I am reviewing the restaurant here, not the lodging side of this business. I hope it's not inappropriate.
Family and I recently spent a couple of nights during the Summer on the Grand Mesa, and decided to eat out one of the nights. After researching our options, and checking reviews (including here), I decided to try Thunder Mountain Restaurant, a part of the Thunder Mountain Lodge. Just take Hwy. 65 to Forest Road 121 (also known as Trickle Park Road) where the Grand Mesa National Forest Visitor's Center is, and turn there. Go down the road a bit, and you will see the lodge on the left.
If you are interested in a link to the lodge, it is http://thundermountainlodge.net/. I would highly recommend if you are considering dining there, that you call or email ahead of time to make sure they are open and to check their hours. At the moment, they are open 7 days a week for the summer, but it is my understanding they are experimenting with hours of operation and days, and they might not be open 7 days a week permanently, depending on the season. I actually sent an email inquiring about hours a couple days before my visit, and it was replied to promptly. In fact, they gave me the email address of the chef, Billy, if I had any additional questions. That was really nice, although I did not email him.
We arrived on a Sunday evening at about 6:30pm. There were a couple of tables occuppied, and a couple of people at the bar. This is a rustic log cabin type restaurant, with great views of Ward Lake and surrounding beautiful country. Not lacking in views, that's for sure. The dinner menu was pretty limited, and there were only a handfull of choices. But then again, this restaurant is in a remote area, in what I would consider not a high traffic area, so I doubt it would be very profitable for them to have a large menu simply because I doubt they move a lot of product.
The special of the day was pork loin, apple sauce, asparagus, and bacon mashed potatoes for $13.95. My wife got that, and I got a 1/3 lb angus burger with fries $9.95. My kids got the chicken strip kids meal with fries and the macaroni kids meal with fries. The kids meals were 4 bucks plus $1.50 for fries.
My burger was decent. Not the greatest, slightly dry, but but very good flavor, and the fries were great. Not sure if they are hand cut or not, but they were very tasty. The kids liked their meals, and they appeared to be of good quality. But what really stood out was the pork loin dinner my wife had. That was possibly the best tasting pork loin I've ever tried, and my wife loved it. Whatever it was he seasoned it with was excellent. The portions were good too. The mashed potatoes were decent, but I would have liked a bit more seasoning. They were slightly bland, but still good. They appeared to be homemade, as was the applesauce. The service was good, and the girl that served us was pretty darn cute.
Billy, the cook, came out after a bit and asked how we were doing, which was a very nice touch. He seemed genuinely interested that we were enjoying our meal. We also chatted for a few min., and it made me feel good about giving them my money.
There was an older guy that picked up a guitar and started playing bluegrass and country tunes that was a nice touch too.
I think when all was said and done with a tip we spent about $48-ish on the meal, which given the location and what we had, was well worth it in my opinion. One of the better dining experiences I've had in a while, and I would recommend you give it a shot. Again though, call or email ahead to check their hours, as they are a small outfit, and you certainly wouldn't want to drive all the way up there and find they might not be open.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC