Debbie’s Favorites

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As you read my comments about these restaurants, please keep this in mind:  I am Celiac, which means that I must eat Gluten Free.  It isn’t a “life-style” choice for me, it is a “life” choice.  So – my choices for restaurants will start with if I can eat gluten free there.  Also, I live in Silverthorne, on the north side of Summit County – so we don’t head over to Breckenridge very often.  However, you will see a few Breckenridge places on my list, please know that I have yet to experience all of their restaurants.  Finally, please understand that I’m not a food critic.  I’m simply sharing some very basic thoughts about which restaurants I prefer.

One of my favorite places is in Frisco.  I love Tavern West!!  Like most restaurants these days, it is not a quiet place to eat, and the tables are relatively close together, they have TV’s so you can catch the game, but the food is fantastic and I love trying out their drink specials.  It is also a fun place to gather just to have a drink and appetizers (you MUST try out the Tator-tots….yes, I said tator-tots.  They are not listed as gluten-free because they do not make them from scratch – so they can’t guarantee there isn’t any gluten in them, but I have not gotten sick from them).  If you plan to have dinner at Tavern West, I highly recommend you get a reservation.  It is a popular place.

Vinney’s is a fantastic place to eat in Frisco.  A bit quieter, no TV’s, but still having tables very close together, Vinney’s is a great place for a special meal.  They specialize in wild game and seafood and also have several pastas.  Although a bit on the pricier side, their food is consistently high quality and the service is fantastic!!  Once again, make sure to make a reservation.

What if you want a very, very special meal….and price isn’t an issue?  Then my choices are: Alpenglow Stube at the top of Keystone, Keystone Ranch, obviously at the Ranch in Keystone, Ski Tip on the east side of Keystone, and Hearthstone in Breckenridge.   All of these will require a reservation.  If you are local, or happen to be in the county in the off-seasons, you can often find 2-for-1 specials (and that’s how I’ve experienced most of these!) Let’s break these down:

Alpenglow Stube is where you go for that “experience” – and top notch food.  Located at the top of the Outback in Keystone, you will take two gondola rides to reach the restaurant.  If you go in the winter, make sure you dress warmly.  They do provide blankets for the ride up and down….but nylons & high heels are just not recommended….cover up those legs.  Once you arrive, you are greeted by the hostess who will take your coats and offer you warm slippers.  As you wait for your table, enjoy a drink by the bar or wander around and look in on the kitchen, grab a selfie by the fireplace, and just relax and prepare for an amazing evening.  While you can order items ala carte, I highly recommend that you go with their 5 course meals.  For me, it encouraged me to try things I normally wouldn’t try.  They usually offer a “Chef Surprise”.  I’m a bit picky, so I’d never do that, but my husband loves to experience food and usually tries this.  If there is something you really don’t like, you just tell your server and the chef creates a meal just for you.  And, wow!  The food, in and of itself is an experience.  But the service is top notch, the desserts are to die for and the ambiance is fantastic!

Keystone Ranch and Ski Tip are very similar.  3, 5, or 7 course meals, amazing food, top notch service – and both of these let you “retire to the living room” to enjoy your coffee and dessert.

Hearthstone is in an old Victorian home in Breckenridge.  Very quiet and private – a perfect place to go to enjoy a nice conversation with your guests.

PIZZA!  Who doesn’t love pizza.  Again, my choices are often determined by who has the best GF crust – but even my family loves these places:

Peppinos in Frisco.  A sandwich, gyro, and pizza place, their GF crust is the best I’ve had.  The kitchen staff (who also take your orders) are also wonderful.  A very friendly place with excellent food.

Downstairs at Eric’s in Breckenridge.  Before I had to start eating gluten free, this was my family’s all-time favorite pizza place.  Eric’s is a bar & grill – with TV’s playing every game that is on TV, and a definite local’s favorite.  Their regular pizza crust has a very thick edge – so when you are done with the pizza, you have a built-in dessert….just pour honey on the left over crust for a yummy dessert.  Their GF crust isn’t the best – but it provides a great vehicle to the mouth for their yummy sauce and toppings.

Mexican:

I have to admit that Mexican food is a regular for our family.  Our favorite places are Fiesta Jalisco in Silverthorne and Hacienda Real in Frisco.  We think that Fiesta Jalisco has a new cook…the food is so much better than it was just a year ago.  We love their queso!

Hacienda Real only uses cornstarch in all of their cooking – so unless you order flour tortillas, you can be sure that all of their sauces are gluten free.  They also have EXCELLENT margaritas!

Some of my other favorites:

Sauce on the Blue – Love their food, but their service leaves much to be desired.  I think they grew too quickly – they just can’t seem to get it together.  You wait for water, you wait to have your drink re-filled, the servers always appear to be thinking about something else when they are serving you.  The location is fabulous…along the river in Silverthorne, their wine is amazing, and their food is good.  Once they get their service figured out, it will definitely go to the top of my list.

Bakers Brewery – You would think that a place that has T-shirts that say “Gluten – yum!” would scare me away, but they do have GF options on their menu.  Good food, my kids like their beer, and it’s a fun place for dinner or just drinks and appetizers.

Relish – Located in Breckenridge – this is a nice little restaurant – on the pricey side.  I’ve always enjoyed good food, a changing menu, and quality service.

Warming Hut – Comfort food and Colorado-local food.  That’s what you’ll get at this place.  Although, it recently sold (it was owned by a friend of mine), so we’ll see how things go under new management.

Please do not take this as the only good places to eat in Summit County.  We have several restaurants….and all have their own good, bad, and unique qualities.  I’ll add more as I’m inspired.

 

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The leaves are in full change. The golden wave has swept across the county, with reds, oranges and pinks, mixed in. The time for great Fall pictures is now, and there are few places that offer as great of pictures as Keystone. With not only hiking trails, but a wide variety of easily drive-able mountain roads, you will have many opportunities to find that greatest colors. Just past Keystone is the small town of Montezuma, surrounded by many 4-wheel trails that are packed full of changing aspens. Head down to Keystone’s Lakeside Village once you have filled your camera with pictures for a wide selection of food. Sit out along the water with a beer or glass of wine and take in the fall air. If you have kids, don’t forget your quarters, as fish food dispensers are place along the lake. Enjoy watching the ducks and big fish eat every last bit of food they can before the ice sets in. Head out onto the water in one of Keystone’s many lake rentals. From paddle boats to SUPs, get out on the lake before they shut down for winter. If you’re looking for a higher vantage point, take a gondola ride to the top of the mountain for breathtaking views, and 5 star cuisine from Alpenglow Stube. There is something for everyone to enjoy at Keystone this Fall!

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