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Suggestions for Summit County, Colorado (Breckenridge, Keystone, Frisco, etc)?

Here's a rundown from a longtime local foodie for places to eat. Just remember that this is a ski county and not known for it's food... for that, go to San Francisco or NYC.:

For high end dining: Keystone's Alpenglow Stube is a fun dinner and it's quite good food and service. You ride a couple of gondola's (blankets provided) in the dark to get to the top of their mountain. It's a fixed menu, white table cloth type of place but not snooty (I mean it IS on top of a mountain and all).

They also have a more casual fondue restaurant that I think is called Fondue Chessel or something (sorry for the poor spelling) which is more family style and long tables.

The Blue Spruce Inn in Frisco is good, but it's very much a heavy heavy food place (think big fat steaks), and the atmosphere is definitely mountain casual (wood panel walls, flannel shirts abound).

If you're looking for a good atmosphere and more interesting dishes, try Samplings in Frisco or the Wine Cellar (it's sister) in Breckenridge. But plan on paying a lot of money for not a huge amount of food. Samplings seems to have better, friendlier service. Both restaurants are some of the only places in Summit County that have actually hired interior designers to create restaurant-like atmospheres that feel like they actually though about it rather than renting cheap wooden chairs from a conference center.

Cafe Alpine is an old Breck standard, pretty good although their menu isn't as daring as it used to be. Great wine cellar though and fantastic patio for summer. They also have a tapas bar that is good for early dining or lighter fare.

South Ridge Seafood on Ridge St. in Breck is in my opinion Breck's best food for the value by far. Not all seafood, and a huge menu. Really interesting specials, very friendly and good service. The downside? It's one of the loudest places I've ever been to, and I can't take people there on busy nights. Even on the quiet nights the tin roof ceiling and the owner's reluctance to update the furnishings from the old restaurant to softer, noise-absorbing surfaces is really hurting him. But don't let the cheesy atmosphere or awful wall art fool you: The food is fantastic and so are the prices: Try the Trout, crabcakes, the flatiron steak and the sea scallops. Or the walnut salad, the chocolate ganache for dessert is great.

I'd avoid Relish, the new place that used to be Pierre's on Blue River Plaza in Breckenridge. It's just not worth the very very high prices, and some of their meals are not very exciting nor prepared well. Service is uneven.

Avoid Hearthstone; they have survived only through their really great atmosphere. The bar upstairs is worth late-night cocktails, and quiet.

Mexican: Carlos & Miguels in Frisco opened this year and it's the best Mexican in Summit County, and a real restaurant (Jalapenos is okay for very very casual)

in Breck, Mi Casa is fondly known as "Mi Ketchup Salsa", so that says it all there. I think it's entirely overrated. For decent Mexican in Breckenridge (and you can't go to Frisco), try Fiesta Jalisco, which is merely okay, or Jalapeno's.

Pizza/Burgers: A-train pizza, Frisco is good food but bad service. The pizzas are great.

Eric's in Breckenridge is by far the best sports bar in Breckenridge with an arcade outside for kids that is crazy. Plan on a wait, but their food is basic pizza burgers and consistent.

Empire Burger in Breck has the very best burgers in Summit County, and is much easier to get into than Eric's. Nice atmosphere with TV's, too.

Giampietro's pizza is loved by some, not by others.

Avoid Fatty's pizza.

Sushi: Avoid Wasabi in Breckenridge for sushi--really petulant owner/chef makes you feel very unwelcome, and the sushi is way below par. Instead, if you're in the mood for sushi, go to Flying Fish across the street. Still very expensive but it holds it's own.

There is NO good Chinese in Breckenridge.

Blue River Bistro in Breckenridge is fair to okay. It's very loud and service is unfriendly. Best dishes there are lunch dishes such as Walnut-Chicken salad croissant and the calamari.

Italian in Breck: Giampietro's, a small, casual Italian place in Breck (no reservations), lately has been very very salty, but that is due to a couple of stand-in sous chefs. If you go, make sure Ken or Todd Nelson are in the open kitchen (Todd owns it and Empire), and order the Chicken Marsala off the 'specials' menu; it's their best dish.

