SNOWBASIN — Many in Northern Utah, around the state and even around the world, are familiar with Snowbasin, an iconic landscape that is a former Olympic site.
However, this year resort patrons might find that the food and look of their favorite winter destination has changed.
With the resort’s opening last week, Snowbasin also debuted its renovated food court at Earl’s Lodge, the slope’s main lodge at the base of the mountain. Regulars of the mountain will quickly notice the renovations, as well as the menus at the resort’s eateries.
With the renovations brought a complete redesign of the lodge’s food options, said Nick Davies, the resort’s executive chef. Davies has been at Snowbasin about eight months, coming from Sun Valley Resort in Idaho.
Recently, Davies has been hard at work redesigning the whole resort’s food options, not just the Earl’s Lodge food court. Menus for Snowbasin’s Cinnabar, Needles Lodge and John Paul Lodge were all improved over the summer. Cinnabar regulars will still see the nachos and quesadillas, but will notice some new and improved items.
“We want to focus on the highest-quality food possible,” Davies said. He added that the resort has expanded the options for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free eaters, too.
The biggest difference you will likely notice in Earl’s Lodge is the dining area, which was redesigned from top to bottom. As you enter, you’ll notice a new bakery area for coffee and small goods you can take on the go.
Next, you will see a familiar food station: pizza. According to Alan Dickerson, the resort’s director of food and beverage, the staff decided to remove the old wood fire oven and replace it with a faster oven.
Last year, it took chefs about 20 minutes to make a pizza. Now, it takes about seven minutes to bake a full pie. It’s also safe to say that the quality of that pizza has not diminished, with the resort now making everything in-house, including the pizza dough. The only thing that isn’t made in-house is the cauliflower-based gluten-free pizza they now offer.
Near the center of the room patrons will find another familiar face, the grill. That too has been sped up, with Davies saying it takes less time to prepare a hamburger with the help of a controlled vapor oven, or CVap.
Looking for something out of the ordinary? Try a Korean spin on the chicken sandwich, a sammie complete with kimchi and plenty of flavor. Want something hearty and quick? Grab a hot and ready turkey pot pie, full of meat and plenty of veggies.
To the right of the grill, patrons will find the noodle counter, something Davies said is rather unusual for ski resorts. Alfredo, and macaroni and cheese, are just some of the dishes on the menu. It also has both Davies’ and Dickerson’s favorite dishes: the curry ramen and Vietnamese pho.
“It’s my absolute favorite,” Davies said of the curry ramen, without hesitation. All sauces featured at the noodle counter are made from scratch, created by Davies himself.
Patrons can also chow down on cuts of meat at the carvery station, with cuts of turkey, corned beef and salmon available.
Rounding out the list of options is a salad station, and for those who prefer to drink their calories, grab a beer on draft or from a can. Eight of the 10 taps available feature beer brewed right here in Utah, Dickerson said.
Dickerson said the remodel itself was quick, with talks beginning in February and construction beginning over the summer. It’s not the first time he’s overseen these kinds of projects, as he was a part of three other remodels while working for Sun Valley Resort in Idaho.
For Dickerson, one of the biggest goals Snowbasin had for the renovation was to cut down on wait times, something that had been an issue in past seasons. He said that the new design of the food stations has already shown to cut down on waiting times, so patrons can get their food quicker and get back to the slopes.
Because, after all, that’s why most people are stopping by and getting a bite to eat.
“We want to get people back on the mountain faster,” Dickerson said with a laugh.