When the new food and beverage director for Whistler-Blackcomb told me about renovations to the Mountain Market, I had no idea where he was talking about.
He carries on to talk about the pizza, and burger and fries stations.
The light bulb goes on in my head.
He means “the cafeteria” in the Roundhouse. The place where you grab trays to load up a quick lunch that hopefully has minimal impact on your ski time and your wallet.
I remember when my dad used to take my sister and I to Whistler in the 1990s. Even as a kid, I noticed how expensive lunch was and how usually we would take the extra time to go down to the village for a deli sandwich, pack our own lunch or more often than not some kind of granola/health bar that could be munched on a lift.
Times have changed and now lunch — even a healthy choice — can be purchased for $10 on Whistler Mountain and the former cafeteria is now a market, suggesting more selection, healthier choices and price variety.
Paul Street, the newly appointed director, filled me in on the changes that occurred earlier this winter. Street steps into his new role with more than 20 years of working in the industry, many of those years managing and general managing Whistler-Blackcomb restaurants and bars.
Whistler-Blackcomb invested $250,000 in renovations for the Mountain Market at the Roundhouse Lodge on Whistler Mountain.
“Those renovations took away the institutional look of the place,” he explained. “We added a lot of wood and river rock fascia to make it a more comfortable space, more timeless and in keeping with the theme of the Roundhouse Lodge.”
A new deli station has been added, along with a larger selection of soups, eight to be exact.
Skiers can grab an artisan sandwich as a healthier alternative to a burger. Sandwiches include tuna nicoise, candied-salmon salad, pakoras wraps, crispy chicken, and roast beef and aged cheddar.
Another healthier addition to the market is a sushi case with pre-made sushi from the infamous Tokyo Tom of Kaze Sushi. Tom is a longtime local who upholds the highest standards of quality product and authentic preparation. So when you pick up sushi at the Mountain Market, customers know they aren’t getting those nasty sushi rolls loaded with preservatives and cheap fish, but instead quality product made fresh each morning by a local self-made businessman who lives and raises his family in Whistler. You might even catch a glimpse of the sushi master coming into the Roundhouse with one of his ski classes.
“People in Whistler know their sushi; we wanted the best,” Street said. “All of these developments came out of research.”
Research not only showed people were looking for healthier alternatives, but cheaper ones as well.
Whistler-Blackcomb answered the call with the $10 value meal with classic pairings such as burger, fries and pop, and a soup and sandwich deal for $10.
Now I might still ski with a granola bar in my jacket for those days when powder demands it, but from time to time, it might be nice to ski without crumbs in my pocket, and opt to venture out of my usual French fries on the fly choice and try something new.
I am sure Kaze is great at any elevation.