Article submitted by food writer, Jacqueline Mansfield.
As the creator of Edibletcetera.com, my weekly food blog for busy people – and known by those who know me as ‘the food police’, I jumped at the opportunity when invited to write a local restaurant review for the fabulous ‘Aspen RealLife’.
Like everyone, I love value for money. I also won’t order anything off a menu that I’d routinely make for myself. On that basis, my new favorite place to eat in Aspen is Justice Snow, adjacent to the Wheeler Opera House and formerly known as Bentleys.
JS offers dishes of excellent quality made with fresh local ingredients at ridiculously low un-Aspeny prices. Burgers are made with happy local grass-fed beef and are a consistently scrumptious, loaded, towering monument to that American classic. They’re served with hand cut fries which you can easily switch out for melt-in-the-mouth sweet potato waffle fries at no extra cost; an absolute feast at $10 which is pretty much unbeatable price-wise in an otherwise expensive town.
They also have fabulous salads; fresh kale, toasted hazelnuts and beets, topped with a quivering slice of local goat cheese – or try the quinoa and faro salad, another delicious option for a light lunch at around the same price. Salads can be beefed up with salmon or steak for the super-hungry.
I’ve never had room for dessert but their menu looks very sweet with something for everyone.
Food aside, as I imagine many people come here just for cocktails; their list of options is mind-bending.
I’m still drooling over their ‘Dragon’s Kiss’ – a tangerine vodka-based infusion with fresh lime, honey syrup, egg white and a dusting of cayenne. My fellow diners were equally ecstatic about the imaginative cocktails the JS mixologists have created.
Nothing fazes these bar alchemists; another friend, in the middle of a week of post-Christmas cleansing, had explained her predicament to the barman and was presented with an exotic-looking non-alcoholic creation that had her smiling for hours.
Sit at the bar to eat or drink and you’ll be leafing through an encyclopedia of choices. I will say that I’ve eaten at JS half a dozen times and the only negative I can come up with is this; if you want to eat in the bar – and why wouldn’t you; it’s a beautifully preserved saloon from the Wild West days – I recommend sitting as far away from the door as possible to avoid the icy draft slicing around your legs when opened.
Table dining offers a more limited choice of cocktails but still includes some very creative libations. Large groups might want to try one of their punch bowls.
One day I plan to go through their entire absinthe selection and I’ll require a designated driver to take me home; meanwhile Justice Snow will remain my first choice in Aspen for a really great burger and salad, all washed down with an unusual well-priced martini.
Justice Snow’s can be found at 328 East Hyman Avenue (Next to the Wheeler Opera House – The restaurant used to be Bentleys). To find out more about Justice Snow’s visit their website.