Big Bear Bistro crafts fresh, hearty fare | VailDaily.com

Big Bear Bistro crafts fresh, hearty fare

Brenda Himelfarb
EAT magazine
Apres Flatbread with a Vail brewing company IPA and a Stem Off-Dry cider. flat bread consists of prosciutto, mozzarella, basil and balsamic reduction. Masterpiece sanwich in the back- maple glazed ham, prosciutto, cappicola, salami, provolone cheese, honey balsamic glazed arugula, banana peppers, cracked pepper aioli
Charles Townsend Bessent
If you go ... What: Big Bear Bistro, a friendly, local bistro for a nice, casual stop. Where: 297 Hanson Ranch Road, top of Bridge Street, Vail. Cost: Breakfast: $5-$12; Salads: $8-$15; Sandwiches: $11.50. Signature dish: The Masterpiece sandwich More information: Call 970.445.1007 or visit bigbearbistro.com.

For years, Big Bear Bistro, located just off the top of Bridge Street, has been known for its hearty breakfast, healthy, organic salads and famous sandwiches served on freshly baked or gluten-free bread. So, in essence, before you hit the mountain, you can begin your adventure with, perhaps, a smothered breakfast burrito, and come back for the signature Masterpiece sandwich — a variety of cured meats and provolone cheese, topped with balsamic-glazed arugula, banana peppers and pepper aioli for lunch.

However, the most delicious part of your day at the bistro might just be when you’re finally off the mountain; delicious, as in finally getting to rest your tired bod and delicious, because the Bistro has a scrumptious après ski menu! You name it, they serve it. There is an array of crepes, flatbreads, cheese plates, quesadillas, guacamole and chips, olives, hummus, sandwiches. (And if you missed the yummy Lumberjack at lunch — roast beef, Monterey jack cheese, caramelized onions and horseradish aioli — now’s your big chance!)

You can also rejoice in the Bistro’s fine selection of microbrews, imported and domestic beers and, of course, wine and bubblies. A little-known fact, too, is that the restaurant also caters. From large to small parties to weddings, even providing edibles for the bridesmaids and groomsmen as they’re getting dressed for the event. Big Bear Bistro has gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options and can accommodate most allergy issues. The restaurant combines everything a good, small bistro should have: warmth, consistency and great food.