We’ve always enjoyed eating out. When Jim and I first met, one of our favorite things to do on the weekend was to eat out for breakfast. Our first year together, we lived along the Brandywine Creek at the corner of Rt. 100 and Rt. 926 in Pocopson Township, Chester County. Hank’s Place diner in Chadd’s Ford was just a hop, skip and a jump down the road, and became our go-to breakfast joint. I have many fond memories sipping coffee in this small establishment amidst many famous local Chester County artists!
Invariably, wherever we live, we tend to settle on a few favorite local establishments. Once we find a good eatery, we’re loyal patrons! In West Chester, PA, we frequented Jamison’s (formerly Eachus Dairy), DeStarr’s Restaurant, the Square Bar, and New Haven Pizza! In Kennett Square, my hometown, we were often found in Giordano’s for pizza or a local coffee/bakery shop (no longer there) for their scrumptious cinnamon twists.
Upon our migration to Vermont, our tendency to hone in on a few good restaurants continued. We love Julio’s Mexican Restaurant in the capital city of Montpelier, and frequented Salt Hill Pub in Hanover, NH for occasional Happy Hour fare. One of my favorite places to meet for our Dartmouth book club was Stella’s in Lyme, NH.
Of course, now that we’re here in the Tetons for the summer, we’ve kept our tradition alive and have zeroed in a few favorite local establishments. When we were here during the winter 36 years ago, we loved to drive out to Moose Junction and enjoy a brew and some food at the restaurant/bar located there. The large picture window looking out over the Tetons, and the big stone fireplace created a rustic ambiance that was so warm and cozy. Now called Dornan’s, it remains our favorite place to go after work. Sorry for the double posting, as I’ve mentioned this before – but it deserves another spot in this write-up!
The Pizza and Pasta Company at the Dornan’s complex operates out of the Spur Bar. As the name suggests, the menu consists of an array of pasta dishes and pizza creations named for the local mountains. My favorite pizza is the Mount Owen – Sundried Tomato Pesto Sauce with Four Cheeses topped with Fresh Basil. Or, I also opt for the Teton – a simple marinara sauce and cheese to which I customize with my choice of toppings. We prefer to dine (weather-permitting) on the Upper Outside Deck which offers sweeping views of the Teton Range and the Snake River valley.
You can also find an outdoor chuckwagon at Dornan’s serving up breakfast and dinner. Jim used to frequent the breakfast back in the day when he hung out here in the late 1970’s.
On Monday nights during the summer, there is an informal jam session with local and traveling musicians sharing the stage and entertaining the crowd with an eclectic mix of music genres. (pictures in my previous post!)
We were told about this little out-of-the-way café by our store managers. And, we were thrilled to find this place. It is located just east of Moran, away from the crowds, and along the Buffalo River.
This is a funky, little place located and operated by a guest ranch. The morning we were here, there was only one other couple in the small restaurant. I had heard they had wicked good Sausage Gravy and Biscuits – a favorite of mine – and I can verify this personally now! I’m not a big meat eater but I do enjoy this dish once in a while as a treat. Jim indulged in a hearty egg, hash browns, and sausage dish that he proclaimed was excellent. The best thing about this café (besides the food) was the drive to get there. Buffalo Valley is a beautiful area.
Oh, and while we were eating, a young gentleman came out to the counter, who we learned is the cook. We noticed he had on a T-shirt that advertised Avon Grove Ice Hockey along with a Philadelphia Flyers cap adorning his head. I love it when this happens. We started talking to him, and turns out he grew up in Landenberg (near where I lived in Kennett Square) and attended my rival high school – Avon Grove. Small world!
We discovered this local brew for the first time at Dornan’s. I’m really not a beer drinker, but I have to admit that their Pako’s IPA is growing on me! Usually, the only time I enjoy a beer is with pizza on a hot day. Turns out, this climate is conducive to these conditions. Since we had been enjoying their beer in other establishments, we decided to give their own brewery pub a try. Located in Jackson, the brewery sits a few blocks from the center of town. It’s typical décor for a brew pub, with an open, multi-level lay-out complete with wide-screen TV’s showing – what else – extreme sports clips.
The place was jam-packed with people and obviously a popular spot. We opted to just get a couple of beers and an appetizer each. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the food. I ordered the Smoked Trout Cakes – and they were out-of-this-world delicious. The description is mouth-watering and accurately describes this tasty dish – Apple wood smoked trout cakes, spicy tomatillo & avocado salsa verde with sweet corn relish. Jim decided on the Sausage Sampler – Pale Ale pork, Lager apricot elk & Zonker bison sausage with Farmer Fred’s sauerkraut & whole grain mustard – and his was equally delectable. I have no doubt we will patronize this establishment a few more times this summer.
Well, I’m sure we will try out some other eateries over the summer and I’ll be sure to include an additional post if I find enough other places that warrant attention on my blog! I may even include the “duds” – those places that will not enjoy a second visit from us!!!