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Salado’s Navajo taco and cup of green chile. Photo by Lisa Blake

Salado’s Satisfying Southwestern Cuisine Is Reason Alone to Visit Fairplay

The Park County restaurant delivers fry bread tacos, green chile, margaritas, and more to hungry day-trippers and locals alike.

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Since opening last summer, Park County’s Salado has earned glowing reviews for its Navajo-style fry bread tacos, signature chile-infused margaritas, and thoughtful rural-meets-contemporary style.

Brothers and chefs Chad and Brandon Farr migrated over Hoosier Pass from Breckenridge to the tiny town of Fairplay to open this treasure with their respective partners, Kristin Farr and Carrie Fabel. The adobe-style building on Front Street sits away from the main traffic stream that funnels Front Rangers to Summit County’s ski resorts and hiking trails. Finding it feels as though you’ve stumbled upon a cozy, Santa Fe-esque retreat.

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Menu standouts include the meaty fried West Coast oysters ($10), which arrive divvied up in four shot glasses atop a zippy green chile tartar sauce, and the shoestring cactus fries ($9) served with cool cilantro aïoli and sweet onion prickly pear sauce.

More New Mexican influences come through in the perfectly crisped, puffed, slightly buttery fry bread. Order the Navajo taco ($14) for a fork-and-knife event, wherein the delicious fry bread is heaped with seasoned ground beef, green chiles, pinto beans, arugula, roasted corn, diced tomato, Cotija, crema, and cilantro.

Don’t fill up on fry bread too quickly, though, as you’ll want to save space for a cup of punchy, satisfying pork green chile ($5); the recipe is a toned-down version from Carrie’s grandmother. Robust with Hatch green chiles and hefty chunks of slow-cooked pork and fire-roasted tomatoes, it’s an ideal mud season supper all its own.

Carrie and Kristin run the dining room, delivering impeccable service—as well as neon-pink prickly pear margaritas made with cilantro-lime infused tequila ($9.50)—to the 58-seat dining room. We’re betting that their refreshing cocktails will taste even better this summer when sipped from Salado’s sunny courtyard couches, surrounded by bubbling fountains and live music.

If you go: Don’t miss the daily happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. for a generous menu of $7 starters and signature cocktails, $8 half-carafes of wine, and $2 PBRs. 456 Front St., Fairplay, 719-836-7031

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