Dec 1, 2009 | Marmot, Winter 2009

Savoury Solutions on Mount Washington

Food is serious business at Mount Washington Alpine Resort. The Resort offers “pretty much a little bit of everything,” said Tim Defert, Director of Hospitality at the Resort.

Fat Teddy’s Bar and Grill has always been a popular spot, with its large stone fireplace and views of the Island Range of mountains. For years, said Defert, visitors have asked for a family section at the licenced establishment; and this year the Resort has made that a reality.

A new family area with booth seating has been created to the right of the fireplace and will be open from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m., offering the same menu as the other side of Fat Teddy’s. “It will give families the opportunity to be in there,” Defert said.

Fireweeds Restaurant has been transformed into Fresh, a dine in, takeout spot featuring quick meals such as sandwiches, calzones, samosas, etc. Fresh will serve Starbucks coffee and cappuccino, as well.

The new concept is takeout. These include a barbecue chicken meal with mashed potatoes, gravy and salads, prepared in-house. Homemade pizza is also on the new menu.

The idea will be to order dinner at lunchtime and take it back to your chalet or suite at the end of the ski day, Defert said.

The interior of Fresh has been brightened up in time for the winter season. “It’s going to be an evolution as we go along,” he said. A funky cappuccino bar in located at the front and a place to hang out in the back, he added.

Pizza delivery will be added by the Resort to Deer Lodge and Bear Lodge as well as the General Store. Hours are Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights until 9:30 p.m. and the Fresh kitchen is providing the pizza.

Three other businesses offer independent tastes:

Sushi-Mon is located in the former Nordic Lodge, and Beavertails and The Maple Shack are located outside the main doors to the Alpine Lodge. “They definitely add to the variety on the mountain,” Defert said.

Mount Washington is sometimes not an easy place to do business, being at the mercy of cold weather and snow in the winter, he said. “These three have shown a lot of fortitude in sticking it out through the years,” Defert said.

Sushi-Mon Wes and Lara Erikson opened Sushi-Mon five years ago in February. Wes is celebrating with a small facelift for the restaurant’s interior and a big change in ownership: he’s taken on two partners, Kathy Jerritt and Cari McIntyre from Tria Culinary Studio in the Comox Valley.

Sushi-Mon is known for its noodle bowls, sushi and curry on rice – and none of that is changing, Erikson said. “I love working with Mount Washington,” he said. “I love the customers.”

Beavertails Bridget Orsetti and her husband John Lapp own Beavertails, the franchise that quickly turns “virgin tail-eaters” into pros. Beavertails is entering its sixth winter of operations, and is a mainstay just outside the doors to the Alpine Lodge.

A beavertail, for the uninitiated, is a piece of whole wheat bread dough cooked up and coated in “sweet yummyness” like cinnamon sugar, Orsetti said.

Lapp grew up in Montreal, where beavertails were a winter mainstay. When he and Orsetti moved to the Comox Valley they knew someone who knew of an opportunity to take on a Beavertails franchise.

The first year they opened was the year of no snow. But they persevered, and now “people come outside the lodge in their T-shirts for a Beavertail.”

Their sweet treats are so popular that Orsetti and Lapp don’t blink about opening on blizzard days, and their picnic tables- which the Resort kindly allows them to have – are always full on busy days, Orsetti said.

The Maple Shack “We’ve created a bit of an atmosphere.” Chantal Sharpe brings a taste of French Canadiana to Mount Washington with The Maple Shack. She’s starting her third winter at the Resort.

People visit the Maple Shack for a taste of “la tire de la neige” – or maple candy on a stick. Sharpe cooks maple syrup to a certain temperature, then pours it on fresh snow so it hardens. Wind it around a popsicle stick and prepare to enjoy a little taste of Quebec.

“Being French Canadian, this is a part of my heritage,” says Sharpe.

“Every year my family went to the cabane a sucre (sugar shack)…for me as a child and as a young adult it was just part of my life.”

Sharpe always had the idea to bring a taste of Quebec and its penchant for maple syrup to B.C., and The Maple Shack was an ideal way to do that. She also sells specialty maple syrup flavoured with Grand Marnier and rum, maple butter, suckers, candy and tea.

“Everything to do with maple,” she said. Other food options at the Resort include a hotdog stand that will be open by the base of the Eagle chairlift, and barbecues on sunny weekends.

Raven Lodge offers counter service with fresh baking, soups and burgers. The fondues at Raven Lodge were also popular last year. They’re every Friday and Saturday night, preceded by a one-hour guided snowshoe walk and feature a three-course fondue meal.

More Options Family friendly lunches are served inside the Alpine Lodge at the Alpine Café. The Hungry Marmot, located on the Marmot level, offers pizza by the slice and hotdogs too. The Hawk Dog Stand fills the bill for those who want to eat and run. It’s located adjacent to the Hawk Chairlift.

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