always hear about those people who leave home to study,
travel, or make it big in their selected profession and
then eventually return to their roots where they find true
happiness. Tim Buckingham, owner of Bucks Grill House
is one of those people.
RECIPE OF THE MONTH
Bucks Grill House
Bucks BBQ Cowboy
1 small oniondiced
1 6 oz can tomato paste
½ c molasses
½ c Worcestershire sauce
2 TBS Liquid Smoke
2 TBS Tabasco
1 lb butter room temperature
Sauté bacon until browned.
Add onion and sauté until soft. Add remaining
ingredients except butter. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and blend in food processor
while still hot. Add butter a little at a time
until blended. Do not over blend.
Great on top of grilled steak
or pork chops!
Born and raised in Moab, Tim left his
birthplace in 1984 to travel to California and attend culinary
school. He worked at several restaurants honing his skills
and learning how to prepare and present upscale California
foods. After six years, he decided to relocate to Salt Lake
City, open a restaurant and show off his skills in a kitchen
of his own, but he took one look at Salt Lake and knew he
couldnt do it.
I still loved Moab. Id been
coming back all along to visit my mom and I suddenly knew
this was where I wanted to open my restaurant, says
When he opened the Center Café
in 1991 he brought something new to the dining experience
I served California-type cuisine using only the freshest
ingredients served bistro-style. Moab didnt have anything
like that in 1991, explains Tim.
first year was hard and somewhat frightening as people began
slowly trying this new restaurant. But after the first year,
his reputation grew and it became a favorite of locals,
visitors, and film crews who were, at that time, frequently
shooting movies in Moab. For four years the small Center
Café could be seen crowded with people enjoying Tims
creations. Then another idea struck him: to buy his own
building, expand, change his menu to something more regional
and western. To buy a building and more than double, indeed
nearly quadruple, the size of your restaurant, was a bold
move, but Tim did it. He purchased the old Sundowner restaurant
on north Main Street in 1995, sold the Center Café
to former employee Paul McCarroll, and thus, Bucks
Grill House was born. The name Buck is an old
family nickname of his grandpa who himself was an old West
I wanted to try something different, again,
says Tim. I was looking for homey, western cuisine
but more updated using grilled meats, game, fresh fish,
and some unusual southwest flavors. I try to use regional
foods and local ingredients as much as possible.
His buffalo meatloaf, one of the favorite entrees on the
menu, uses buffalo raised nearby in Colorado. Whenever he
can, he gets his ingredients from Utah and Colorado suppliers
to keep his western theme authentic. Other entrees include
roasted whole game hen with roasted tomato butter, pork
chops or grilled steaks cowboy style, cut thick
and heaped with barbecue butter. The menu also features
several decidedly southwestern entrees with a twist.
For example, you wont find duck tamales on many menus
throughout Utah, nor will buffalo chorizo tacos be easy
to track down.
The log restaurant is decorated warmly with lots of wood,
western paraphernalia and art by local cowboy artist, Pete
Plastow. Each year the restaurant changes in character ever
so subtly, but coming months will bring the biggest changes.
Were putting in an outdoor dining area with
a waterfall and a creek trickling by, and eventually we
will enclose the front porch to make dining there cool and
quiet, says Tim.
The menu for Bucks says feed your spirit.
Lucky for Moab that Tim Buckingham decided to return to
his roots and feed the folks who call Moab home along with
those fortunate enough to visit our small paradise. Indeed,
our bodies and spirits are fed well by Bucks Grill
House. Thanks for coming home, Tim.
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