December 29, 2016
105 EDWARDS VILLAGE BLVD. #D101 | EDWARDS | 970.926.1163 | CAFE163.COM
by heather hower
photos by dominique taylor
|You know when you have a hankering for eggs and bacon or eggs benedict at 2 in the afternoon and nothing else will do? Head over to Cafe 163, a nook of a restaurant located in Edwards that has been serving "the most important meal of the day" all day, every day for six years.|
The restaurant has a loyal following of regulars — and the staff knows them and their orders, welcoming them with a hearty hello and quickly getting them settled. In a valley known for its transient workforce, Cafe 163 has had a chef who cooks with love for five years and managers who have been there almost as long, creating a place where locals are just as welcomed as out-of-town guests. The vibe has an upscale diner feel, with homemade muffins, pancakes and pastries… minus the pretention and high prices.
The menu is mighty. Everyone has a favorite and knows just what they want as soon as they settle in to a booth or table. It might be the challah bread French toast in a cornflake crust — equal parts crunch and melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness or the breakfast burrito, sometimes with bacon, sometimes not, with veggie green chili; or, when trying to achieve a healthier option, the BYO (build your own) omelet with spinach, goat cheese and mushrooms; perhaps the ham, spinach and tomato eggs benedict, with a dollop of hollandaise sauce and a side of the cafe's signature thinly sliced, perfectly fried potatoes. Let's wax eloquent about the potatoes for a minute because they are totally different than the pile of hash browns or chunky home fries often served alongside breakfast. They are round masterpieces, crisp outside, creamy inside.
Lunch is no less of a culinary splendor with tough choices like the ultimate in all diner orders, the classic Reuben, as well as the 163 Gyro —shaved lamb, cabbage, tomato, onion and feta with tzatziki on a toasted pita. The gyro's meat is salty, spicy and cooked lovingly to perfection, topped with the tzatziki sauce for a cool refreshing finish. Oh my!
This being the Vail Valley, though, there has to be healthy options and Cafe 163 doesn't disappoint with the Curry Bowl with curried sauteed spinach, carrots and potatoes, served with a warm pita with the option of chicken or shrimp. The slew of salads (Cobb, spinach, Greek or roasted pear to name a few) tempt and tease the palate — they arrive in a porcelain deep bowl, packed with goodness and homemade dressings.
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The understated owner strives to make Cafe 163 the kind of place where you want to linger over homemade goodness, where the staff knows your name and where you're promised a meal that satisfies and leaves you with a smile. It happens, he says, thanks to Chef Rory, general manager Rocio and assistant manage Kate, as well as the seasoned staff who want to provide exceptional service.
"Everything here has equal love in it. We use the best quality ingredients and make everything from scratch," he says.
Arrive hungry and be ready to be wowed, to leave sated, full and happy… feeling like you just found your new favorite breakfast and lunch spot, because you probably did. Settle a goal to determinedly work your way through the lengthy menu. It's a challenge but one worth tackling before hitting the powder or after a night of revelry. •
A state-of-the-art café with classic breakfast, brunch and lunch
The Classic Eggs Benedict
You bet! Lots of kid-friendly menu items, including pancakes
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