The Hotel Limpia in Fort Davis is a landmark, sitting on nearly three acres in the heart of downtown, with its lush patio and sturdy two-story stone building.
Built in 1912 by the Union Trading Company (owned by local stockholders and early settlers J.W. Espy, J.P. Weatherby, and Nick Mersfelder), the hotel was promoted as a “summer retreat” for wealthy cattlemen but it actually served as retreat for ranchers, travelers, and locals… cattle owners or not.
Shortly after it was built, it became the Fort Davis’ social center – much like it is today – and even housed a drugstore and a doctor’s office. In the late 1970s, it housed Sutler’s Club, a private club which served as the only bar in Jeff Davis County for many years. The Blue Mountain Bistro, the hotel’s restaurant, still houses the only bar in Fort Davis, although it’s no longer Sutler’s Club or members-only. Most of us here just call it The Bistro.
Recent remodeling includes updated furnishings, a banquet hall and a new commercial kitchen to serve the Blue Mountain Bistro Restaurant, as well as the hotel’s newest addition, The Porch at Hotel Limpia. The Orchard House, the apartment-style hotel rooms that are across from the two-story historic hotel, has been completely redone.
Last Thursday, my husband and I decided to check out a special dinner called “Locals Night” at the Bistro. Don’t let the name fool you – everyone is welcome to dine, not just people who live in Fort Davis.
This particular night, General Manager Jeremy Bentley, a Fort Davis native who has worked at Blue Mountain Bistro for six years, advertised the special as favorite Mexican cuisines… and I was intrigued.
The special included a cup of pozole (soup), a poblano pepper stuffed with shrimp, rice and chorizo, calabazas (squash), elotes (roasted corn on the cob) and nopalitos (a tender cactus salad). He had me at “poblano pepper stuffed with shrimp.” Dessert was churros with Mexican vanilla ice cream. All of this for $23.95 per person. Half-off of bottles of wine, too.
We made reservations for 6 p.m. and walked down to the restaurant. We watched the restaurant fill up, and just about everyone ordered the special. By the time our beautiful entrees were placed in front of us, the house was packed, and running like a well-oiled machine.
Our waitress, Audrey, was a delight. She’s been working at the Bistro for about five years and even as she serviced about half of the dining room, she was cool and collected. Jeremy spent much of his time in the kitchen, unless he was running food to tables or visiting with happy guests. Everyone that I saw in the dining room was happy. The food was absolutely delicious.
Presentation was lovely, everything was prepared just right and it was so flavorful. I could go for seconds right now.
Thursday night specials, also known as “Locals Night,” are different every week… a few weeks back, it was a Mediterranean night that people raved about on social media for days. From Nov. 1 to March 1, these specials happen each Thursday night, unless otherwise advertised. Find them on Facebook at Blue Mountain Bistro, where there’s also a link to their website with menu and other information.
Blue Mountain Bistro is closed on Wednesdays. Currently in winter hours, it’s open for dinner Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 5-8 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5-9 p.m., with the bar open for an hour after dinner service ends. Reservations are helpful – call (432)426-3244 to reserve your table.
Pork Posole Soup
3 cups cooked pork shoulder or pork roast, cut into bite-sized cubes
2 tablespoons lard or 2 tablespoons bacon fat
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon cumin
1⁄2 teaspoon oregano
1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
2 (4 ounce) cans of diced green chili peppers (or 2 fresh green chiles, seeded and diced)
2 (15 ounce) cans white hominy, drained and rinsed
1 quart chicken stock
1⁄2 cup chopped cilantro (garnish)
Thinly sliced radish (garnish)
lime wedge (garnish)
In a large pan. Sauté onions in lard or bacon drippings until clear. Add garlic and spices and cook another two minutes. Add meat, green chili, rinsed hominy. Cook another two minutes. Pour stock over all. Add salt to taste. Simmer, covered, about 1 hour.
Garnish with radishes, cilantro and lime wedges to squeeze in soup just before eating.
Printed with permission of The Alpine Avalanche.