A bite of bison: Texan tries first Colorado buffalo burger

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As a Texas transplant, you'd think I wouldn't bat an eyelash at tasting bison. But after seeing herds of giant beasts playfully rolling in the dirt with their calves at Daniel's Park a few weeks ago, I was hesitant.

Nevertheless, I set my feelings aside and took it upon myself to order the "Campfire" at Crave Real Burgers in Highlands Ranch.

After the first bite, I was sold.

My hands were gooey with raspberry barbecue sauce and, for a gal who used to despise onions, I couldn't wait for the next taste of fried crunchy onion strings lightly dusted with coffee.

The bun was perfectly buttered and toasted, and I found myself getting lost in it.

Shockingly, the lean bison meat was incredibly flavorful and juicy, providing a nice contrast with the sweet sauce. It was like Thanksgiving dinner in my mouth - you know, that bite that's a mix of savory meat and cranberry. I didn't even think about the layer of pepper jack cheese - my favorite - I was so enveloped in the smoky campfire taste.

When the last bite disappeared, all that remained was the stickiness of that delicious sauce on my fingers. Who would have thought? I used to be a Texan who hated barbecue sauce on anything. But this fruity drizzle totally changed my mind. It gave the burger a special "oomph."

I've decided I like bison, but next time I'm trying the "Colorado." Wish me luck; hopefully, I won't be seeing any lambs anytime soon.

Taryn Walker is a reporter for Colorado Community Media.

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