Do not eat at Michael's Italian or Taddeo's. The former is good only if you have crabby children who want spaghetti, and the latter is overpriced and loaded with heavy cream alfredos.

Misc in Breckenridge: Quandary Grille is good for apres, and okay for burgers, but not much else.

Avoid Horseshoe II at all costs. Same with Bubba Gump's.

Motherloaded, a new place, is becoming a hot snowboarder bar, and is a fun place and the food is not bad, either. It's a mac and cheese and fried Twinkie place. Can be crowded and very poor service. Prepare to wait.

Rita's, downstairs from BreckBBQ (avoid), has great margaritas, but it's incredibly loud with hip-hop music and the tacos are not great most of the time. The chips, however, are.

Breck Brewery smells like cleaning solution, I have never understood why they don't fix this. Their nachos are great, some of their burgers are quite good and the tater-tots are a fun addition to the menu. Try the Breck Lite beer or the Hefeweisen with a lemon. The outdoor balcony on this place is great in the summer for lunch.

Steak and Rib in Breckenridge is like Blue Spruce: sort of overdone mountain atmosphere but with great steaks and other meat items.

Briar Rose has been around forever; steaks are the best items on their menu.

My Thai is pretty good for Thai dishes. Super casual.

Denzaemon is a noodle place in Breckenridge, it's not worth it at this point.

Mi Zuppa in Breck is great but only open for lunch and closed on Sunday.

Clint's on Main has great bakery items but get ready for really angry service--it's got quite the reputation for it. I'd avoid them for coffee drinks--they serve them with a grimace that makes you wonder if you should apologize for ordering anything other than a cup of coffee. Petal and Bean used to be great for coffee by City Market but has decided to dial back. Cool River or, can't believe I'm saying this, Starbucks are much better choices.

Breakfast: This is an area that is hurting in Breckenridge. Daylight Donuts is a good place if not overly crowded for egg burritos and sausage egg muffins, but do not expect table service or good coffee. Avoid Blue Moose if you don't want crabby wait staff or don't have cash. The food is mildly decent. Prospector is okay for very basics, do not eat their green chile--it's bland as anything.

The best 'big' breakfast in Summit County is Mtn. Lion Cafe north of Silverthorne, period. And I agree about Butterhorn--it's quite good too.

If you're shopping for food to make at your condo or house, go to Alpine Market on Lincoln for natural/organic foods. City Market is best avoided apres ski due to extreme over-crowding, and high prices are the norm. Be prepared to pay them.

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  1. What do you think about Ski Tip Inn? Someone who lives in Keystone and contributes to another board just raves and raves about it. Since the other board is not a food board, per se, it makes me wonder and I would like to hear from someone who is really interested in food.

    1. Ski Tip is a lovely historic and once remote lodge -- originally a stagecoach stop but now surrounded by Keystone condos -- that also has a lovely restaurant. The format is four-course dinners with a limited choice of dishes. Always good. Always atmospheric -- in fact, downright romantic.

      1. I agree with ClaireWalter, Ski Tip is a great place, and a fantastic treat for anyone visiting, much like the Alpenglow Stube. You can't beat atmosphere, it certainly makes the food taste better.

        With Ski Tip, the food is definitely very good.

        Another place in Breckenridge I want to recommend for lunch is a very authentic Parisian bakery on Main Street, I believe called Le Parisien (ok, it's a bit cliche). The owners are French, and the cakes are amazing, as are the pastries. They have a small sandwich menu, the sandwiches are huge, and the bread is baked on site.

        The bread, if nothing else, is a must-have for dinner or cocktail parties at home. They also sell it at Ridge Street Wines, a great independent wine seller (Ask for Anne Dowling, owner) that sells great cheeses, crakers and suberb chocolates along with baguettes from this bakery. They have a $10 "locals" rack which has never disappointed.

        So there you go, even more recommendations. Sorry, I'm a Breck local so I tend to have more knowledge about Breck places.

        1. A couple of good ones I would like to add are Silverheels at the Orehouse in Frisco, with a great menu with southwestern touches (my favorite is the salmon) and the Ranch at Keystone. The Ranch is owned by Keystone, as are the previously mentioned Alpenglow Stube, Fondue Chessel and Ski Tip Lodge. All are high priced but the food and service are great. I like to go during the off season and watch for two-for-one coupons in the Summit Daily. Another little restaurant in Frisco that is good is Food Hedz. You can see more detailed info on these restaurants on my blog at www.mountainlivingblog.com.

