Vail Today: CarniVail celebrates Mardi Gras in the mountains (video)
By Tricia Swenson | Off the Hill
Vail may be over 1,000 miles away from and over 10,000 feet above New Orleans, but the Mardi Gras spirit could be felt on the mountain at this weekend’s CarniVail celebrations.Each year Vail Mountain hosts The World’s Highest Low-Country Crawfish Boil at Eagle’s Nest and even though the temperatures were chilly, the crawfish were steaming hot.Whether you call them crawfish, crawdads, mud bugs or yabbies, these little critters were served up in authentic New Orlean’s style. The team at Eagle’s Nest flies in hundreds of pounds of crawfish and then boils them in Zatarain’s and Old Bay seasoning, lemon and garlic. They serve it up on a platter with Andouille sausage, boiled new potatoes, corn on the cob, garlic bread and drawn butter.Golden resident, Cathline Taub comes up every year for the event at Eagle’s Nest. “I grew up in the South and this is just as good as anything I’ve tasted back home. It’s really authentic.”Jack Ridenour, executive chef at Eagle’s Nest says they take a lot of pride in this endeavor. “We’ve been doing this as long as I can remember, I’ve been working at Eagle’s Nest for over 22 years, and it’s just a lot of fun for the staff and for our guests.”Hearty side dishes like gumbo and etouffee were also offered. “We use the crawdads in the gumbo and etouffee as well and serve it with rice,” said Ridenour. “It’s nice and hearty and warms you up on a day like today.”Live music by Johnny Schlepper and Jake Wolf also warmed up those brave enough to sit outside at Eagle’s Nest during Saturday’s snow storm.CarniVail continued on Sunday at Mid Vail with New Orleans style Gumbo, jambalaya, and beignets and live music by The Sessh.