Edwards’ Cafe 163: Real food all the time | VailDaily.com

Edwards’ Cafe 163: Real food all the time

HL Cafe 163 1 DT 10-1-10

EDWARDS, Colorado – A cafe named after a highway sign has to be good.

Cafe 163 is across the parking lot from the Edwards post office in the Edwards Village Center, where Sato used to be.

Jeff Sandoval is a regular guy, serving real food to real people all the time. It works because it’s not complicated, and Sandoval and his crew keep it that way.

The name came from one of Sandoval’s Vail buddies who sneered a little when someone suggested they try a spot in Edwards.

“You mean that unincorporated area off Exit 163?” the buddy would ask.

When Sandoval opened his new restaurant, Cafe 163 is the name he hung on the door.

They serve breakfast all day, and lunch when lunch should be served: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“There are some great breakfast places around here, but we needed one that serves breakfast all day,” Sandoval said.

Breakfast is his passion, and it shows.

“I love to go out for breakfast,” Sandoval said.

He’s originally from Milwaukee and Chicago, and some of his fondest memories are of small neighborhood restaurants with lines stretching out the door – people sipping coffee, chatting and waiting to get in. Cafe 163 is like that.

It takes them eight hours to make their own corned beef hash. It’s worth it.

They save some of that beef to make Reuben sandwiches.

They roast their own meat for the gyros, a Greek sandwich served on pita bread with classic tzatziki sauce, a Greek yogurt-based sauce.

Then there’s the house-made falafel and house-made veggie burger.

The french fries are even made in-house. Sandoval points out that French fries actually originated in Belgium.

“They’re crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. They’re the best in town,” he said.

They have their own pastry chef, Molly Andersen, so everything’s fresh every day, including the cupcakes.

The coffee is new to the valley. Pablo’s in Denver does it. You can get it in one place in Leadville and Cafe 163 in Edwards. Everywhere else in in Denver. The tea comes from Vail Mountain Coffee Roasters.

Sandoval was the original Sato manager, so he’s familiar with the space and what it can do. Kim Risi is his partner. She’s the general manager at Sato.

Cafe 163 is a startup and it’s a restaurant, so Sandoval and his crew practically live there. Sandoval’s day starts at 5 a.m., when he unlocks the door to open, and ends at 5 p.m., when he locks it after they close.

“People in the restaurant business seem to always be looking for their next career,” Sandoval said. “I’m no different. I’ve been a paramedic and considered law school, but nothing works for me like making people happy with food and a little fun.”

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

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