          1. The Dam brewery in Dillon has excellent beer.. The Georgia Brown is my personal fav.

            1. The original post was more than two years ago, so take w/ the proverbial grain of salt. The former Hosreshoe II is II is now Modis (contemporary,. international) and Briar Rose has changed owners. I don't live in Summit County and usually just go there for the day, so don't often stay for dinner.

              In Frisco, in an uninspired strip shopping center between Safeway and Walmart (Co 9, just south of I-70) is FoodHedz. Really good chef-prepared food (chef David Welch was previously at Keystone). Casual and reasonably priced. Closed Sun and Mon.

              1. I definitely think you should give Wasabi another try, the owner Hiro is a really nice person and so is his wife. The food is good and prices ok for sushi. There is good chinese here now, Taipei Tokyo, it's affordable and you can always get a table. I wouldn't recommend Denzaemon, I paid $20 for a lunch that didn't even fill me up and I get full very easily. Jalapenos is a good mexican place but I agree about Mi Casa. I've lived here 13 years and never noticed "angry service" at Clints. Columbine Cafe is a good breakfast place, there's usually a wait but sometimes you can get in at the bar. And I would never suggest anyone going to Starbucks. Ever. I don't know why you'd tell them to avoid Fatty's, even if you just go in for a beer. Across the street is Angel's Hollow and their food is great and Lee makes the best margs. Eric's food to me is just ok, their pizzas are pretty good, I stay away from there because it's so busy with so many little kids running around. Hearthstone is good, Cafe Alpine is excellent.

                1. FYI:

                  Samplings & the Cellar are now closed along with Cafe Alpine (a moment of silence), as is A-Train in Frisco.

                  Hands down the best food in Frisco is Food Hedz world cafe (near walmart) and the Himalayan on main st frisco (across from the Butterhorn).
                  Both serve lunch & dinner. Himalyan has a lunch buffet that is fresh and delishous.
                  Food Hedz is closed on Sun/Mon.

                  Yout picks fro Breckenridge are pretty much on the money. New in town is Modis, located on main st.

                  Not to be missed is le Petite Paris, on Adams St.. Delightful French atmosphere & a fabulous menu.

                  ONe of the most enjoyable experiences is in home chef service. No matter who you choose, you can't go wrong stepping from the hot tub to the dinner table.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Tommr

                    Any suggestions on an in home chef service to use?

                    1. Just ate at Modis this weekend and loved it. They have an appetizer sampler that was outstanding with buttermilk bluecheese, fried greenbeans, roasted garlic, oven roasted tomatoes, marinated olives and white bean dip. I highly recommend. We also ate at Red Mountain in Silverthorne. I had the tuna stack appetizer that was very fresh with a little heat provided by wasabi. I would also recommend this restaurant. A third dinner was less satisfying at Pug Ryans. It has a nice deck, but I thought the food was just okay and the "wine list" is standard Applebees if you know what I mean....

                      113 S. Main Street, Breckenridge, CO 80424

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: TTownFoodie

                        Do you think Modis would be a good spot for New Years Eve Dinner? We are three single friends, looking for a lively atmosphere at a nice restaurant....probably a bar seating for dinner and drinks and laughs....

                        113 S. Main Street, Breckenridge, CO 80424

                      2. Just finishing my Breckenridge week. A couple of restaurants were really careless - old ingredients, smelly oil in the fryer, etc.

                        My wife and I had a good burger and grilled chicken sandwich at Kenosha. Prices were reasonable too. Highly recommended.

                        We did try the two outstanding restaurants that people here have discussed - Modis and Hearthstone. They were both excellent by the standards of any city and outstanding in this town. Well worth it if your budget allows.

                        113 S. Main Street, Breckenridge, CO 80424

                        1. Claire is right about the dated reviews and my original post. Time for an update.

                          I don't mean to be cruel about restaurants. But this is a review site. And I think Wasabi still fails miserably as a value for good sushi, regardless of how "nice" the chef is. That's the problem with my little town here--nobody will honestly review a restaurant because everyone is friendly, or does business with the owner, or is in some capacity where ad dollars are involved.

