SNOWMASS VILLAGE - "We've been coming to Gwyn's for breakfast on Super Bowl Sunday for the last 15 years," said Florida resident Doug Clark in between bites of his eggs over light and potatoes. "We love everything about this place."
Clark, who began the trip more than a decade ago with 16 to 20 friends, now returns to Snowmass each year with 15 men and one woman - a group made up of sons, friends and family who live to carry on the traditions of their vacation, from where they eat to where they stay and ski. And, according to owner Gwyn Knowlton, who has run Gwyn's High Alpine restaurant with her family for more than 30 years, Clark's story isn't unusual. The restaurant has been a hub for repeat customers year after year.
"We are family so we understand family," Knowlton said, referring not just to her family, but the entire crew of employees. "We love being the place where people can continue their traditions, but we also love getting creative and switching it up now and then, too."
And when it comes to the menu, drinks, parties and celebrations at Gwyn's, nothing could be closer to the truth, as the whole team joins together to come up with new and exciting ways to spice up our ski days.
The latest was a "Soup-er-bowl" competition for the best football-related soup to serve on Super Bowl Sunday. The winner: Caroline Scace with her soup, "49 Bean."
Snowmass Sun: What made you come up with the idea for the "Soup-er-bowl" competition?
Gwyn Knowlton: We came up with it last year to do something different, partly because the snow was scarce and we wanted to get people excited. We got these giant, 6-inch-wide portabella mushrooms and carved the letters "NY" in them to place over our barley soup. We called it "Giant Portabella and Barley," which we think helped lead the New York Giants to their victory.
SS: Can you describe this year's winner, the "49 Bean?" Did you have a soup for the other team?
GK: The 49 Bean had just about every bean in it that you could imagine, and every portion had at least 49 beans in it as well. For the Ravens, we did a twist on our popular chicken tortilla soup and called it the "Screamin' Raven Tortilla."
SS: Aside from your soups, what other items are popular at Gwyn's?
GK: I would say we have a really delicious breakfast menu, especially our tasty beignets. We also just refurbished our deck to get it ready for warming temperatures, and we are excited to get to light up the grill again for our seared ahi-tuna sandwiches, beer brats and half-pound buffalo burgers.
SS: What else, besides good food and fun times, makes Gwyn's unique?
GK: We take a lot of pride in our snow-measuring stick outside, which we use to post overnight snowfall reports on our Facebook page. People appreciate it because it's a firsthand reading of how much snow they can expect to find when they ski here.
SS: Do you have any other events or special days you are looking forward to this season at Gwyn's?
GK: Yes, Fat Tuesday! Our whole crew dresses up for Mardi Gras every year, and it's always a really great time. We will have food specials, and bartenders Aly and Morgan will be mixing up Hurricanes at the bar all day. We hope everyone comes out for the occasion.