By Nicole Fitzgerald
So many of my favourite eats around town attach some sort of activity or ritual along with it.
Sunday mornings are all about picking up a Globe weekend edition and going for breakfast.
A few a.m. rendezvous of late include pulling up a stool to the frittatas at Elements. It always seems a stool these days with more and more people catching on and sliding into the cozy booths.
While a few forkfuls of the banana and pecan French toast left a memorable impression — my breakfast companion only begrudgingly parted with two bites — I can’t bring myself to order anything else other than the frittatas; they are just so yummy and with the entourage of potato tartlets with crème fraîche, artisan multigrain bread with apricot jelly and smoothie shot, this dish proves it is the sum of the parts that makes it worth getting out of bed early to beat the lineup. Goat cheese, proscuitto, asparagus, portobello mushrooms and roasted peppers are only a few of the chi-chi quality ingredients that are baked into the egg foundation.
The breeze on the Alpine Bakery and Catering Company’s sunshine-y patio isn’t always conducive to a paper, so instead I bring my dog Teddy, who is happy to sit in the shade just off the patio while I indulge in the Gone Slam breakfast. Scrambled eggs, bacon, Irish-cream French Toast and homemade hash browns — chefs couldn’t fit anymore on the plate if they tried to. A fried banana side cranks this morning wake up call into something unique. A stroll with Teddy around Lost Lake Park afterwards is the perfect way to walk off all the deliciousness, and the reasonable prices and quality food always result in bumping into lots of friends who have also discovered this out-of-the-way Alpine gem.
The Loonie Race promises to work up an appetite that makes anything taste good. A hamburger at the Longhorn Saloon grilled up memories of summer barbecues at home last week. The simple, but hearty patty was satisfying after putting in some handlebar flying time, and the curry bean salad and refreshing zesty salsa made the first timer humiliation all worthwhile. For more information, on Loonies, visit worca.com.
Spending lots of time working in the Marketplace square these days and even more time at Dups, the Mexican eatery formerly known as La Torterilla. I swear I am going to turn into a veggie taco salad. I live off these things. Everything is made on site: the shells, seasoned beans, salsa and guacamole. You can feel good about this “fast food” with healthy, fresh ingredients. Okay maybe not the fried tortilla, but I am still on schedule for coming out of hibernation and surviving a bikini. That’s also thanks in part to the brown rice and veggie bowl at Moguls.
Without the perfectly steamed crisp vegetables and healthy-minded brown rice, I would not have survived the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival or at least my pants wouldn’t have. The locally-owned café was right in the hub of all the festival activity and I could be in and out of the doors within five minutes with a body-friendly meal. The homemade Thai sauce is my favourite of the half a dozen sauce choices and best of all, you get to put it on yourself.
Another meal on-the-go must is Avalanche Pizza. I can eat those cheesy triangles with ease while walking or driving. The organic dough is chewy and the toppings straightforward, with classics such as cheese, pepperoni, Hawaiian and veggie. You don’t need to buy a whole pizza for that mozzarella fix with pizza available by the slice.
I’ve only done it once, but I think I may have found a new tradition in the making. Going to one of Whistler’s many cultural nights, but starting off the evening at Caramba! with tiramisu is sort of a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers coupling. Smooth, classic and light on the feet, this dessert is worth a second curtain call.
Other food sporting activities include chefs putting on a show at Teppan Village and Mongolie Grill. The open kitchen at the Aubergine Grille always puts on a good sideshow as well. Some might qualify people watching as an activity on the Citta’ patio.
But with the next Loonie Race being the Tour de Trash starting at the Cal-cheak campground and ending at the Millar Creek Café, I think the Thursday night ritual is the most active dining experience of them all, paid for not in cash but in the currency of bumps and bruises.