626 On Rood – A Restaurant Review
On an unassuming stretch of city street in downtown Grand Junction, Colorado, lies a little corner of foodie and wine drinking happiness. 626 On Rood may not look like a food and wine destination on the outside, but inside you quickly realize you’re palate is in for an exceptional experience.
626 On Rood: The Food
Local is a theme throughout the dining experience here. From the local beers, wines and spirits, to the beef, herbs and home-made cheese, odds are something on every plate served has at least one item provided from a local farmer. 626 has its own garden on site, but in case that isn’t enough, most of the chefs keep their own gardens at home. This ensures more variety and tools for the chefs to play with when making their menu. They cut their own steaks on-site as well; any cuts remaining that aren’t big enough to be served are ground up and used in 626 On Rood’s “Hand Cut Burger of the Moment”.
As we were seated, our eyes went straight to the large basket of fresh heirloom tomatoes sitting on the bar. They were huge! Yellow and red beauties just waiting to be devoured. One of the first questions we asked was, “What are those served with?” The answer that beckoned us was the heirloom tomato salad. Those farm fresh tomatoes served with 626-grown basil, capers, house made mozzarella, and topped off with finishing salt. It was amazing, yes it’s simple, but most of the time those are the best dishes aren’t they. Honestly, when you decide to visit 626 on Rood, make sure you order this dish, and I don’t care what your plans are for the rest of the meal, just order the full order…don’t even mess around with the half order or you will be left wanting.
From the menu we decided to order the Crab and Shrimp Tacos: lump crab meat, tiger shrimp, marinated roasted tomatoes, Manchego cheese, blue corn tortillas, avocado, roja sauce, and The 626 Burger: pasture raised, grass-fed beef cooked to order, Dutch Beemster cheese, roasted garlic mayonnaise. Both meals were stunning, and this was just lunch! The crab and shrimp were perfectly cooked, the tortillas were warm and unbelievable, and the roja sauce brought everything together for a taste extravaganza. On the flip side, the burger was one of the best I’ve ever had. The garlic mayo had just the right amount of garlic flavor to it without overpowering anything else. The beef was tender, perfectly cooked and delicious, and the bun was big, soft, and held the burger together just how you hope it would. Additionally, they put some ginger slices on the burger. They added this wonderful slightly sweet kick to each bite that made this a truly unique burger.
626 On Rood: The Wine
Not to be outdone by the food menu, the wine list in and of itself is worth a trip to this destination. Sure, it has a number of the wine locations you’d expect; Napa, Burgundy, Châteauneuf du Pape, Piedmonte, etc. There are also wines from locations you usually just wish a wine bar would have. Alsace, France; Central Otega, New Zealand; even a Lebanese wine from the Bekaa valley that held its own with the other wines we tasted. Looking for something a little more bubbles? With about a dozen sparkling wines on the list, half of which are Grower Champagnes, there is something for every palate and budget on this menu.
For those that prefer to go “by the glass” you can order the usual glass, or there are half glasses, pichets (1.5 glass), or you can go with a wine flight. There are 11 different wine flights available to order, with a theme attached to each. Of course there is an all Colorado flight and several others that you would expect like flights from France, Spain and Italy. But there are also ones you may not expect such as the all rosé flight or the all Riesling flight. Since I was having a burger and fries I decided to go with the Spanish flight featuring a Grenache, a Monastrell and a Termpranillo.
If you are anywhere, and I mean ANYWHERE, near Grand Junction, Colorado, and are looking for great food, amazing wine and exceptional service, look no further than 626 On Rood. Set aside some time and be sure to enjoy everything this incredible restaurant has to offer.
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