The Gold Hill Inn offers a taste of Colorado's history

Colorado has a rich (no pun intended) mining history, and when I was a kid growing up in the southern suburbs of Denver, my mom would devise elaborate lessons for my brother and me to carry out over summer break, packing us into the minivan for day or weekend trips to obscure corners of Colorado. We were particularly fascinated with the gold rush and this state's boom-and-bust dramas, and we spent a lot of time in towns like Cripple Creek and Leadville.

But in all those travels, we never made it to Gold Hill, an old mining town ten miles outside of Boulder. Today the population of the place is just 230, but at its peak in the 1870s, Gold Hill had more than 1,500 people residents, many of whom had come to first chase gold and then tellurium.

During that time, a number of hotels were built, including the property that eventually became the Gold Hill Inn. For the past fifty years, it's been in the hands of the Finn family, who enticed history buffs and food fans alike with a fixed-price meal offered in rustic dining room reminiscent of a camp mess hall, and filled with relics of the past.

For this week's review, my mother and I finally made it to Gold Hill, where we soaked up history and ate our way through the historic inn's six-course menu.

How was the food? Find out tomorrow when the review is posted here.

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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk