Archive for the ‘Crested Butte’ Tag

Winning Local Flavor   Leave a comment

LastSteep sign

With one exception, we’ve yet to be disappointed with our dining experiences when visiting Crested Butte; that singular incident involved service not food. Still, there’s no better stamp of approval for a restaurant than the number of locals who frequent it. We were surprised, and encouraged, by the impressive number of CB residents at The Last Steep Bar and Grill for a mid-afternoon lunch where we snagged a table with a great vantage point on all the activity.

It’s one thing for locals to patronize local establishments, but it’s another when out-of-towners are made to feel welcome. Such was the case at the Steep.


Although it took a little while for our order to be taken, we understood why: the place was packed inside and out. Still, service was friendly and we were never made to feel rushed. The menu features a large selection of sandwiches ranging from burgers to wraps, from a Turkey Club to PoBoys. Salads are also available. My husband ordered the Kansas City Chief: a Kaiser bun piled with pulled pork topped with house-made barbecue sauce, which was more spicy than tang. Bottles of the stuff are sold on-site, as evidenced by a man who bought a case.


I was pleased with my Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos. Corn tortillas warmed on the grill enveloped the sweet and savory filling enhanced by melted cheese, diced tomatoes, sour cream and salsa. It came with warm chips dusted with chile powder.

We felt right at home.

The Last Steep Bar and Grill
208 Elk Ave.
Crested Butte, Colo.


A Pre-Dinner Nordic Workout   1 comment


Last year we attended a fundraiser dinner at the Magic Meadows Yurt in Crested Butte. It was a magical experience. We couldn’t return for the annual event, but did attend one of the Moonlight Dinners held each month.

Several similarities surfaced between the two experiences. Both times a winter storm covered the snow-packed terrain with fresh powder. It may have been slightly more exercise than simply cross-country skiing on a groomed trail, but the weather enhanced the evening’s adventure. Live music and good food were in good supply both occasions.


The Crested Butte Nordic Center  contracts with Creative Catering for the monthly events. Reservations are made online. Cost is $70 per person (I’ll come back to this), including trail pass and ski rental.


We pre-ordered the Steak au Poirve and Encrusted Salmon. The five-course meal included appetizer, avocado and grapefruit salad with a ginger-based dressing, roasted red pepper soup, entrée and tiramisu. Although the food was transported via snowmobile from town (a little over a mile) with final touches added at the yurt, it was hot, fresh and impressive. The beef was tender and absorbed the creamy peppercorn sauce. Mashed potatoes and rosemary carrots rounded out my main course.

When it came time to tally our wine bill we wanted to include a gratuity for our servers. We were surprised when 20 percent was automatically added to the $70 (per person, which was pre-paid) total. This not only made for an expensive outing, but diminished the good taste left by the food. Next year we’ll plan for the fundraiser again.

Magic Meadows Yurt
Three-and-a-half Plates
Crested Butte, Colo


Not Your Mamma Mia’s Pizza Pie   2 comments


If there’s ever a contest for creating the most unusual topping combination for pizza, The Secret Stash Pizza in Crested Butte is definitely in the running.

It’s hard to fathom why anyone — over the age of 12 — would only consider pepperoni or sausage with such varied possibilities as the Mac Daddy: a combination of Thousand Island dressing, lettuce, red onions, pickles and shaved beef. Or, the New Potato Caboose: traditional sauce, roasted potato, bacon, green onion, cheddar and sour cream. We opted for the Figalicious/Notorious F.I.G., featuring, of course, figs, bleu cheese, asiago cheese, prosciutto and truffle oil. In keeping with the ious-motif, it was delicious. It was also decadently rich. The sweet figs countered the saltiness of the prosciutto and the cheeses bound everything together.


The Secret Stash, located at the western end of Elk Street, has been part of the Crested Butte dining scene since 2002. In June, the owners plan to move to a larger location in the center of town.

