Vail, CO Clorado
Most places you look, the original Eagle County ” the place populated by ranchers and miners, where a powder day just meant more snow to shovel off the wagon ” is, well, a thing of the past. But within the exposed brick walls of the Broadway Cafe in historic downtown Eagle, that rustic spirit comes alive.
Housed in a beautifully restored 1904 relic that in a past life served as the town’s post office and barber shop, the restaurant exudes an authenticity absent at some of the valley’s high-brow hot spots ” without ceding anything in taste or presentation of its American fare.
The restaurant’s hometown charm isn’t a coincidence of location. It’s a conscious effort on the part of owner Pete Woodward, a longtime Eagle resident who rides his bike to work.
“We like to think you’re truly a local if you know how to find us,” he says.
Woodward estimates 80 percent of his business comes from locals, who can sidle up to a $9 half-pound certified Angus burger or splurge on a $20 entree like flaky Alaskan halibut with polenta and a delicate shrimp-and-tomato broth.
Call it gourmet for the masses: Melt-in-your-mouth, six-hour braised beef short ribs, Prince Edward Island mussels in a saffron cream sauce, an ever-changing wine list ” all at locals-friendly prices.
“I like the idea of having a comfortable, neighborly place,” says Chef Dan Kent, who spent more than seven years as chef de cuisine at Vail’s Larkspur Restaurant. “I’ve always wanted to work at a place where I could afford to eat week in and week out.”
At Broadway Cafe, you can rejoice in the return of warmth to the High Country by sipping one of Woodward’s refreshing wine suggestions in the shade of the weeping white birch that dominates the enclosed, flower-lined patio behind the main dining rooms. Or, cool down with a slice of homemade Heath Bar ice cream pie in a crushed Oreo crust, the cafe’s most popular dessert.
And on weekend mornings, stop by for a brunch of blueberry pancakes or omelet ” Woodward says you won’t be disappointed.
“Everything we do, we cook a little bit better than people expect.”
225 Broadway, Eagle