Skier's Menu

By Ray Grass Feb 4, 2010
Slopeside dining is nothing at all like it used to be

      A hamburger bun, thin slab of meat and you add the condiments -- mustard, mayo and, maybe, pickle relish. Fries were extra. That’s the way I remember ski-lodge lunches back when. 

    Now it’s Fresh Dungeness Crab Towers with avocado, tomato concasse, pea sprouts, cucumber, crispy spiced won tons, sauces of wasabi, ginger-soy and sweet chili -- for starters.    

     Then came the Vermont Cheddar Cheeseburger with Niman Ranch natural beef, accented with sauteed crimini mushrooms and onions, cracked wheat bun, RSC garlic-herb parmesan and shoestring fries. And if you’re not into beef, substitute a turkey or garden burger. 

    Any wonder why I look forward to lunch on the slopes these days. 

    Course, I’m talking lunch at Deer Valley. There are reasons the resort has been voted No. 1 for three consecutive years by readers and skiers of SKI Magazine. 

     And why it’s food service is voted No. 1, hands down, for both on the mountain and after hours year after year. 

     The skiing isn’t half bad either. 

     Between the skiing and lunch you couldn’t wish for a better ski day. 

      Two chair companions from Florida admitted as much. Gourmet dining at the ski area they hadn’t expect their first visit. This being their fifth, they’d come to “expect great dining” in their vacation ski package. 

      It’s fun being spoiled.

      Waiting for lunch I made a dozen early runs. One skier from Chicago, who admitted to being publicity shy, in his 15th season back in Utah, said every year he comes to Utah he tunes up at Alta and Snowbird, then moves over the Park City resorts. Deer Valley he listed as a favorite. Solitude was on his schedule. Variety, he likes, and he gets it in Utah. 

     Funny how nowadays it’s so easy to make quick runs. With high-speed lift and groomed-smooth runs, there’s nothing to stop a skier but tired legs. 

     I started at 10 a.m. and by noon had the dozen runs in. It helps when the runs are groomed. I could never have done it before grooming and fast lifts. 

       Trouble with the menu at Royal Street in the Silver Lake Lodge at Deer Valley is choices. How do you choose from what “sounds delicious’’ to what “sounds just as delicious.’’ 

   I had to choose between the Towers, Grilled Chicken Quesadilla with cilantro lime sour cream and avocado salsa and Roast Duck Spring Rolls with napa slaw, glazed cashews, coriander leaves, coconut-curry  and mustard sauce.

   For a main course, besides the burger, there was Tuna Tacos of grilled fresh ahi, mango-avocado salsa, southwest salad, chip of le mayonnaise and crisp corn tortilla shells.  

    Or, Asian Chicken Salad, Heirloom Tomato Fresh Mozzarella and Basil Panini or Maple Bacon BBQ Bison Burger. 

    And, for dessert, Dulce de Leche Cheesecake, Chocolate Paraline or individual  Ice Cream Sandwiches with chocolate chip cookies and hot fudge sauce.  

    From the bar, there is the RSC Blueberry Mojite, the 2007 Park City cocktail contest winner. It starts with muddled blueberries and mint, Bacardi Silver rum, fresh squeezed lemonade, a splash of soda and a float of Myers rum. Or, the ski area favorite, Hot Buttered Rum. And, of course, a full list of wines and beers.

    Oh, how things have changed -- for the better -- especially in the way of dining on the slopes. And the skiing isn’t half bad either.