In addition to the variety of imaginative pizzas, the Stash has an eclectic décor, as if perhaps its name came from the idea of being a receptacle for anything funky, fun or startling. Vintage photos, knick knacks, all manner of kitsch adorn the restaurant. A surfboard, bust of King Tut and miniature Volkswagen bus rested on a shelf above our table. There was more, much, much more, but my eyes kept returning to Tut, and my taste buds kept enjoying the pizza combos.

The Secret Stash Pizza
Four Plates
2 Elk Ave.
Crested Butte, CO

Hold the Calls – Please!   Leave a comment

When restaurant kitchens are open for all to see, it’s kind of important for the
cooks not to be distracted. A late lunch at McGill’s at Crested Butte took
a little longer than necessary, and we could see why: the chef was on the phone
– a very long time; even though ours was the only order, he was slow ending
the call.

McGill’s is more diner than restaurant, with more grill than kitchen. Plus, the
guy preparing our food was probably more line cook than chef. Still, he was the
one putting things together. When the plates finally arrived, we agreed it was
tasty, but would have been much better if served sooner.

The  bread was fresh, but it wasn’t like the cook was waiting for it to finish
baking so he could place all of the accouterments atop it. Nor did it look
like he mashed avocados for the freshest possible guacamole. The bottom line
is that he talked at length instead of grilling.

Nonetheless, this was not a standard sandwich; it was a Grilled Chicken
Cobb Sandwich. It combined all the elements of a Cobb Salad (sans diced
turkey and hardboiled egg) between two slices of ciabatta. The result, except
for the tardiness, was a treat. Bacon, blue cheese, avocado in the form of guac,
and tomatoes made for a twist on the original concept of the traditional salad
and its reincarnation as a sandwich.

Maybe the secret to eating at McGill’s is to phone in the order.

Three Plates (Barely)

McGill’s at Crested Butte

228 Elk Ave.,

Crested Butte, CO

Posted February 23, 2012 by bluepagespecial in Restaurants, Reviews

Tagged with , , ,

A Nocturnal Wonderland   Leave a comment

I know the journey’s supposed to be more significant than the
destination, but a recent event for the Crested Butte Junior Nordic
Ski Team made it hard to tell the difference. The goal was dinner
at the Magic Meadows Yurt and reaching it involved cross-country
skiing through a much-anticipated snowstorm (which added about
15 inches to the terrain). Usually, the snow is bright enough for
cross-country skiing at night, but the seemingly unending flurries
made visibility somewhat difficult.

Magic Meadows Yurt hosts moonlight and special occasion dinn-
ers throughout the winter – no matter the amount of snow or moon
glow. The menu varies from dinner to dinner; however, reaching
the yurt, enjoying its warmth, and relishing the friendliness of
strangers enhances the dining experience.

The “Thai-One On Fundraiser” featured freshly made Thai food
by a ski team member’s mother. The young team members served,
and the local Gypsy Jazz Social Club provided toe-tapping live
music. The kids, all lacked serving skills, were entertaining; the
food reflected culinary expertise.

Egg rolls and spring rolls were starters. The latter filled with rice
noodles, mint and shrimp accompanied by lightly-spiced peanut
dipping sauce. Soup, salad, entrée and dessert were included,
along with beer, wine and soft drinks. The vegetable soup, made
with a rich coconut milk base full of mushrooms, carrots and bam-
boo shoots, garnered raves. The beef and green bean curry entree
boasted a subtle kick.

After strapping the skis on again, we were fortified by all the yurt
had offered.

Four Plates
The Magic Meadows Yurt — 1.25 miles on the Peanut Lake Trail,
a fairly flat, winding trek.
Crested Butte:
• February 7, Full Moon Dinner
• February 14, Valentine’s Dinner
• February 19, President’s Weekend Dinner
• March 8, Full Moon Dinner
• March 17, Last Dinner of the Season

• TIME: Doors open at 6, dinner at 6:30

• COST: Varies on whether equipment rental or trail pass
are needed
Reservations: Call 970-349-1707, ext. 2