Jackson Hole, WY ski trip eats
Just got back from three phenomenal days of skiing at Jackson Hole, where they got 56" of snow in four days. The skiing was truly extraordinary, and this from someone who typically skis 20-30 days a year in Colorado and elsewhere (and up to 70 a couple of years, before I was so busy with work).
I searched these boards for recommendations but didn't find much that was recent and applied to my circumstances. Specifically, I was there with a few good friends to ski and we were traveling on the cheap, so I wasn't really looking for fine dining (and, from what I've read, I'd probably have been disappointed anyway). But I still wanted good food - local, with care put into the ingredients and preparation. Here are the places we ended up:
Bubba's BBQ: I liked this place, mostly because the servers were incredibly friendly, the service was quick, and the prices were reasonable. The BBQ is good, not great; you're not going to write home about it, but as long as expectations are in check you're not going to be too disappointed either. The brisket was nice and moist (which is an achievement) and the chicken had been smoked then grilled, which resulted in nice flavor, juicy meat and reasonably crisp skin. Beans, slaw and fries were all OK, nothing spectacular. I like that every plate comes with Texas toast, toasted with butter - makes for fine little BBQ sandwich bites. Overall, a good place to get a lot of tasty food for not too much money - perfect for a ski trip. Don't try to compare to the BBQ in Texas/Memphis/KC/etc., and you'll enjoy it fine.
Garage: This place aspired to be fine dining (and was priced accordingly), but the food fell a bit short for me. I got the specialty pizza, and I've never seen so much cheese on a pizza in my life - it was kind of off-putting (and I like cheesy pizza) and totally overwhelmed the other ingredients, including the poor crust which was soggy and invisible under the weight of cheese. New York steaks were cooked to the right temp but had an "off" flavor to them (hard to place - maybe the peppercorn crust has something else in it?) and, for $30, weren't as high quality meat as they ought to be. The side of sweet potato fries which the server raved about was just OK, and the side of bok choy had just been thrown on the grill for a couple of minutes - no seasoning, not much flavor, and not enough charring to make up for it. Points were deducted also for the server's enthusiastic selling of the brussels sprouts, which we all ordered, only to have her return in 10 minutes to say that they were out of them. Service was very slow - like half an hour from ordering to receiving food. The complimentary pretzel rolls, however, were delicious. Overall not terrible, but this was our one "nice" dinner out and we all felt like it wasn't quite up to par for the price.
Pearl Street Bagels: Great bagels and coffee. But (a) no eggs or breakfast meat so no breakfast sandwiches, and (b) they DO NOT HAVE A TOASTER. Seriously. How does a bagel place not have a toaster? The person behind the counter said "Don't worry, some of these are still hot... umm... wait... no, none of them are still hot. Sorry." Still, it was a tasty enough bagel that I'd probably go back. Except for...
E-Leaven: I don't know if this is a chain or what; it seemed kind of like a higher end Panera or a pastry-based Chipotle, kind of fast-casual. But the bagel sandwich was one of the best I've ever had, including incredibly meaty and smoky bacon, moist and hot eggs and good swiss cheese. That's where I'm going for breakfast every day next time I'm in Jackson.
Bonus Tip: for travelers on a budget, the Cowboy Village Cabins are great - they sleep three in a cabin for something like $90/night during ski season, are very comfortable, and are located walking distance from bars and restaurants in Jackson.