                          This is how restaurants survive up here even despite bad service, low quality food, etc. It's simply all about quantity and overhead. And in this town, overhead is quite high, and in my conversations with a restaurant owner, they know FULL WELL that spending more on top quality ingredients won't improve their bottom line in a town like this. People are on vacation, and because of that, they're willing to cut a place slack. Why? Well, hell, they're on vacation.

                          For those of us who really do spend time traveling specifically to restaurants in cities just for the food, Breckenridge is overall quite average to below average in terms of overall restaurant quality. That includes the very best restaurants up here: In other words, not many if any would survive in a city when you factor in the price of the entrees.

                          I eat at these restaurants--whether I like them or not--mostly because of my visiting friends who end up there. My hope is that serious food people will read these and heed them before spending $34 on an overcooked strip steak (I'm looking at you, Relish) when the restaurant around the corner is the same price with food above and beyond better.

                          For what it's worth, I think Frisco has surpassed Breckenridge with it's quality of top restaurants. And I'll say that while that has happened, Modis (which indeed replaced Horseshoe) has helped up the game in Breckenridge overall.

                          Here are the updates:

                          The best restaurants in Breckenridge are Modis and South Ridge Seafood Grill (and Le Petit Paris). Period. South Ridge is still a crummy dark and LOUD LOUD LOUD atmosphere, but the staff is excellent as is the food and the value. The former, Modis, is a much better atmosphere, a much more social and contemporary dining atmosphere that rises up to the very high prices for both wine and entrees. There are some hit and miss items at Modis, however, so I'd put South Ridge a little ahead of them. However, the atmosphere at Modis simply beats the crap out of South Ridge. (Paul, are you listening? It's time to upgrade from Tilly's Burger Joint that used to be in your space). Service at Modis can be very below par, depending on the waiter you get. There are some who tend to be indifferent and even in need of an attitude adjustment. Not so at South Ridge.

                          Relish: I'd say there are a few great entrees at Relish, and they've enjoyed some popularity due to what I feel is an undeserved glowing review from 5280 magazine. Their food tends to be very salty, and their meats are often overcooked. But some of their other entrees, particularly their specials, can be fantastic. A great wine list (as appears at Modis and to a lesser degree South Ridge) is a big hit here. The bar at Relish is very small and feels more like a bar on a ferry than it does a real bar. You're really not there to do anything but wait.

                          In the summer, Relish has a great view and atmosphere on the river/Blue River Plaza. South Ridge has a tiny patio in front and back, and Modis sometimes opens their deck, but Eric the owner tends to not open it as often, and no longer does lunch.

                          Le Petit Paris is the french restaurant that came on the scene and nearly went away due to a tax scandal. But food there is amazing, and deserves a spot on the top of the list if you like French. The owners are from France, and their friends at Le Parisien, as the poster noted above, are truly gifted at what they do. (BTW: Le Parisien is amazing for bread--buy it at Ridge Street Wine and Cheese, and you have a cocktail party back at your house)

                          Giampietro's and Briar Rose (also sisters to Empire Burger) are good choices, the former being a no-reservations (hard to get a table) very reasonable Italian place, with great specials. Briar Rose is slightly over-priced but offers great steaks. Avoid the bar food as it tends to be greasy and overdone. But the steaks are sublime, if you're okay with the price and the meager portions. Service there is great as is the atmosphere.

                          Hearthstone tends to be an overrated establishment, but it gets recommended by everyone due to the owner's affability with the concierges and drivers in town. Be aware. It gets excused by tourists due to the grand ol rumor that it used to be a whore house (not true), and it's got a great patio and a very intimate (if not always full--and be warned they won't let you go to it if it is) bar. Views there are amazing. Food is somewhat average for the price. This is one of the big hit-or-miss places in Breck for both service and food. The actual dining experience is not as "glamorous" as the outside of the building as the inside rooms are chopped up and in need of some serious cleaning and remodel. It's a dirty old dame.

                          Fatty's: No. Just stay away, unless you just want a beer to watch some tv and see some of the local aged drunks who appear there, ready to leer at your wife from the barstools they occupy until they pour out onto the street. Food is way below average but for barfood it's okay. The pizza is not worth it. A better choice for barfood is Eric's, but that's more of a family joint with it's arcade and loooooong wait times during high season. TV's abound there, and Eric Mamula does a superb job with quality food.

                          Avoid Blue River Bistro. This establishment has fallen off the cliff for quality, but has kept their prices high. The last time I ate there the bread was stale and their items are all fresh off the Sysco truck.

                          Avoid Michael's. Terrible Italian. Same with Taddeo's, which is about on par and just as bad food. I'd say be warned about it's sister Quandary Grille, but it's okay for beer, apres ski appetizers--it's a fine choice.

                          Avoid Ember. This place replaced Alpine Cafe, sadly, and a sous chef opened it to great expectations. It has failed. People who tell you it's great are likely friends with many of the groupies who are very loyal to the former staff. It is simply very expensive, and very very below average, even for Breckenridge.

                          MiCasa is known as one of the worst Mexican food joints anywhere, but the margaritas are great, and it's a good meeting place. Just don't bother eating there. This is owned by the same people as Hearthstone, so it tends to draw a crowd through a strategy of wooing concierges and drivers. Mexican is not good in Breck, be it Jalapenos (bad food, bad atmosphere, worse service) or Fiesta Jalisco, which is better but still average. Avoid LaMOntana, which is a new entry.

                          Angel's Hollow has improved greatly. Great fish tacos, fun little atmosphere, and NOT crowded--seems to draw more of us locals.

                          For breakfast, do not miss Amazing Grace. It's in a historic little building, very rustic, heated by a wooden stove. Good natural lunches, espresso, coffee, baked goods and organic/natural breakfasts, but don't plan on fast service--it's mostly counter service, and it's not cheap. But also do not expect pancakes, waffles, etc. For that, go to Blue Moose.

                          Breck Brewery is barfood. It is a fun, large place, but has always suffered from the smell of cleaning supplies throughout the restaurant. The food though is good, and if you like craft beer, they have all kinds. Bartenders are great and they serve great family-friendly dishes. Be prepared for a wait and a crowded bar.

                          Empire Burger has decent burgers and great shakes, but be warned, the crowds can be of the younger aggravated type, and I"ve been in there when shoving matches have broken out at the bar. However, for lunch the burgers are really good and it's a good choice. Just stay away late night and you'll avoid an errant fist. Great onion rings and fries, try the wasabi and sriracha dips.

                          Flying Fish sushi is the *only* place I"d send anyone for sushi, and while it's expensive, it's also good. Always order their specialty rolls and fishes. Because of the crowds, you won't find fish going bad like you will at some of the other establishments in town. And a note: Any place that serves Sushi AND Chinese (yes there is one in Breck) is a place to walk past quickly.

                          Great wine and cheese and Chocolate can be found at Ridge Street Wine (oddly on Main Street), as can bread from Le Parisien bakery. Anne is great, and while the wine is a bit pricey for bottles found cheaper elsewhere, it's hard to find anything bad there and the help is fantastic.

                          That's all for my Breck update. My rec's for Keystone (ski tip, etc) still stand. Ski Tip is still one of the best restaurants in Summit County.

                          113 S. Main Street, Breckenridge, CO 80424

                          Blue Moose Restaurant
                          540 S Main, Breckenridge, CO 80424

                          Angel's Hollow
                          113 S Ridge Rd, Breckenridge, CO 80424

                          Quandary Grille
                          505 S Main Street Sta, Breckenridge, CO 80424

                          Empire Burger
                          PO Box 4242, Breckenridge, CO 80424

                          Le Petit Paris
                          161 E Adams Ave, Breckenridge, CO 80424

                          9 Replies
                          1. re: tenmiler

                            I'm not sure that people are willing to cut a place slack because they're on vacation... I don't. If I get a bad meal I don't go back and I post a review here.

                            I suspect that the reasons that restaurants in resort areas get away with poor quality is that there is a never-ending supply of strangers arriving each week, hungry, and just walking the main street or picking a place from ads. They have to eat somewhere. The restaurants don't have to cultivate regular customers and develop and guard their reputation.. They don't get punished for poor quality because there are always hungry new customers coming in the door . They get rewarded for good advertising or a highly visible location.

