GET OUT: Eat, Ski, Repeat

By on December 22, 2015

Tasty fuel to power your backcountry adventures.

Left: Chance Burleson enjoys a snack break in the hills. Middle: Hearty salads to sustain care of Rendezvous Lodge. Right: Teton Thai ‘s toothsome duck curry will warm your bones. (Photo: elizabeth koutrelakos, elizabeth koutrelakos, robyn vincent)

Left: Chance Burleson enjoys a snack break in the hills. Middle: Hearty salads to sustain care of Rendezvous Lodge. Right: Teton Thai ‘s toothsome duck curry will warm your bones. (Photo: elizabeth koutrelakos, elizabeth koutrelakos, robyn vincent)

Jackson, WY – We live in a place that could not sustain its inhabitants without truckloads of food shipped in on a weekly basis. Some people here actually make decisions to burn those precious imported calories in the mountains during the frigid winter months. The sustenance I choose to propel myself throughout these activities can make or break my day. Therefore, to set myself up for success, my behavior patterns and food consumption vary depending on where my journey into the hills will take me.

Not only is food important, but good food helps enhance performance and mood in the mountains. Dehydration and lack of food intake on a powder day will usher in that tired feeling at an unwelcoming time. Thus, choice of food is essential for creating a day filled with active fun and happiness.

When going to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, I am faced with multiple options for breakfast on the way. If I’m feeling caffeinated and innovative, I grab a $3.99 burrito at Lucky’s Market. These things are chalk-full of goodness. Warm tortillas wrapped around eggs and thick cuts of bacon tend to last through mornings of line mingling. If by chance I miss my burrito in town, Osteria Café (formerly Terra Café) has revamped its menu to offer multiple $8ish dollar breakfast options, including but not limited to burritos and sandwiches full of vegetables, bacon, eggs and even meatball subs! It’s a great place for a quick slice and a beer when your stomach starts rumbling come lunchtime, too.

Speaking of lunch, when you’re on the mountain can be difficult to find proper sustenance, especially if one is considering spatial availability. The Rendezvous Lodge, located upstairs at the top of the Gondola, offers myriad healthy snackings, including a salad bar, warm noodle bowls and baked potatoes. This place serves a variety of people, and the ease of finding gluten- and dairy-free yet filling ski foods makes this cafeteria style restaurant a must taste.

Après food at the village can range from full-fledged dinners to short ski snacks. For the optimal comfortable environment, I tend to lean toward the Spur’s bar for their giant platter of nachos topped with cheese, beans and salsa. Note, nachos are only available during après so if you get there too late or too early, you are out of luck.

For an actual meal, Teton Thai offers classic curry, noodle and rice dishes ranging from mild to blow your ears off spicy. Wash down your meal with their legendary spicy marg or a Thai iced tea. Yes, there’s a reason this place has stayed in business for so long besides its convenient Teton Village location.

Finding food for a backcountry tour can be a bit more difficult during the wee hours of the morning, but Creekside Market never fails. Open at 6 a.m. daily, this off-the-road eatery offers handmade, gigantic sandwiches chock full of gluten, goodness and calories that could serve as breakfast and an afternoon delight. The friendly staff will welcome you with a smile, even when the sky is still dark. What better way to start the day than a lovely interaction with a complete stranger?

Packing numerous lunchtime snacks on tours for ski-friend sharing seems to bolster the joy inherently found in the peaks. Salami from Jackson Hole Buffalo Meat Company coupled with some hard cheddar cheese on a cracker offers sustainable solutions to long days. For those who feel that this is too elaborate, Lucky’s and the Whole Grocer sell epic jerky snacks that fit perfectly in the pockets. If I could have one wish for additional snack support, that wish would entail precooked bacon in the bulk section, but perhaps that’s something for the future of Jackson Hole Snack Patrol.

Post skiing in the peaks, Dornan’s is strategically placed on the road between Grand Teton National Park and town. This seemingly benign stretch of highway seems to induce the calls of hunger more than any place I’ve ever driven. Unlike many spots in Teton Village and town, this restaurant has both skiers and normal people who like to talk about non-skiing life things. They don’t care where you went in the hills or where you plan to go. They simply and politely chat about daily things such as weather and food. Unwinding at Dornan’s has historically prepared me for returning to the realities of life while I fill my belly with homemade pizza and gigantic house salads.

I could spend an entire year writing about mountain-fuel dining options in and around this town. The reality of the free-market economy coupled with living where nothing can grow in the winter offers some pretty amazing diet options. Let’s just hope our future continues to provide enough food shipments to hold us over for the winters to come. PJH

About Elizabeth Koutrelakos

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