A slew of delectable hole-in-the-wall restaurants you don’t want to miss.
The idea that you can’t always judge a book by its cover is especially true of those small, out of the way restaurants where pretention takes a back seat to flavor and the kind of fun, relaxed, small-town atmosphere the Roaring Fork Valley is known for. These are places where a reservation and a nice outfit are not required, but a passion for food and a sense of community are what’s on the menu. When you’re looking for big flavors in small places, be sure to check out these little gems.
If you find yourself needing a little comfort food on a cold morning, check out The Biscuit, Matt Campbell and Drew Scott’s answer to the ultimate breakfast place. “Ten years ago, I knew I wanted to open a breakfast place,” Campbell recently told The Aspen Times. But when he knew a brick-and-mortar restaurant would be cost prohibitive, he found the perfect alternative on four wheels with a food truck that can be found parked in El Jebel in the Movieland parking lot year-round. Campbell, who is the owner of Campbell Audio Visual partnered with Scott, owner of the Downvalley Tavern to create a simple menu with six variations of biscuits and gravy. Think: huevos rancheros with fried eggs, a fried chicken sandwich or naked with honey butter. The biscuits are fresh-made daily and all dishes are made to order with a heaping side of soon-to-be famous grits. Parked daily at Movieland, open year-round.
Downtown Basalt just got a little more colorful and lot spicier with Mod’s Thai House, where the flavors of Thailand are being dished out in the middle of the Rockies thanks to owners Chef Manny Diaz (formerly of Jimmy’s) and his wife, Bangkok native Napaporn “Mod” Chansri. Formerly Hot Mamma’s, this small, out of the way space is now front-and-center with its bright turquoise paint and purple trim. In this intimate eatery you’ll find Mod in the open-air kitchen churning out classic Thai dishes like pad thai, coconut curry, and basil chicken along with a few chef specialties. Don’t miss the duck spring rolls and Mieng tuna, a raw tuna appetizer with minced ahi, fresh ginger and shallot, toasted coconut and grapefruit served on lettuce leaves and drizzled with tamarind sauce. //modsthaihous.com.
While the industrial park in a small, off-the-beaten path section of Carbondale known as Satank might not be the most likely place for a restaurant, the farm-to-table food this tiny little café was named for is worth searching for. With all their meat and produce sourced from local farms, Silo dishes up big flavors in its artsy, rustic space where the menu is written on a blackboard painted wall. Offering a variety of classic dishes that are touted as “simple” they are anything but, elevated with creative flavor combinations and premium local ingredients, from the duck eggs offered on the breakfast menu (breakfast is served all day) to the blueberry saba on the turkey club. Another case in point: The Blue Plate Special with artisian bread, house ricotta, topped with fried kale and a sunny side up egg—perfection in every bite. //silocarbondale.com