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“Food is great; service needs lots of work”

Heck's at Devil's Thumb Ranch
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Ranked #3 of 5 Restaurants in Tabernash
Price range: US$30 - US$30
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: View, Child-friendly, Romantic, Groups, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: Drinks, After-hours, Lunch, Brunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Dining
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Food is great; service needs lots of work”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2014

Had several meals at Heck's and, overall, food was very good. They have some unique dishes that we enjoyed. Recommend the venison nachos (omg) and the waygu burgers. Breakfast is excellent.

Cons: First night at Heck's it was very busy with a large wedding crowd. We were told it would be 45 min to 1 hour for a table. As we waited I looked around and saw many empty tables. I asked the hostess if we could be seated and she said it was too busy. I then suggested that we be seated at least to order drinks and get some bread. She finally agreed saying it would talk a long time to get our food. We actually had great service, immediately, and did not wait long at all for our meal. Wish she had been a bit more accommodating.

Biggest problem with Heck's is the service (or lack of). Aside from our first meal where service was excellent, the servers were slow. For Sunday breakfast we waited at our table for more than 20 minutes before even being acknowledged. We saw many servers, etc., walking around but no one offered to help. I think if servers were not confined to specific tables and everyone looked to help customers that would improve things. Servers continuous forgot to bring things and we had to ask multiple times. Orders were wrong. Servers and staff stand around socializing while customers are waiting -- poor. They should at least be in the back or be busy.

There are no spoons on the tables! When we asked why we were told it was because not everyone uses spoons and they are trying to save on dishwashing. Understand but we had to ask so many times for spoons with our coffee it was ridiculous. Servers continually forgot to bring them. Spoons can't really take that much to wash.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank efp54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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276 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Grand Lake
Level Contributor
30 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“The Devil's in the Details!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 July 2014

Wine down Wednesdays, we have tried this special meal three times. Every time was a great experience. The wine is half price, the set $40 menu has always been excellent, and the service exemplary. This has to be Grand County's best opportunity to experience a five star dining experience. As a twenty three year veteran of living and eating in Grand County, this is miles above the other establishments.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank jamesbi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Middletown, Rhode Island
Level Contributor
22 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Good Food”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 July 2014

Great food, nice setting, staff is friendly. Enjoy the happy hour on the patio overlooking the pasture!

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank jauntingaround
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Grass Valley, California
Level Contributor
198 reviews
109 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Where do I start?! WOW!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 July 2014

