Occasionally we like to get out of town on the weekend and search for good eats in nearby locales. Colorado Springs may be better known for its military bases and right-wing politics than for its culinary scene, but there's plenty happening of late — especially downtown, where you'll find a packed little burger joint at 204 North Tejon Street curiously named the Skirted Heifer.
The heifer here is grass-fed, grass-finished beef from Sangres Best Beef raised on the Music Meadows Ranch southwest of Colorado Springs. The Skirted Heifer patty gets draped with a layer of cheddar cheese that extends well beyond the circumference of the meat as it's grilling on the flattop. The result is an almost cracker-like halo of caramelized cheddar that you can break off and nibble or fold back under the bun for added crackly texture and sharp, cheesy flavor.
You can customize your burger from a long list of toppings or choose from a few house specials, but first-timers should start with the Classic, with only tomato, lettuce, onion, pickles (made in-house) and Skirted Heifer sauce to distract from the pure hit of beef and cheddar.
If you're planning a southbound road trip for Labor Day weekend, the Skirted Heifer should be on your checklist. But be prepared to wait in line, even during off hours, and don't shrug off a friendly "Hi, how are you?" from the cashier. You might be talking to owner Suzette Megyeri, who will chide you for your bad manners if you try to launch right into your order. Despite the frenzied pace of the open kitchen and the tiny dining room — barely big enough for a cow to turn around in — friendly banter is as much a part of the Skirted Heifer as that delicious ring of cheese.
Hungry for more? All the dishes in our 2016 countdown are linked below.
No. 100: Masala Beef at Biju's Little Curry Shop
No. 99: Bacon Shrimp and Grits at Bacon Social House
No. 98: Porchetta and Kimchi Sandwich at Brider
No. 97: Squab-and-Sunchoke Tortellini at Abejas
No. 96: Housemade Burrata at Viand
No, 95: Schweinshaxe at Rhein Haus
No. 94 Kimchi Jeon at Seoul BBQ
No. 93: Zuppa Pomodoro at Parisi Italian Market & Deli
No. 92: The Ocean Salad at Sushi-Rama
No. 91: The Signature Bowl from Churn & Burn
No. 90: Green Chorizo at Los Compadres
No. 89: The Diavola Calzone at Pino's Neighborhood Pizzeria
No. 88: Biscuits and Green Chile at the Noshery
No. 87: Chirashi at Izu Sushi
No. 86: Brisket and Ribs at GQue Championship BBQ
No. 85: The Tornado at the Chowder Room
No. 84: Korean Fried Chicken Wings at Yong Gung
No. 83: A Meatball Hero at Lil' Ricci's New York Pizzeria
No. 82: Shakshuka at Stowaway Coffee + Kitchen
No. 81: Late-Night Ramen at Brazen
No. 80: Potato Tacos at El Tejado
No. 79: Corned Beef Heart at theWay Back
No. 78: The Fried Bologna Sandwich at Snarfburger
No. 77: Sweet Corn Mezzaluna at Bar Dough
No. 76: Duck Confit at Table 6
No. 75: Croque Monsieur at Fire
No. 74: Tahini Cookies at the Preservery
No. 73: The Alferd Packer Salad at MAD Greens
No. 72: The Tuna Poke Bowl at Ohana Island Kitchen
No. 71: Mini Chile Rellenos at La Loma
No. 70: The Combination Banh Mi at Vinh Xuong Bakery
No. 69: The Falafel Waffle at Moxie Eatery
No. 68: Korean Fried Duck Wings at Chow Urban Grill
No. 67: Spaghetti Alla Carbonara at Spatola