“What in the world is a “buffalo chip?”
That seems to be the most asked question at the Buffalo Stop at Walker Lake. Owners Tim and Darlene Doyle enjoy watching people taste the handmade potato twirl for the first time. “We gave a few away during the first week,” Darlene said. “And now we can’t keep up with the demand. I guess it is a good problem to have.”
The Doyles moved to Mineral County last May with the intention of opening a music store, but the need for good barbecue soon put music on the backburner, although there are a few guitars for sale in the store.
“I’m a retired musician and recording engineer,” Tim said. “Music has always been in our lives, but barbecue has never been far behind. We saw the need and took a chance. I still play music when I have the chance and may even have an acoustic night here during the summer. We’ll see.”
The menu is simple. Pulled pork; ribs (beef and pork) and pulled chicken. Hickory smoked baked beans; handmade slaw; potato salad and of course, buffalo chips, round out the selection. The sauce takes five hours to cook and has no added sugar. It has punch, but isn’t hot. The slow cooked ribs are dry rubbed (Memphis style) with sauce provided on the side. Beef ribs are also available.
“We also thought that we needed a good ice cream shop in the area so we added ice cream along with about 25 flavors of sno-cones,” Darlene said. “Shakes; floats; banana splits; sundaes; cones; sodas are also on the menu.”
The Pig’s Dinner is a monster-sized ice cream sundae. Seven scoops of ice cream, hot fudge, caramel, butterscotch, strawberry, pineapple, banana, whipped creams, nuts and a cherry.”
An added attraction for the tourists is the very first Ronald McDonald buggy. Used in the late 1960’s by George Voorhis (the first Ronald McDonald). Everyone is welcome to have their photo taken with the buggy and a life-sized Ronald who sometimes sits at the corner table in the store.
The Buffalo Stop is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“We start the smokers at about 6 a.m. and the barbecue is ready by about 11. Of course, the store is open at 8 a.m. for biscuits and gravy and breakfast burritos. Coffee is always hot. A selection of groceries also available include milk, bread, eggs and cooking supplies.
One of the more exciting things happening at the Buffalo Stop is the local artist section. Handcrafts, photography, paintings, woodworking and more Nevada made items are for sale here.
“We want to promote things made in Nevada, we are more interested in promoting Mineral County items,” Tim said. “We want to do our part to help rebuild our hometown.” Local artists are encouraged to bring quality items in to consign.
The road to opening the Buffalo Stop was not a smooth one.
“The county was not really an issue,” Darlene said. “But the state was a whole other story. The roadblocks and lack of cooperation was astounding. Had it not been for Bob Chambers of Walker Lake and Shelley Hartmann at the Mineral County Economic Development Authority, we would have never made it. She really pushed for us.”
Tim adds, “With everyone pulling for us like they have, we feel a real responsibility to provide the highest quality barbecue that we can. We’ll keep a close eye on the prices, while providing a nice; clean; fun place to eat. Thanks for the support.”
The Buffalo stop is located at 847 Frontage Road at Walker Lake.