Loaded Joe’s is an Avon hangout for all occasions
A few boxes need to be checked to ensure the success of a restaurant in the Vail Valley: proximity to community centers, consistent quality and service and killer atmosphere. Loaded Joe’s scores 100 points here and the extra credit goes to the fact that they ARE one of those community centers. I find myself arriving early for coffee and breakfast, staying around for lunch and then passing back through in the evening for a beer and a bite, lingering even longer to catch anything from trivia to open mic night and a game of pool in the evenings. Theoretically, there are only 5 hours in a day that cannot be spent inside Loaded Joe’s, seven days a week.
The cuisine is created with locally sourced ingredients, chosen with intention. Breakfast favorites include their Colorado Lamb Scramble and the truly magnificent lemon ricotta pancakes served with crème fraiche and seasonal berries. Add the award-winning Tender Belly bacon to anything and call it a win. For lunch or a relaxed dinner, try the Castro sandwich — think Tender Belly ham, whole-grain mustard, pickles and whole-grain bread — or the thinly sliced rib-eye French dip.
Make sure to check out the Vail “grab and go” location (underneath 10th Mountain Whiskey on Bridge Street) for a pre-hike coffee and breakfast sandwich, or to grab a pastry to stick in your jacket and then circle back for the whiskey-shot dance party.
When in doubt about where to hang or dine, just look for a swarm of locals — I assure you plenty will be at Loaded Joe’s.
The newest and quite possibly the most unique dining experience in the Valley Valley isn’t at a new restaurant, but rather in a old gondola car in a new setting.