Just because I live a snowball’s throw from Jackson Hole, my hometown ski resort, doesn’t mean my life is one big ski vacation. Except on Tuesdays — the day dedicated to skiing (and eating) with my all-girl group at the “Mountain” from first tram to last chair. We have a name (the Jackson Hole Foodies) and a motto (Ski Fast, Eat Slow). Come on, I’ll show you a few of our favorite mountain lunches.
Corbet’s Cabin (Rendezvous Peak at Jackson Hole Resort // 307.739.2688)
Powder days require a special lunching strategy. When the snow is piling up and first tracks are a priority, the best time to ski is when everyone else is having lunch. Fuel up first thing by taking the earliest tram possible and duck into Corbet’s Cabin at 10,450 feet for one of their famous waffles.
When I’m in the mood for sweet, my go-to waffle is The Italian, smeared with Nutella and sometimes strawberries. But sometimes I branch out: The Englishman is stuffed with lemon curd, powdered sugar and whipped cream; The Traditional is simply perfect with brown sugar and butter, and The Gateway pairs peanut butter and bacon (and honey on request) in the most satisfying way. Prefer a savory waffle? Go for the Pull a Hammy, new this year to honor the ski resort’s 50th anniversary, packed with cheddar cheese and thinly sliced honey ham.
Osteria Cafè (3335 West Village Road, Teton Village // 307.739.4025)
Lunching on a fabulous warm sammy while riding the gondola to mid-mountain is another powder day strategy I highly recommend. Not just any sandwich will do: Head to The Osteria Café at the base for the Calabrese Chicken — chicken cutlets, white cheddar, honey, Calabrese aioli, avocado, cabbage and caramelized onions on a warm baguette. Have them double-wrap your Calabrese so as not to get all that gooey goodness leaking onto your ski jacket. Once the aroma of this spicy chicken sandwich escapes from its foil wrapper, be prepared to offer bites to your gondola mates. Our Western hospitality dictates that everyone on board gets a taste.
Il Villaggio Osteria (3335 Village Dr, Teton Village // 307.739.4100)
When is it time for a proper sit-down mountain lunch? When the lifts close or the burning in your quads can no longer be ignored, whichever comes first, it’s time to head back down to the base to my favorite Italian restaurant in Jackson— Il Villaggio Osteria. Normally packed during peak lunch hours, late afternoon at Osteria is an oasis of calm. Get a window seat and settle in with an antipasti of Venison Carpaccio. Impossibly thin slices of venison are topped with celery leaves, savory granola, shavings of fiore sardo cheese, and dappled with coffee oil. Move on to the best meatballs in Jackson Hole, topped with a generous gooey slice of Osteria’s house-pulled mozzarella. Finish with a winter white insalata: endive, pecorino, sherry vinaigrette, pistachios and grapes. Still hungry? Go for one of the Napoli-style, hand-tossed pizzas, or a primi plate of my favorite pasta: pappardelle with black trumpet and maitake mushrooms, white wine and truffle oil.
Teton Thai (7342 Granite Loop Road, Teton Village // 307.733.0022)
Many a ski day in Jackson Hole ends at Teton Thai — a tiny outpost of authentic Thai cuisine hidden at the edge of the resort near the farthest parking lot. When the time for après ski rolls around, Teton Thai is packed with locals noshing on Thai Street Ribs, enormous bowls of noodle soups, creamy curries, and fresh, crunchy salads. Order 5-star spicy if you like to live dangerously; the 3-star Pad Kee Mao has me shedding layers as my eyes well up with tears. Start with the Som Tom green papaya salad with lime juice, tamarind, peanuts, tomato, green beans, garlic and fresh Thai chilies. Move on to my favorite soup — the Duck Noodle Soup with roasted duck breast, rice noodles, dried garlic, cilantro, green onion and bean sprouts. When in the mood for curry, the Panang with salmon and a side of brown rice never disappoints.