Route 6 keeps it simple, but delicious |

Route 6 keeps it simple, but delicious

Scott N. Miller
Daily file photo Route 6 Cafe in Eagle-Vail serves up a yummy breakfast and lunch along with the friendliest of service.

Icons are hard to come by in the Vail Valley, so we treasure the ones we have. At the Route 6 Cafe, we pay homage with a hearty meal and a generous tip.The little restaurant below Highway 6 at the eastern entrance to Eagle-Vail has been known as the Route 6 for almost two years, since Ollie Holdstock, Jack Lacey and Jim Wallace took over. Since they took charge, there have been a few changes, but one thing has remained constant: Delicious, affordable breakfasts and lunches, served with a smile and, for regulars, among friends.The regulars are the heart and soul of our business, said Holdstock, the managing partner of the group. The locals support us really well.What keeps the Route 6 humming is a combination of friendly service and dandy food.On a recent six-person visit, the table got very quiet when the food came. Its high praise indeed when the food is better than the company.That group quickly inhaled items ranging from burgers to a French dip to a chicken sandwich. All were pronounced yummy.The key to keeping the yum factor at a high level is freshness and consistency. We bake all our bread on site, Holdstock said. And all the salads are made to order, and its all the freshest stuff we cant get.Thats right, he said salads.While meat and potatoes is a staple at the Route 6, Holdstock is proud of the salads, as well as the falafel.Adding consistency to the mix is the staffs job. Lead chef Rafael Chavez has been working in the back room for 10 years. And Lacey, once one of Vails better-known waiters, is now a back-room guy himself. Lacey has taken over the bread-baking, and, said Holdstock, Hes gotten really good at it.The bread isnt the only form of tasty carbs at Route 6. In a tradition that pre-dates the current owners, the Route 6 is a popular local stop for a tank of gas, a cup of coffee and a cinnamon roll or other baked item. Better yet, those who fill up get a coffee or soda, on the house.While Laceys in the back a lot these days, when hes out front, hes still one of the best at working a table, and the other out-front staff follows suit.That service starts at the door.We greet everybody with a handshake, a hug or a kiss, Holdstock said.It starts with the partners being friendly guys, but, Wallace said, it also comes from something a longtime customer told him once.He told me, If someone wants to meet me at the door, thats all it takes, Wallace said. And people love it.While Route 6 is only open for breakfast and lunch, its open all the time. Were only closed two days a year, Christmas and New Years Day, Holdstock said.The restaurant can be reserved for private dinners, and offers a full bar to go along with a different menu. Those private parties, as well as the regulars, will also be able to take advantage of a new outdoor deck that will be built this year.That wont make the food any better, but its one more way to keep both locals and visitors honoring a valley icon.Vail Colorado

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