Lunch

jimk

Active member
How do you folks feel about lunch at ski areas?

1. Is enjoying a nice lunch from a food service operation on the mountain an important part of your ski day?

2. What are some of your more memorable lunches during a ski outing, including location and cuisine?

3. Or are you more of a brown bagger?

4. What and where do you usually eat if you're brown bagging your own lunch.

Sorry if this topic has been covered previously. For a long time I didn't pay much attention to this website until Tony revived it.
 

Skieric

New member
I am happy with something quick and not too heavy. I feel lethargic after a burger and fries. I will bring my own lunch when near home, however for convenience when traveling I usually end up buying.
A sit down down table service lunch for 2 hour is not my idea of “skiing”. Thats reserved for the evening.
 

jimk

Active member
Yeah, I think it's fair to divide this question into:
a) when skiing near home/local
b) when skiing far from home/on vacation

For me I'd say that generally when I have control over my ski day I will brown bag my lunch. Typically it's a PBJ sandwich, maybe some chips, piece of fruit, candy, and a coke or ice tea. this is probably what I do on about 60% of my ski days.
Guess where this PBJ was consumed?
pb&j ice tea 17 apr summit (1).jpg


There are another ~15% of my ski days where I might only ski for approx 3 hours and don't eat on the hill at all. Just go back home (20 mins away).

Then there is the ~25% of the time when I'm skiing with friends or family and they want to eat prepared food in a lodge/restaurant at the ski area. I will participate to be sociable. Sometimes this is with my son who gets a good employee discount at Snowbird so I don't mind eating with him, esp. if he's buying;)
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
1) No. If I get a good breakfast I'd guess I stop for lunch maybe half the time, depends mainly on whether I or a ski partner need a break. If breakfast was marginal, I try to get in for a lunch by 11:30 before the crush.
2) Chalet Etoile in Cervinia is clearly #1, done twice, and on powder days! Zum See in Furi and Chez Vrony in Findeln (both Zermatt) are right up there. I just notified James about Echaillon in Serre Chevalier as we both may be skiing there in a few weeks. Expats last spring guided us to Croix de Coeur in the Savoleyres sector of Verbier. Fraser tipped us off to the Panorama and Walleggalm restaurants in Saalbach. I'm wondering if sbooker is noticing a pattern in these peak on-mountain dining experiences. :smileyvault-stirthepot: In fairness, one place I really appreciate is Aspen Highlands' Cloud 9 after a grueling hike and an exciting ski in Highlands Bowl. Links are to food porn pics at the named restaurants.
3) No, I'm lazy in that regard.
4) I nearly always carry a water bottle and sometimes carry jerky or granola bars for snacks. Inside Mammoth's gondola is a favored place to eat those snacks.
 
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q

Member
How do you folks feel about lunch at ski areas?

1. Is enjoying a nice lunch from a food service operation on the mountain an important part of your ski day?

2. What are some of your more memorable lunches during a ski outing, including location and cuisine?

3. Or are you more of a brown bagger?

4. What and where do you usually eat if you're brown bagging your own lunch.

Sorry if this topic has been covered previously. For a long time I didn't pay much attention to this website until Tony revived it.
1) I would generally say no. A huge number of days especially as I have aged I don't even stop for lunch or at most maybe a soup or a beer. Occasionally I will have a bit more if there is something I really fancy as a special at Discovery but that is rare.
2) Quite a few spring to mind espcially in Europe as a youngster unable to really take advantage! One in USA in 2006 when a mate worked as an instructor at Keystone and we went to the Alpinglow Stube and splashed out on a fantastic lunch, lamb rack being my main course was a great experience. I've had others over the years but that was certainly a stand out.
3) Never. Occasionally I will buy something in town and eat on my way to the hill if it is a later start and occasionally especially late season we will have a grill or stuff at a tailgate or at the grill in the woods at the summit of the hill. Folks take a host of local game, fish and all sorts to that grill, a real highlight on a beautiful spring morning!
 

jamesdeluxe

Administrator
maybe a soup or a beer
That's my usual MO as well. As I mentioned in the Keystone thread, there's nothing as dispiriting as a North American fast-food ski lunch: queuing up and standing next to the heat lamps, choking down burgers and fries, gah. :eusa-sick:

Unless it takes away from a Top Ten powder day, I question the honesty of anyone who says "I don't want to waste 90 minutes at a proper gastronomic lunch" like the ones mentioned above. I've had a few memorable meals like at Morzine's Le Vaffieu (scroll halfway down) and wouldn't think twice about doing it again if cost weren't a consideration.
 

jimk

Active member
20 year old photo of an Austrian friend, Florian, from a mountainside lunch we had at Flachau, Austria, Feb 2003:
1091852970_eating.jpg
 

tseeb

Active member
Guess where this PBJ was consumed?
View attachment 33307
Picture includes Mt Ritter and Banner Peak and was taken from top of Mammoth.

