smokestack behind a line of ancient brick buildings. Closer examination revealed a very nice sized smoker, and the additional scents of chicken, beef, and pork mingling with the wood smoke.

This wuff immediately headed for the “customer side” street front of the ancient brick structure, and came upon a small storefront wedged in between two equally enticing restaurants. One was Vargr’s favorite Back East Deli (See prior review on the ‘piled high’ delectable deli sandwiches). Another was a very interesting-looking “fresh Mex” establishment called “Salsa Brava” (A return visit is definitely planned there!).

But the delectable scents of fresh off the pit BBQ drew the wuff to the store in the center: Slaton’s Tejon Street Grill and BBQ.  Inside revealed the shell of a very nicely restored red brick candy factory, dressed up with some high end yet subtle décor. Wuff and his friend arrived around 1PM, so we’d missed the lunch rush. It was quiet, with only a few other diners at the full service bar (see the picture on the web site). 

Service was immediate and friendly.  The menu was simple, but complete, and featured a good selection of appetizers, soups, salads, desserts, and of course, BBQ meats. The link to their web page will show the entire menu. Varg went for a full rack of St Luis ribs, and wuff’s friend had the 2-meat combo with brisket and pulled pork. Our server was happy to make a substitute of ‘onion straws’ for the fries that normally accompanied the ribs. Though they “straws” aren’t on the menu as a separate item, they’re featured with other dishes, and the kitchen and staff were happy to add those in this case at no additional cost. They also offer the more traditional onion rings, for folks who prefer that style, as well as sweet potato fries, fried okra or other substitutes for the French fries.

The platters arrived within minutes. Friend got two like piles of sliced or pulled meat, topped with sauce, and a half a plate of slim and crisp “shoe string” fries.  Wuff had two overlapping slabs ribs (about 12 bones) and a nice heap of straws. We also requested extra sides of their signature BBQ sauces; one “normal” and one “spicy”.

The brisket was sliced thin. Friend said he’d prefer a slightly thicker cut, but the beef was fork-tender, juicy, well-seasoned, with a strong smoky flavor. The pork was also tender, juicy, but just a bit tougher than the brisket. It had a distinctly different flavor from the brisket – perhaps due to different rubs and preparation techniques.

Wuff’s ribs had a surprisingly thick layer of meat on top of the bone. Nearly a half inch thick or more.  Fall off the bone tender, run down your paws juicy, and wonderful flavors! Absolutely delightful, and if you wanted to, you could eat this in “civilized” fashion with a fork, as the meat strips away so easily and is so tender and thick.

Their signature sauce is a very rich, savory, “KC” style with notes of molasses, lots of tomato base, and a nice sweet finish. Complex and robust, it went very well with all the selections, and also as a dipping sauce for the onion straws.

Their “spicy” sauce, unlike a lot of restaurant fare that takes a more reserved hand for tentative customers, truly deserves the moniker of “Spicy”.  It starts with an immediate, fragrant blast of cracked black pepper that hits the nose and tingles the tongue.  This is followed by the robust, complex flavors of their “normal” sauce, but with a stronger pepper and mustard note. Then it finishes with a substantial heat that grows like a 5-alarm chili on the mouth and tongue after you swallow. It’s not enough to send one grabbing for the water glass, but it will definitely leave a sheen of sweat on the forehead and a bit of a runny nose. Vargr gives both enthusiastic thumbs-ups!

The restaurant also features an exclusive “Private Lounge” upstairs with leather couches and room for up to 70 folks. Perfect for gatherings, meetings, and parties.  They also offer “to go” items by the pound, and party packages.

Prices are reasonable for a BBQ place, especially one in the busy and high-cost downtown area of town. For the two of us, with coffee and sweet tea for drinks, the total came to about $38  Vargr gives 4 out 5 paws up for price.  Food quality and portion size were both outstanding. 5 Paws up for food and flavor. Our server was attentive, very friendly and personable, willing to make menu substitutions, gave us a demo of that interesting mechanical wheel assembly on the wall (see the website photo), and explained some of the history of this special building.  A full 5-paws there too for service.  Atmosphere is comfortable, subtly plush, with true antique underpinnings.  Fitting for casual off-the street or important business meetings. 4 of 5 paws here.  Grand total – 5 PAWS.  And definitely on Vargr’s “will re-visit” list.

On interesting note: The restaurant, for all its antique foundations, has gone “high tech” for its customers.  A scan tag on the table display brought up a screen that said “Show this to your server for $5 off your total bill”!  Surprised our server and the day manager when Vargr showed them it, and they grinned and happily took 5 bucks off the wuffy’s bill and congratulated us for our awareness. The front door also has a much larger scan tag, suitably sized for view by those walking down the sidewalk. It links your smart phone to the restaurant’s website (same as the one linked above). A nice touch for tech-savvy folks.

If you’re visiting CO Springs and doing business downtown, and have a hankering for delicious, tender, and meaty ribs, try the St. Luis Ribs here and you won’t go wrong! The other menu items look equally delicious, but only additional trips and trials will confirm that.



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 Posted: Wed Apr 18th, 2012 11:31 pm
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Melchar
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        [sighs, wipes off drool]  You make me want to go to the wilds of Colorado, Wuffie!

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 Posted: Thu Apr 19th, 2012 01:33 am
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Vargr
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Melchar wrote:         [sighs, wipes off drool]  You make me want to go to the wilds of Colorado, Wuffie!

Well, 'tis a nice enough place to visit. *grins*



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 Posted: Wed Sep 12th, 2012 12:12 am
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Vargr
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Sadly, this wuff must report that Slayton's has closed as of 30 June 2012. No more good eats from this place.



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 Posted: Wed Sep 12th, 2012 03:12 am
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gilrandir
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Lot of that going around. :(

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