Snowshoe Restaurants
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lbotta - DCSki Supporter
January 13, 2009
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
I said in the beginning of the year that I'd be reviewing the plethora of restaurants at Snowshoe. I'm in the process. Although the full text of the reviews of the restaurants, services, etc. is at yelp.com, I will nonetheless place a synthesis here. Here it goes. I will also edit it when I can add a review.

Foxfire Grille: Four Lou-stars. No longer Brian Ball-owned, it nonetheless continues unabated as one of the two best eateries at the Main Village of Snowshoe. Unfortunately, it doesn't take reservations and as as a result, the wait times range from the inordinate to the ridiculous. With a "shabby chick" Redneck theme, it nonetheless delivers first-rate food. Their meat loaf is delectable, their Ahi Tuna Barbecue is delightful, and their Barbequesadilla appetizers are the rage. Full bar. Great service if you can stand the wait. Dinner with wine about $30 per person. Full report is at http://www.yelp.com/biz/foxfire-grill-snowshoe

Red Rover: Four LouStars. Amazing what you can do with such a simple concept such as sausage and beer if you can dress up the sausage in fancy clothes. Located next to the Foxfire, it gets mobbed for lunch and it is virtually impossible to find a table, even at the kitchen bar. Their Wild Boar sausage is my favorite. For veggans, they even have the No-Dog and Tofurky sausage. Friendly, unpretentious, and good. Lunch with a beer about $15.00 a person. Full report at http://www.yelp.com/biz/red-rover-restaurant-snowshoe

Ember: Last year I gave it four LouStars. This year it gets five. As good as it gets in Snowshoe not to say West Virginia. Brian has been culling the ranks of the waitstaff and ensuring proper training and service orientation. So service wise they have it. Food wise, it is a wonderful combination of Asian, Italian, Frutti di Mare, and Steak. Their sushi is wonderful. So is their mango beef teriyaki. My favorite entree is the Escolar with giant Israeli couscous. Located at the Soaring Eagle Lodge, convenient access to shuttle bus and parking. Price including wine $60-100 per person. Full report is at http://www.yelp.com/biz/ember-restaurant-snowshoe#

Shavers Centre Cafeteria: Some of you will be incredulous, but I gave it four LouStars on account of the fact that I believe that it should get the award for the most improved food operation East of the Mississippi. From being a smelly greasy spoon barely three years ago, it is now a remodeled cafeteria with flagstone walls and clean equipment, serving well-prepared yet fast and inexpensive breakfasts and lunches with a smile. I had given up on the place years ago and was there just to transit. What a change!. It also has a Soba and noodle bar for lunch, shades of Whistler's immensely popular cafeteria at the top of the Whistler gondola. I went there right at opening time, and yet the chef fixed me a eggs/ham/biscuit breakfast in a jiffy. With a smile.

The cafeteria is about the fastest meal at Snowshoe, with both a sandwich and hot entree bays. It serves breakfast and lunch, with a loft-style overflow room upstairs. Now, take this success and put it in the Junction, pleeeeezzzz! Full report is at http://www.yelp.com/biz/shavers-centre-cafeteria-snowshoe

Cheat Mountain Pizza: Excellent place for fast, reasonable food, tasty yuppie pizza and humongous Calzones. They also have pasta selections. I give it three LouStars. Good service if you go early or late for lunch. Also has takeout service. Very reasonably priced. Accross the pedestrian walkway on the Main Village. Steps from the bus shuttle. Full report at http://www.yelp.com/biz/cheat-mountain-pizza-company-snowshoe

Auntie Pasta: Last year I gave it three Lou Stars. Not so this year. They get two only because of the H2B visa service workers who were absolutely impeccable. The restaurant, located at the Conference Center of Mountain Lodge, served me a plate of mussels with almost 50% of them unopened, which means they were either uncooked or bad. In any case, bivalves should always be opened before serving them to the customer. Any cook worth his or her salt could have seen it. And don't tell me they were too busy, the restaurant was only about 40 percent of capacity. Then for the entree, I had reheated stuffed trout. I went away hungry. The Pinot Grigio, however, was good. I became afraid to order dessert for fear of what they might do to Creme Brulée, so I quickly paid and left. Dinner with wine at about $40.00 per person. Full report is at http://www.yelp.com/biz/auntie-pasta-slatyfork#

The Junction: Last year I gave it one LouStar. Same for 2009. Went there this past Sunday and I'm still upset at myself for wasting my money. This year it continues unabated as one of the worst restaurants I've ever entered, making McDonald's seem like the Red Sage. I didn't even have to get into a fight with management this year, the inedible brunch food spoke for itself. Between the dried eggs, the soggy potatoes and the hockey-puck biscuits, it was a nightmare at 10 AM. The up feature this year was the service. The wait staff is much more courteous and knowledgeable than previously. Unfortunately the kitchen is still producing horrible food. Full review is at http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-junction-snowshoe
skier219
January 13, 2009
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
Thanks Lou. I keep meaning to try Ember with my wife one of these days.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
January 13, 2009
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Ember is worth it. And with the demise of Mecks Bakery, the little deli next door is the only place that sells baguettes or fresh bread in a 100-mile radius.

