Downtown Colorado Springs has few small restaurants, and we forget how special it feels to be only one of a few customers sitting at a table for a meal. Skirted Heifer, located on 204 N. Tejon St. just a few blocks from campus, is a charming hole-in-the-wall dining location and a favorite burger joint for most. This restaurant elevates fast food to a gourmet standard; upon ordering, the wait is hardly noticeable, and the food quality is high. Kevin and Suzette Megyeri, the owners of the Skirted Heifer, had already opened the Italian restaurant Bambino’s nearby when they began experimenting with burgers. Before opening the joint, they melted a load of cheddar cheese around a beef patty so it looked like a skirt: hence the name “The Skirted Heifer.”
The restaurant itself is simply designed and feels oddly like a small cabin. The wall to the right is lined with a wooden booth and several low tables, while the center holds just enough space for four or five more surfaces. When walking downtown, often you’ll notice the line trailing out of the entrance before you can see the restaurant itself. It is, however, perhaps the only restaurant in Colorado Springs where a line means very little; despite the number of people in the mood for a burger, the small kitchen on the back of the restaurant moves quickly, and it feels like no time before you’re standing at the front, making an order, and holding a burger in your hands.
Its size may be misleading, though, because the Skirted Heifer has been recognized by many over the years. Along with the restaurant Spiced Island Grill, Skirted Heifer has been featured on “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives,” was voted “best burger” by The Independent and The Gazette, and was deemed “best restaurant” by The Independent.
Their menu is split into three brown boards hanging just above the order counter, which read, “Build a Burger,” “No Brainers,” and “Drinks.” The Skirted Heifer is my absolute go-to location for sweet potato fries, which you can receive in a bed underneath your juicy burger. The beef is sourced from a local Colorado farm called Meadow’s Ranch, where cows are grass-fed and lack any antibiotic treatment. The beef is consistently tender and made fresh from scratch. All condiments available at the Skirted Heifer are also homemade, bringing an especially fresh taste to each burger. Vegetarians, however, may be in better luck than beef-lovers; the quinoa burger is the most unique and flavorful veggie burger I have ever tasted. The patty absolutely melts in your mouth, with a perfect texture combination of crunch, tenderness, and warmth. The restaurant takes great pride in the quality of their burger buns also, which are served hot and taste as if just taken out of the oven. Options for buns include garlic focaccia, sesame seed, rustic whole wheat, or gluten-free.
Behind the order counter is a soda machine that offers Boylan’s Natural Soda, another local company that the restaurant actively supports. Started by a pharmacist named William Boylan in 1891, Boylan’s was first known for its Birch Beer, but it is now best known for its hand-crafted soda.
“I mean, it’s good food, and it’s unpretentious,” said Oscar Belkin-Sessler ’20. All burger options cost just around $7, an excellent price for a giant, fresh, and locally sourced meal.
The Skirted Heifer takes hamburgers to a top-quality standard, and makes the dining experience flexible for all; it is a welcoming and delicious option both for take-out and for a quaint, sit-down dining experience.