Mountain Blog

Fueling Up for the Slopes

Nancy Story - Thursday, February 14, 2013


 When it’s cold outside, they’re hot in the kitchen.

For those Crystal Clipper Café employees who spend their winter inside, there’s a way to judge the weather outside. It’s by what skiers put in their stomachs. When the thermometer drops, they say their homemade chicken noodle soup is tops, along with gallons and gallons of hot chocolate.  As it warms up outside, menu favorites return to  old standbys like burgers and hot dogs (particularly chili dogs), washed down with soda pop. 

But the chow of choice regardless of the weather is French fries, hands down. In an average week, the café hands out 1789 orders of fries. The favorite fry accompaniment is a cheeseburger – about 1095 of them weekly. Chicken tenders take the third place spot at the fryer, with over 900 orders weekly.  Just last weekend on a single Saturday, snowsports fans gobbled down 218 orders of chicken tenders, 418 hot chocolates, 148 slices of pizza, and 231 cheeseburgers. Over at La Cocina, burritos lead the hit list with nachos not too far behind.  There’s always the salads and yogurt crowd, but standard daily fuel favors the fast food fare.

Topping the sweet treat chart is that perennial favorite, the Crystal Krispie – a mogul-sized rice krispie treat that takes two hands to eat (small children have been known to gnaw on one for days). This year, nearly 2800 Krispies have disappeared into skier stomachs, well on the way towards the 5500  Krispies consumed in an average season.  Approximately 1609 Chocolate chip cookies have met their demise so far, followed by brownies, no-bake cookies, peanut butter cookies, and energy bars in preferential order.

Appeasing all those appetites as quickly as possible requires a crackerjack crew that knows just what to do. When the fryer’s hot in the kitchen, our café crew keeps their cool by utilizing a task rotation system that keeps things moving. During slow periods, they prepare for the next appetite onslaught, cleaning and planning ahead for the next day. 

The lunchtime crowd arrives religiously between 11:30-1pm, according to the café crew. So it’s wise to wait on your appetite until after 1 pm, when most folks have headed back to the hills. Remember, though, that what you eat is a telling sign of the temperature outside for our crew in the Clipper Café.

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