                            This shows the value of a community like chowhound.... even a noob in town can get a clue by checking here first. This is a force for natural selection of better restaurants.

                            1. re: Dave_in_PA

                              Dave I think you're absolutely right. My point wasn't that everyone would just 'cut them slack', but people are hungry, and after skiing all day, a fried chicken club sandwich at one place isn't any better than the other. The difference is between the couple from the city who are really looking to have a great meal, great wine, and don't want to waste their time on bad food--they usually turn to places like this forum.

                              The family that drove 12 hours to get here are more likely to eat at the barfood/family places, and when they're at the grocery store, stock up on Ragu and noodles and bacon and eggs. It's just how it goes up here.

                              I think however the overall situation has improved thanks to some places really upping the ante--it used to be impossible to find ANY good place to eat up in Breck. Now you actually can get a decent meal. BUT you can also get quickly ripped off for below-average food, or faux reviews from editors and publications who want ad dollars and therefore don't say ONE bad thing about any of the places that truly need improvement.

                              1. re: tenmiler

                                If I make it back to Breckenridge next year I'll take you to lunch. You can pick.

                            2. re: tenmiler

                              Can't agree on Fatty's. It was know as a locals bar before the remodel, but the food was always good. The remodel gave it a warm comfortable atmosphere, great for family's . There is plenty of seating away from the bar, upstairs and down. Although the locals still meet there it's less of the "bar" crowd and more of the business locals. I had a really great Alfredo there a few months ago, and the pizza is always stellar with good combo's - Mediterranean, Italian, BBQ Chicken. In a town the size of Breck none-chain restaurants can't survive on tourists only. So if the locals are eating there, it must be good.

                              1. re: suzcoloradonative

                                The locals DRINK there, and sometimes eat barfood there. It is not populated with locals eating there other than at lunch as it's one of the few places close to most of the offices along Ridge Street that is open.

                                It's perfectly "okay" for barfood, but I still think there are better choices even for that than Fatty's. Salads have upped a little bit but are still primarily iceberg lettuce and mushy tomatoes. Pizza is subjective. I tend to think their dough is thick and doughy, and flavorless. The toppings are okay. It's not bad, it's just not great. Service, however, is pretty much fair to awful, and don't expect to even get water refilled with much more than a cursory occasion when it's busy.

                                It is not a really great family place as much as it is a big group place. Eric's takes the cake there with the crazy arcade for kids to mess with all evening.

                                Make no mistake: This is a bar with barfood. There is little that is beyond this. And if that's what you want, by all means, head there. It's simply not a place I'd recommend.

                                1. re: tenmiler

                                  Crazy Arcade doesn't equate to a place for dinner for all parents, thankfully. I didn't know Eggplant Parmesan, Lasagna and Scampi were bar food!

                                  1. re: suzcoloradonative

                                    They are when they come straight off the Sysco menu.

                              2. re: tenmiler

                                But - apres ski - we always go to Mi Casa for Margs and wings. Wings? Yes.

                                1. re: tenmiler

                                  Gave South Ridge Seafood a try after a few years' absence based on the positive comment here. Sadly, I can't second the motion. Our fish was virtually unseasoned, tasting only of the grill itself. (Plus we had to chuckle at the menu which featured broccolini as a side on I think seven different items.)

                                  Concur with the high marks for Modis, still #1 and by more than a little. Service excellent, food interesting flavorful and well prepared and presented. Plus the space is wonderful. My only quibble is the menu - it's very unfocused, like the Chef doesn't know if he wants to be "New American" or "Asian Fusion" or "Colorado Locavore" or what.

                                  Have had 3 good meals this year at Ember. Also excellent service, and could give South Ridge some lessons on how to cook fish properly. Escolar special was really great. Not everything on the menu is as successful, but this place stays near the top of our rotation.

                                  Have much affection for Petit Paris. It's a quirky experience but we enjoy the food and have been welcomed there like part of the family for years.

