a true southwestern culinary experience, Buck’s Grill
House is the place to be!
Tim Buckingham’s impressive vitae as both chef and
restaurateur offers diners at his restaurant the chance
to sample authentic southwestern dishes tailored to refined
A native of Moab, Buckingham grew up during the uranium boom,
but found himself drawn to a very different career path. He
quickly realized that he wanted to turn his interest in cooking
into more than a hobby and moved to Santa Barbara to attend
a two-year culinary program.
California turned out to be a good choice of locale in which
to embark on his kitchen pursuits. Buckingham worked under
various experienced chefs during a revolutionary time for California
cooking, and he found himself “learning so much more
after school had ended.” His experience includes working
at the first-class San Ysidro Ranch, where he cooked for celebrities
such as Robert Mitchum, Bette Davis and Mick Jagger.
obviously proved his mettle and became the executive chef at
a reputable California-style bistro, The Wine Cask. Under this
guise, he earned the distinguished honor of being rated by
The Food and Wine Companion as one of the top ten “New
American Star Chefs,” which praised his dishes as, “delicately
prepared, yet flavors are robust.”
Eager to return to his hometown to raise his son in the spectacular
outdoors he’d grown up enjoying, Buckingham returned
to Moab in 1991, just as the area was becoming discovered as
a vacation destination. He opened The Center Cafe, a highly
rated restaurant specializing in haute cuisine which still
exists today under new chefs and owners. Although maintaining
such an elegant restaurant in a town still pulling out of an
economic slump was touch-and-go at first, The Center Cafe eventually
By 1995, Buckingham was eager to start
a new endeavor with what he describes as “a more
widespread appeal.” He sold The Center Cafe and took
the opportunity of buying Buck’s current location,
which was property settled in 1898 as part of a ranch.
He envisioned Buck’s Grill House as fine dining western-style,
hence the restaurant’s motto “Feed Your Spirit.” Buckingham
describes his place as “keeping the quality of the
dining high but offering it at a more medium price range,” which
sums up Buck’s appeal.
opened in the spring of 1996 and has been providing dressed-up,
homemade southwestern cuisine ever since. Everything, from
the bread to the sauces, is made from scratch in Buckingham’s
As a chef, Buckingham likes to take traditional fare and
put a twist to it that enlivens it without engulfing the
original appeal of the dish. For example, his Elk Stew
is slow cooked with an elegant blend of game meat and root
vegetables and topped with horseradish cream. His famous
Buffalo Meatloaf is topped with black onion gravy and takes
meatloaf to a new dimension. The addition of barbeque butter
on the cowboy pork chop adds a richness of flavor to the
Buckingham has also kept his menu interesting for non-meat
eaters. He creates excitement in his vegetarian dishes
the same way as he does with the meat ones, by adding unexpected
but inviting ingredients to his recipes. A refreshing cilantro
pesto wakes up his Southwest Pasta dish of linguini tossed
with grilled vegetables. His Polenta Vegetable Lasagna
is given depth with a layer of zucchini, crimini mushrooms
and red peppers.
Even the desserts at Buck’s exhibit this fine tuning
of Buckingham’s. The offerings include Port Flan
and Bourbon Pecan Pie, tempting both for their decadence
and enticing marriage of flavors.
For inspired Southwestern Cuisine, there is truly no place
like Buck’s Grill House.
Buck’s Grill House is located at 1393 N. Highway
191 (just north of town) and can be reached at (435) 259-5201.
Dinner is served nightly starting at 5:30, reservations
accepted and Take-Out is available.
Enjoy secluded patio dining outdoors at Buck’s for
an even better dining experience!
OF THE MONTH
BBQ Cowboy Butter
bacon - diced
1 small onion - diced
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
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!