I did forget to report the closing of Mecs. One of the nicest bakeries I've ever entered, was on the route from Greenbank into Cass. As a Menonite bakery, their bread formulas had been passed down through generations from the old Germans. From what I heard, the nice lady who used to run the place became ill and the kids wanted no part of the business, so it's closed for good. I'm not exaggerating when I say that was a piece of Americana gone forever. So sad. The place has a for sale sign now.
David
January 14, 2009
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
Originally Posted By: lbotta
The place has a for sale sign now.


Lou, there's your chance. Buy the place and their recipes and move out to the country. You'd be that much closer to Snowshoe!!
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lbotta - DCSki Supporter
January 14, 2009
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Originally Posted By: David
Originally Posted By: lbotta
The place has a for sale sign now.


Lou, there's your chance. Buy the place and their recipes and move out to the country. You'd be that much closer to Snowshoe!!


Just imagine... Lou's Unitarian Bakery... Don't even have to wear a bonnet. And it would be multicultural bread.
skier219
January 14, 2009
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
I heard that the owner, James Meck, became ill. I was also very sad to see it closed. When I drove up there on opening day in Nov, I was planning to bring some sticky buns back home that night, and my heart sank when I saw the 'closed' and 'for sale' signs up. I have to say, that is a major loss. I wish I had discovered the place earlier.
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
January 14, 2009
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
I've been going to Mecs for the last 12 years since I've been going to Snowshoe. They used to have fresh, wonderful, rich bread the type we don't see in the US often. Then there were the sticky buns, the sesame sticks, the organic honey, the homemade jams and jellies, in short, culinary pleasures that are not seen everywhere. Frankly, I shopped at their store in preference to Whole Foods. So sad...
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
June 13, 2011
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Sad sad sad.... The economy takes two more eateries at Snowshoe.

Taste of Asia has closed for good and isn't coming back, according to the locals. In my book, no big loss. Still, a loss for the community...

The worst of the worst news is the closing of Embers. Brian Ball has made a gracious exit from Snowshoe. He transitioned the Red Rover last year and this year, citing economic pressures, he closed down Ember, never to reopen. He's out West now. Our loss is their gain...

What's left at Snowshoe? Foxfire is still going as the only place on topside that serves good quality food. The Junction's reputation as serving inedible food continues unabated. The rest of the 5 or so eateries are... well... meh... And for Foxfire, the lines during season are so long that they intimidate the customer. Or maybe 4 PM dinner... I don't make lines, so I guess my restaurant choice is outside of the mountain.

The two outstanding eateries in the area, and both which honor reservations, are both outside of Snowshoe. The Elk River is six miles South and the Brazen Head is six miles North. Both are still excellent.
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
June 14, 2011
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
Lou,
Glad to see "Taste of Asia" go. They only served Chinese (no alternative choices for families and "meat and potatoes" picky eaters) and, at least from my efforts, would not make arrangements for a large group at am early sitting. I am sure both restaurants will be replaced before next ski season, or there will be lines all over the place!.
The Colonel smile
BlizzardMax
June 14, 2011
Member since 09/13/2006 🔗
6 posts
I agree with your overall assessment of the Snowshoe eateries. I for one always save my best planned and anticipated meal while @ SS for Elk River Inn. They are the best in my opinion (actually most folks who come here often agree) and have been for decades. And yes, they accept and keep reservations. They treat repeat customers like royalty and the place is operated like none other in the entire region. Brazenhead is also an excellent off Mt. choice with great food, atmosphere and always a great night out. You should call ahead to check their dinner schedule.

The economy is really beating SS up and it seems to be getting worse not better. I am here now and the locals are really down on the state of the Shoe. As far as a replacement for the space that Taste of Asia occupied... I think they should move the legendary Auntie Pastas out of the basement of The Mountain Lodge and put it back front and center in the Village where it reigned supreme for some twenty or so years. Even in its current state (Auntie Pastas) sure beats Taste Of As--. Red Rover was also unbelievably good and a brilliant idea for making hot dogs an affordable gourmet treat. Many folks I know who would not normally eat a hot dog would eat one from RRover. I hope Red Rover continues operating in Soaring Eagle where it was transplanted last winter.