                                  Tried Food Hedz in Frisco, which was surprisingly an out-and-out awful experience. I guess we could have excused the uncomfortable concept, sort of a confusion between a cafeteria and a sit-down restaurant, and the amateur-hour service had the food been special. To the contrary, my fish was sauced into inedible acidity and my son described his soup as "pasta sauce". Very surprising considering the positive notices on this site. Couldn't wait to get out of there.

                                  113 S. Main Street, Breckenridge, CO 80424

                                2. Haven"t tried but 4 or 5 places up there but in Keystone, Snake River Saloon makes a damn fine pizza!

                                  Snake River Saloon
                                  23074 US Highway 6, Dillon, CO 80435

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: LorenM

                                    Tenmiler: Can you please make some suggestions for 1. A not so expensive place to hold a dinner party for a rehearsal dinner. Something laid back, in Breckenridge. 2. A caterer, a private chef or a place to get great "box lunches" or gourmet sandwiches. We are having a "classy picnic type" wedding if you will, and I am searching for great sandwiches and perhaps great side dishes. After reading the reviews I will look at Le Petit and Le Parisian. For this I can look outside of Breckenridge...Frisco, Keystone, Silverthorne, etc.

                                    1. re: calahc

                                      Hi Calahc,

                                      One of the most popular places for a casual picnic-type rehearsal dinner spots for locals is renting out the Carter Park Pavilion. It's hard to get last minute so book early, but you can reserve it at 970-453-1734. That said, it's very casual, it's a nice pavilion with a great outdoor patio and barbeque, that is also on a town park. You can rent out the whole space (but the park grounds and dog run area next to it stay open), and it has a small kitchen for foodprep and a large large grill. Kids love it because there's lots of room to run around. But if your event is in the early month of June, weather can be very chilly in the eve, forcing you indoors, which is why I recommend renting the whole place. Indoors is much more pedestrian, but has a fireplace, etc.

                                      My recommendation for the catering side is Harvest; they tend to be the only game in town. They are not perfect, though, but you could hire them to BBQ for you and have a more western-style event. www.harvest-catering.com

                                      If you want a venue a little more rustic, the Harvest owner owns Dry Gulch, (www.drygulchtown.com) which is an old mining encampment up in the hills above Breckenridge. The photos look all planned out but it's a little more rustic than the photos lead you to believe. You could also try the Ski Tip Ranch, which is pricey. And my guess is some of the homes in the area have great venues for a small dinner--you can go to greatwesternlodging.com for some nice homes.

                                      I would head over to petalandbean.com's website and ask Stacy or Deenah what they recommend (they do tons of weddings as a flower shop) for venues, and I bet they'd be more than happy to steer you in the right place.

                                      I would avoid anything from the ski area--Breck Hospitality (or for that matter anything run by the ski area's food operations--it's sub par and very expensive), but many people do like the Ten Mile House on the Ski Area's Peak 9 for their wedding venue.

                                      1. re: tenmiler

                                        I really appreciate your response. We actually already have the venue, its The Lodge at Two Rivers. But, unlike other venues it doesn't come with additional help, i.e. a coordinator. So, we are pretty much on our own with all the details. We will definitely look into Harvest, especially since there are really very few catering companies in town. We are still looking for a place to hold our rehearsal dinner that is reasonable. I had to laugh after reading your review, because someone suggested that we have it Fatty's. I'm not so sure now, considering you gave it two solid "No's".

                                        1. re: calahc

                                          Methinks that'd be the normally very nice owner (hi, John!) arguing with me over Fatty's, especially given their slur against a competitor. Let's make it three solid NO's.

                                          I don't know if Stacy can help you with coordination or not, he's someone I know in town, and there are lots of resources that folks like him can help (I am not in the industry so I'm not of as much help).

                                          You should check out rockymountainbride.com or their magazine, which of course has a zillion ads and a bunch of retread articles about weddings up here--it's an enormous industry as you can imagine in the summer. There are some other smaller caterers who might be better fits for you than Harvest, especially if you just want a more casual affair. I just can't think of their names at the moment.

                                          I'd heartily recommend Le Parisien; just not sure if they're willing to do larger orders. Either way, summer here is incredibly beautiful. You'll have a great time no matter where you go.

