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Table scraps

Gondola breakfast bites



Now all of us have been there the last couple of weeks.

Everything is narrowed down to necessity with 11 feet of powder piling up since Jan. 1. Late night rendezvous are tucked into bed at a decent hour and put-off trips to the grocery store have you wondering what you can make from pickles and spaghetti noodles for breakfast. But it doesn’t matter, the time to gulp down 10 spoonfuls of apple juice-saturated Cheerios might cost you the perfect powder run.

If you expect to have the steam to ski to noon, skipping breakfast is not an option. So where do you find the time?

Whatever time you wake up, you’ve got at least 20 minutes, depending on your route, to consume a healthy breakfast while taking in world-class mountain views. It’s called Chez Gondola.

What makes this skyward eatery so great is that it wields a menu as long as the weekend lift lineups – garnering at least another 20 minutes of chomping time.

For those of you forging weekend lineups on the Fitzsimmons Express chair, the decadent chocolate croissant at Hot Buns Bakery is a speedy choice.

With good karma on your side, these flakey pastries wrapped around a melting mess of a girl’s best friend are still gooey hot from the morning oven. So addicting I can’t visit home now without a request for a bag of these croissants. The cream cheese and raspberry jam ones aren’t too shabby either.

Now if only Hot Buns’ breakfast crepes were as reasonably priced as the $2 croissants. They are good, but paying eight-plus bucks for a little egg, cheese and flour and water mixture has me heading over to Behind the Grind for the Breakfast Wrap – boring name, this steaming, fresh monster is more aptly dubbed hangover rocket fuel. It’s like a full plate of fluffy, seasoned hash browns, scrambled eggs with red peppers and crisp green onions piled neatly into a sun-dried tomato wrap with deli ham, salsa and sour cream – no cutlery necessary. Big mountain appetite required.

A steamed Chai from Behind the Grind is a must. The local favourite is credited to a secret blend of Indian spices, but off the record, it’s the Grind love. Owner Chris Quinlan can put a smile on the grumpiest 7 a.m. scowl.

If you are feeling cruel, ride up the gondola with the lid off your Chai elixir and watch your envious neighbours drool.

Behind the Grind also hosts goodies from Whistler’s Own Bakeshop. The raspberry white and dark chocolate muffin fits any pocket, as do the Heaven or Hell bars: the healthy hippie bars boast vegan ingredients, no fat and a low sugar mixture of almonds, dried fruit and oats. One Foot in the Grave or Granola Smores bars ensure a sugar rush right until the end of the day. Nesters and Creekside Market also carry these transportable breakfasts.

If you are the kind of skier who organizes your ski stuff the night before, add a scrap of paper with Alpine Bakery’s phone number to order a grilled Central American rice and beans wrap ahead of time for quick pick-up.

Not so organized? Wait four minutes or opt for the fresh fruit, yogurt and granola or the tomato, brie and balsamic sandwich on homemade bread. And if snow turns to rain, you’ve got an excuse to sit down to Irish-cream-dipped, thickly-sliced, French toast Thai style with fried bananas – not easy to cut into with a plastic knife. Gondola not recommended.

If in your powder-induced coma you arrive at the gondola empty handed, a quick jaunt into EBCB next to the Longhorn or Backside of Dusty’s at Creekside lands you a killer banana bread. Thickly sliced and chocolate chip infused, this local recipe has got me through many snow-piled mornings. I had the honour of meeting the creator behind this special bread who shared how many calories are packed into these suckers. You don’t want to know.

Thank goodness for heavy powder days.