Finally, if Intrawest will allow SS to drop their overpriced lift tickets back down to a more realistic price point, just maybe they will NOT succeed in pricing themselves out of the market and day visits and one night visitors might just return next year and purchase the overpriced food and beverages.

God, I love the Shoe!!
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
June 14, 2011
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
BlizzardMax,
Your posts are always "on the mark". Why so few!
Tell us more about you...family, ages, where you live, etc.
I too have a place in the Northern Neck (Nomini Creek) and live in Fairfax.
Alas, no place at Snowshoe, but visit often! Where is your place near Kinsale, and at the Shoe?
The Colonel smile
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
June 14, 2011
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
I couldn't agree with you more. By mere chance, I looked at the first Yelp review of the Taste of Asia, written by yours truly. It didn't change since 2009 and glad it's gone. Read it for kicks..

12/21/2009 First to Review Louis B
The Taste of Asia stands at the Allegheny Springs wing where the old Village Bistro stood in Snowshoe's Center Village. Despite its incredible location, my first dining experience there was an unmitigated disaster worthy of some FEMA assistance. I am wondering if this is now Snowshoe-owned, because it sports the same indolence, lack of service and careless attitude which is trademark of the Snowshoe food and beverage operation.

We arrived there at 8 PM, still in the pre-Christmas slow season. Despite there only being two other people in front of us, and with about seven open tables, it took a full 20 minutes to be acknowledged and then only after one of the couples in front of us left disappointed. We should have left too, because what awaited us was pure service disfunction. After waiting another 10 minutes (half and hour now), we were finally seated. I know the waiter who was assigned to us and gleefully expected a better evening. No such luck.

The waiter had apparently not become versant with the menu, so ordering food by name was out of the question and we had to resort to ordering by numbers, something that I would expect in a cheap neighborhood dive, not the practice of an upscale eatery. Having lived in five countries in Asia for eight years, I know my way around Asian or Asian-infused food. Still, the waiter did not even know the basic names or details. What's worse, even some of the menu selections were misspelled! Gyoza was spelled "goyza" in their menu, for example, unforgivable for an Asian restaurant.

We ordered two appetizers, the gyoza and the squid salad. Both took about 15 minutes to come out, but then the waiter noticed we didn't even have silverware nor chop sticks, so he went to look for them and apparently forgot. The table next to ours, bused by another waiter, had the same problem, and one of the guests actually had to stand up and help himself with the silver and chop sticks from the waiter service island. In my case, I went to speak to the restaurant manager to advise him that our appetizers were getting cold for lack of table instruments and he brought over the appropriate service.

Our waiter returned after about 20 minutes and we then ordered the main course, Lo Mein and Hunan Beef. The quality of these was passable.

Looking around, it seemed to us that the restaurant had opened in a hurry and the wait staff hasn't spent even an hour on menu selections, service orientation or customer expectations.

Overall, my first visit to the Taste of Asia was a total disappointment. The quality of the food is the reason for two stars. If not, they would be on the way to joining the Junction in my list of least favorite restaurants ever.
JimK - DCSki Columnist
June 15, 2011
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,723 posts
lbotta, your restaurant reviews are great and with a little snarky tweaking could be hilarious.

You ought to become the first full time mountain dining critic. You'd have a field day bashing the many overpriced greasy spoons at US ski areas and find god in the Alps. grin
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
June 15, 2011
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
Amen, Jim, Amen!

By the way, have you checked the Snowbird website recently? Still skiing top to bottom on huge base, with skiing perhaps continuing well beyond the 4th of July.
Speaking of the 4th...Do they have a 4th of July in England?!
The Colonel smile
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
June 15, 2011
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,527 posts
Thanks for the nice comment... Well... I may just do what you recommend. I will be retiring for the second time (for good) on September 30 and will become a professional ski bum. Which means many more reports on ski areas, restaurants, and venues.
snow.buck
July 7, 2011
Member since 12/12/2009 🔗
202 posts
Originally Posted By: BlizzardMax
... I think they should move the legendary Auntie Pastas out of the basement of The Mountain Lodge


Nooooo. That's what makes Aunties - LARGE, open, table for 8 right this way...the best value on the mountain. And Brian B's "departure" - well - hadn't the Harlem Globetrotters used his checks for the last few seasons ! LOL Will be interesting to see who, if anyone, would open another 1-year seasonal resturant in SS. With ever increasing lift tickets, lack of service, security staff just let go, hear its better/safer/cheaper to ski out West. Could a Courtesy/Safety Patrol have averted the death this past season? New GM has good ideas...but may have hands tied by coorporate...will wish him luck.
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