First off - I LOVED that you felt like you were off on an adventure in the middle of nowhere on this dirt road only to find yourself at this rustically elegant lodge with a hexagon shaped gem at it's heart - Heck's Restaurant. With beautiful sprawling views of open valley fields and majestic mountains on the outside and a warm but deceptively grand dining room inside it was an awesome find for us. We went here based on the recommendation of our resort staff over in Granby and we were so happy that we did - it was our anniversary and this was the perfect spot for us. I was a little concerned when we first got there because we were seeking a quiet romantic corner and asked the hostess for a window table which we noticed were in the corners of the rooms only to be seated at a table once removed from the window right next to a large LOUD party on one side of us - and having to look through a family sitting at the other window table when there was a free window table right on the other side of them not blocking their view at all. So we sat down tentatively cringing at the noise level of the only huge party in the room at the table next to us. Fortunately as soon as one of our servers appeared with water we asked if we could relocate just 2 tables over in the corner by the window and he said "ofcourse!" Clearly the hostess was just not paying attention for some reason but to our delight - this was the only real hiccup of the evening. Once we settled in our corner of the room and our server Bri arrived to take our drink order the evening was one pleasant moment after another. Soon after we received our drinks the large party started winding down and started to relax. The "green mile" was recommended by our server and it was very refreshing and no watered down drinks here! yum. Next up appetizers - my husband ordered the pork verde and it was delicious with just the right amount of heat - my BLT wedge salad was deconstructed beautifully so it was easy to eat and it was delicious. Next up was my husbands skillet skirt steak with mash and topped with an amazing sauce and fresh arugula salad, and my lamb dish with roasted vegetables and a potato hash. These 2 entree's were hands down 2 of the best bites I've ever eaten. Both perfectly cooked, well seasoned and sauced, and even the potatoes were perfectly crisp and held up under the sauce without being dry or over cooked on the inside. I was very impressed and thoroughly enjoyed every last bite. The finisher was a little disappointing I believe it was called a meyer lemon custard, so I was expecting a specific texture - but this was more like a cake and it was partially frozen still - the flavors were nice but the texture was dry and just seemed wrong, I just didn't care for the interpretation personally. What it did have was a wonderful refreshing and palate cleansing finish to the meal. The plating was missing something too, I wanted to go in the kitchen and grab a sprig of mint or something to finish it so I could make it picture perfect. But a chef I am not so take that pedestrian opinion as you will because the meal was outstanding and just writing this review makes me want to hop on a plane and go there for dinner tonight! (I just went on line to see what the current menu is offering - no joke!) I hope one day we get to go back and visit the other farmhouse restaurant as well. If you are staying anywhere within a 20 mile radius of this place it is worth the drive, just go and have an amazing meal. We lingered on the back porch by the fire for a bit and I love that the staff welcomed us to stay as long as we liked and just peek in and wave if we wanted some coffee or a night cap. There were also smores by the fire to build and enjoy - which we were way to content to partake in, but loved that they were there. So now that I've written my brief novel - to sum it up if you are looking for awesome atmosphere, breathtaking surroundings, excellent knowledgeable service, and amazing good food - you must stop in at this old homestead.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jennifer G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colorado
Level Contributor
68 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“I really want to give more stars - but . . .”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2014

We stopped here for lunch before on a long hike to Columbine Lake. Heck's outdoor patio is wonderful! It looks out over meadows of Grand Valley. I ordered the special of the day which was a pulled pork sandwich. It was very tasty and quite large. It came with fries and couple squares of "caramel corn bread". The cornbread was the only thing i didn't eat as it was dry and just not that special, plus more carbs than I wanted. The other diner had the fish tacos which she very much enjoyed.

OK - 3 stars??? The waiter and numerous bus staff were all very friendly, but just not attentive. I found myself frequently trying to flag someone down to get a refill on water. It also took longer to get our food than it should have - the restaurant was not that busy. Fortunately we were really enjoying the weather on the patio.

So after our hike it was now approaching dinner time. Since the restaurant was right on the way back to town we though we'd try it again. And - the idea of that great patio in the evening was very appealing. We got their about 5:30 before the real dinner rush. Again - hostess and wait staff were very friendly. We ordered an appetizer (roasted cauliflower which was ok but trying to hard on presentation) and a couple drinks, then dinner. Once again the entrees were slow but fortunately arrived warm and very tasty. We both really enjoyed our food. But, once again I was finding myself flagging down people to get more water,another napkin, etc. About half way through my meal I ordered a 2nd beer which never came.

Based on the food and the great patio I'll definitely give Heck's another try. Hopefully with enough customer feedback they'll step up their game on staff training and make themselves an all around excellent dining occasion.

FOR THE MANAGEMENT SHOULD THEY READ THIS:
As a former busboy & waiter (a long time ago) I was trained to always scan the tables and decide what needs doing or when people want to be left alone. It seemed like the bus staff here were very single task oriented. i.e. right now I'm clearing plates so I don't even see the empty water glass.

I also got the impression that the waiters had tables spread out all over, inside and outside instead of being clustered in a zone so they could keep an eye on all their assigned parties. That's just a guess because at both lunch and dinner the waiter (who were different) seemed to frequently disappear for long periods.

Also two times at both meals we had another staff member come by our table with either a food or drink item and ask "did we order such and such?" As if the basic idea of table numbering didn't exist.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank thinkshift
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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