+1 on the PBJ. Since some of the wheat bread we end up with are so big (too big to fit in a sandwich baggies), I only make a half. I also carry water, try to have some chips and nuts as I'm usually craving salt while and especially after skiing, a smashed bottle of water and some kind of bar that usually doesn't get eaten. Something sweet like cookies or dark chocolate also nice to have.

When I'm by myself, I'm often eating on the chair since I usually don't get enough skiing.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
I question the honesty of anyone who says "I don't want to waste 90 minutes at a proper gastronomic lunch" like the ones mentioned above.
+1 Even at Alta former admin's posse will go for a sit down lunch at Rustler Lodge on a non-powder day.

In answering jimk's question I exclude skiing into a town for lunch, which FYI is a good way to get a quality meal at Vail or Beaver Creek.
 

flyover

Member
I question the honesty of anyone who says "I don't want to waste 90 minutes at a proper gastronomic lunch" like the ones mentioned above.
I live a looooooong ways away from satisfying skiing. Occasionally, when resort skiing in BC with John in the days before or after Mustang, he insists on a proper sit-down lunch. Unless the conditions flat out suck, if such a lunch takes more than 45 minutes, it inevitably drives me crazy. I just can’t stop thinking “I could be skiing right now, and I’d rather be skiing right now.” I can eat a decent meal at home and the views are always just as good from the lifts.

That being said, I know it’s never going to happen, but I’d love to see more north American ski hills follow the example set by Whitewater, where the food from either the cafeteria line or by table service is quick, affordable, nutritious, simple, and unbelievably good.

I grew up brown bagging with my family when we skied in VT. When possible, we always preferred to eat in an on-mountain lodge or warming hut (the more rustic, the better) and not at the base. My parents always kept it simple, but good: quality hard salami, baguette or other crusty bread, good cheese, homemade cookies, apples and oranges, and thermos full of cocoa for the kids, and cheap red wine out of dixie cups kept under the table for the adults and teenagers (ah, the 80’s).

For reasons I can’t explain, I still have a metabolism like a chipmunk and generally need to eat throughout a day of skiing to keep from bonking. I almost always ski with enough nonperishable food to keep me going (homemade oatmeal cookie bars with lots of walnuts, quality hard cheese, jerky from our local butcher, dark chocolate, a clementine or two, and a small thermos of strong black tea). On powder days, I prefer to eat from my own stash rather than getting slowed down by lodge crowding.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
Unless the conditions flat out suck, if such a lunch takes more than 45 minutes, it inevitably drives me crazy.
I recall getting restless during a leisurely lunch with NASJA members in Verbier. We were there on a daytrip from Chamonix and had skied with a guide from Mont Fort to Tortin. Most of the group was going to linger, then ski to a wine tasting in Le Hameau. But I thought I HAD to get up to Mont Gele. So I asked our guide for directions from the trail map and successfully navigated the off piste from Mont Gele to Tortin. I did not navigate successfully down to Le Hameau. I ended up in town and had to find the right bus. I arrived in Le Hameau 15 minutes before our charter bus was going back to Chamonix.
 

jimk

Active member
About ten years ago I had a couple of scenic brown bag lunches at the mid-mountain E-Tow Cabin at Loveland, CO. It was a historic little shelter, no food service. Don't know if it's still open to the public in the same way now?
Center of photo:
loveland shack (2).jpg


Up close:
loveland snacks.jpg
 

jamesdeluxe

Administrator
I know it’s never going to happen, but I’d love to see more north American ski hills follow the example set by Whitewater, where the food from either the cafeteria line or by table service is quick, affordable, nutritious, simple, and unbelievably good.
Agreed. I remember my first visit to Le Massif, Quebec in 2004 -- I couldn't believe how good and fairly priced the cafeteria cuisine was. Of course, they were taking their cues from across the pond, where that's the norm. Over the past two decades, things have improved a wee bit across North America but not that much and Tony nailed the reason for this state of affairs in the Alps mess thread:

The main problem is that on-mountain F&B in the US is nearly all operated by the ski companies, many of which view it as a captive audience situation to exploit, rather like sports/music venues and amusement parks. Meanwhile socialist Europe has independent restaurants on-mountain that compete in quality like in most locations.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
In some places in the US fine dining is part of the brand (Aspen, Deer Valley), so on-mountain dining is a cut above in those places.

The other classic "captive audience" situation is airports. Over the past 20 years or so, it has dawned upon airport operators that this audience skews affluent, so that it will actually spend more money if you raise the quality/variety of offerings. I'm not saying I'd go out of my way to eat at an airport, but they used to be in the sports arena/amusement park class.
 
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EMSC

Well-known member
1. Is enjoying a nice lunch from a food service operation on the mountain an important part of your ski day?

2. What are some of your more memorable lunches during a ski outing, including location and cuisine?

3. Or are you more of a brown bagger?

4. What and where do you usually eat if you're brown bagging your own lunch.
1. Definitively not an important part of my day. I am all over the map and do all of the options depending on circumstances and who I might be with (or not). I'm probably one of the few who doesn't care about even a great meal at a resort even on a bad snow day. If it's that bad I'd rather finish up my skiing and go somewhere else and do some other activity than sit around eating. I have been known to eat sit-down very occasionally only because the group was doing so, but pretty much always wish I were still skiing or doing something else, to be honest.
2. Maybe at top of P3 in LaGrave and at Deer Valet
3. Grew up brown bagging, or on trips supplemental brown bagging (eg bringing own orange and cookies to have after a bought burger only). Still brown bag somewhat frequently locally, though not always. I also have a fairly high proportion of skipping lunch entirely or just having a snack in my pocket.
4. Snacks in a pocket get eaten on lifts or a 5 minute break somewhere on the hill. Brown bag actual lunch gets eaten (sometimes surreptitiously, in a lodge somewhere, usually while also needing to warm up and over ~20-30 minutes max).

So in the past 10 days, I've eaten crappy industrial bought food at Keystone, snacked on a peanut M&M's and skipped lunch entirely day #1 at Revelstoke, bought a cheap supermarket sandwich after quitting for the day for Day #2 at Revy, made my own lunch and essentially brown bagged Mustang lunches which get eaten in the cat (that's how they operate which I prefer), etc... Kind of all over the place.
 

ChrisC

Well-known member
1. Not important at all. Often I don't stop. Always have some water and protein bars in a pack.

2. Memorable - generally the place needs to be up high with awesome views, sunlight, and good food.
US: Telluride's restaurants are great: Bon Vivant, Alpino Vino - maybe a group lunch once a year. Guiseppe's/Plunge cafe at the top is great to be outside. Aspen Highland's Cloud 9. Aspen Bonnie's. Sun Valley's Seattle Ridge. Crystal - top of Rainier Express/Gondola - views of Rainier. Kicking Horse summit lodge. Deer Valley - in general.
Europe: I like a lot of mountain huts/refuges. Generally, I can bring food and supplement it: Verbier - Mont Fort, Corvatsch/St Moritz -Fuorcla Surlej, Val Thorens - summit of Crime Caron. And Many restaurants - same as Tony's. Zermatt/Cervinia - Chalet Etoile (cafeteria or table), Chez Vrony, really almost anyplace, Val d'Isere - restaurants at most summits/bowls, Brevent - summit of the cable car

3. In Europe, I will brown bag often. I steal from the morning breakfast buffet, then sit down to eat wherever. Breakfast is a 2-for meal for me. Or I'll have food from Coop grocery stores. Or if with a guide, it's kinda customary to buy the guide lunch as a tip - I still do more at the end of the day.
In the US, I am more all over the map. Depends on what is in the fridge/cupboard or laziness or a restaurant to try or the type of ski day. Or I'm not skiing a full day so I go somewhere else (home, grocery store).

4. Food: protein bars, fruit that does not get mushy, really anything that does not mush. I've eaten too many squished sandwiches...kind of annoys me.
 
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