                                          Just don't do Fatty's :)

                                          1. re: tenmiler

                                            Sorry, no I'm not John, just a local Denverite that didn't agree with you about Fatty's. I've been going to Breck since the 60's when the only places were The Gold Pan (that was really scary back then) and The Briar Rose. Didn't mean to slur anyone. Your first "no" didn't even have any information, seemed a little strange.
                                            Have a great day!

                                            Gold Pan Restaurant
                                            103 N Main, Breckenridge, CO 80424

                                  2. My take on the Alpenglow Stube after a meal there last week...

                                    Truly one of the most disappointing meals of my life. Yes, the gondola ride to the top was romantic. The cozy slippers and warm hearth are wonderful touches. The drinks and service were top-notch, but none of that makes up for the truly abysmal food.

                                    We went for the classic 6-course menu. My first gripe is that amuse bouche and a tablespoon of sorbet are NOT courses. They are generally thrown in as bonuses, courtesy of the chef and while the delicious sturgeon and israeli caviars, and the homemade banana sorbet were in fact, the highlights of an otherwise terrible meal, they should not be billed as courses.

                                    For my first course i ordered rabbit loin with greens and a meyer lemon vinaigrette. What I got was a dry, overcooked cutlet (could have been chicken for all I know) wrapped around a few sad, wilted greens. My fiance got the buffalo short rib which smelled nice but was woefully underseasoned and tasted only of smoke.

                                    Vennison bing cherry consumme was fine. Clear and flavorful.

                                    For our main meals, I got the Colorado lamb, which was cooked medium-rare as I asked, however the chop was more than 50% fat, and not the crispy melting kind of fat you get from a nice sear, but translucent globs that were not at all appealing. The accompanying "spoonbread" tasted like grainy bread mixed with water and an entire stale can of provencal seasoning. completely inedible. It was garnished with asparagus (really, you serve asparagus all winter?) and few sticks of carrot. My fiances duck was completely overcooked and served with a gelatinous gravy-type sauce that tasted like uncooked flour.

                                    I do have to mention the various homemade breads were warm, fresh and delicious and the compound butters/preserves that accompanied them were a nice touch.

                                    When dessert arrived my fiance said, "you have to try this banana's foster it's so good!" "Really?!" I took a bite and he doubled over in laughter, as I choked it down. Dessert fail. His bananas foster was like freezer-burnt banana ice cream, and my "signature dessert" was a flavorless overcooked custard sprinkled with a few sad looking berries.

                                    As we looked around the restaurant we could hardly believe our eyes, happy diners everywhere. I wanted to complain but everything went so smoothly it was obvious that we were not there on a bad nigh.t The kitchen wasn't in the weeds, this is just the standard, which to us was completely unacceptable for the $350 price tag for two, (including a tasty reasonably priced bottle of wine and tip) Its like everyone was drinking the Kool-aid, Apparently the fancy chef toques, and cheesy 90's swirly sauce plating, and inflated prices fooled everyone into thinking they were having an excellent meal. I just cannot believe those chefs taste the food before it goes out and think it tastes good. It's absolutely absurd.

                                    Next time you are in Keystone save yourself a couple hundred bucks and get a nice steak at the tenderfoot lounge. You'll have a delicious, unpretentious meal that doesn't leave a bitter, resentful, taste in your mouth.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: pocketgarden

                                      That's too bad. Since the same food & beverage operations run the ski resort (and do the same for Breck), they've gone downhill. I would recommend not the Tenderfoot but Ski Tip. It's one of the best restaurants in the county.

                                    2. I read through these posts and found that most of the originally recommended places weren't around anymore and many of those that were left sounded lackluster. We had some good meals around the area, but nothing compared to Mountain Flying Fish in Breckenridge.

                                      We were blown away by how fresh and how well prepared everything was (from cooked dishes to sushi). I have had the privilege of eating at some of the best and most renowned places in New York City, and this meal surpassed them all. We were fortunate enough to be with someone who knew the chefs and we had an Omakase ("Chef's Choice") meal, but if you order anything from what we had, you won't be disappointed.

                                      If anyone is curious, I put a full review up here: http://nycnomnom.com/2011/06/27/breck...

                                      Mountain Flying Fish
                                      500 S Main, Breckenridge, CO 80424