December 23, 2003
Wok-n-Roll has defeated the stench folks have traditionally complained about – the smell that emanates from the bathrooms at Chair 11. Though complaints might resurface if the restaurant were to play Rick Derringer’s Greatest Hits, as opposed to the current, less-offensive playlist.
Wok-n-Roll, a satellite restaurant at Mid-Vail Village, cooks up an eclectic menu 50 yards up the mountain from Chair 11, (Northwoods) Thursdays through Mondays from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
“This is a local’s favorite,” said John Bailey, general manager of Mid-Vail Village. “The menu offers something different, and there’ll be Oriental specials throughout the season.”
For entrees, the menu includes beef, chicken and vegetable bowls, chicken yakotori, fried rice and the famous “Wok the Dog.”
“Wok the Dog used to be called “The Homewrecker,’ and this restaurant was “The Doghouse,'” said Bailey. “It’s a half pound and 12 inches of all beef. We’re the only restaurant on the mountain selling it.”
The deluxe version of Wok the Dog is called “The whole Shangrila,” which is topped with Asian-style cucumber salad, shredded Napa cabbage, spicy mustard and Oriental noodles.
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Despite the lack of Asian cooks, the staff at Wok-n-Roll hails from all over the globe.
Daniela Quesada comes from Hereidia, Costa Rica, Wok-n-Roll Executive Chef Timothy Nelson is new to Vail Resorts this year, coming over from The Ritz-Carlton in Wolfsburg, Germany, and Wok-n-Roll Supervisor Jack Jeney is originally from Frederick, Md.
“I came to Vail last season; it’s really nice here,” said Quesada, who speaks Spanish, German and English. “There’s a lot of people from last year back for good times and snowboarding. But in the spring, I have to go back home.”
And, there’s Juju Man and Matt Ducros – both of whom sport dashing novelty caps.
“It’s Oriental funky wear,” said Ducros.
“It’s “the Matt hat,'” added Jeney.
Wok-n-Roll also offers hot and sour soup to clear the senses and Oriental chicken noodle soup.
“We strive for vegetarian options here,” said Jeney. “There’s a little bit of everything for everyone.”
All of the bowls are prepared with a choice of white rice, fried rice or Oriental noodles, and a choice of three authentic sauces.
“This stuff is pretty dank,” said Jim Patterson, a snowboarder from Boston. “I can’t stop eating.”
Though most of the other customers seemed capable of controlling their appetites, the general consensus was that the food is satisfying.
“It’s just what the doctor ordered,” said John Pollack, a skier from Dayton, Ohio. “We’ve been tumbling down Christmas all day. Boy, am I bushed.”
“Actually, I’m the only one falling,” said Mary Pollack. “It’s only my second time skiing, but John thought it would be a good idea to go down blues all day.”
Andrew Harley can be reached at (970) 949-0555, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.