March puts the ‘sun’ in Sun Valley as days grow suddenly longer and brighter, the snow on the mountains begins to turn to corn, and the party at River Run, Roundhouse, and Warm Springs moves outside. Think bluebird skies, lots of live music, the sun on your face, and nothing to do but play all day. Lucky for so many that spring break falls smack in the middle of this munificent month. This year, the pleasures of a family spring break in Sun Valley are even more palatable with a Kids Ski Free special in March. Yes, you read that...
The dog days of summer are upon us and in between early morning hiking, biking, golf, tennis, or whatever gets you up and going, and evenings spent at the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, taking in concerts, or fishing, one must eat. And in this weather, there is nothing that quite hits the spot like a light, healthy meal, snack, or cocktail at the Poolside Café at the Sun Valley Lodge.
The food is as great as the view at the Poolside Café at the Sun Valley Lodge. Open to the public, it’s a great place to relax, cool down, and enjoy some great food and drinks
Decked in a cool palette of blue and white, with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the iconic round outdoor pool, the Poolside Café invites you in for a respite. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. with food service ceasing at 9 p.m., the restaurant is a great place to eat, drink, and be merry. And the best news is that you need not be a Sun Valley guest to enjoy the eatery.
On a steamy midweek day, I stopped into the Poolside Café to take a break from the busy day, to replenish, and relax. My group of four that also included two 11-year-old boys, and a 15-year-old girl, opted to sit inside on the comfy couches, though the option to enjoy lunch on the pool deck is also available. Inside was enticingly cool.
Cole, the server/bartender with the most-est shows his form preparing a Baldy View Bramble for a guest
The menu, while not extensive, has a large variety of choices, no matter your mood. It is separated into ‘light’, ‘hearty’, and ‘junior lifeguard’ fare. The light choices include the café’s famous Baja shrimp tacos, snacks like a cheese plate, and a kale, peach, and quinoa salad. Heartier items include a great burger and specialty flatbread pizzas. The children’s menu is filled with favorites including hot dogs, a summer fruit bowl, and a cheddar cheese quesadilla. Our group ordered two shrimp taco plates, one jumbo prawn salad, and a hot dog that came with some pretty great potato chips. The food arrived quickly and was, across-the-board, fresh, tasty, and in the case of the prawns and tacos, very light and healthy.
Derek Gallegos, Chef of the Lodge, said the Poolside Café menu aims to please while still being healthy. “The food at the Poolside Café is a great choice no matter the time of day,” he said. “Our flatbread pizzas are exclusive to the venue and include a barbecue chicken variety and fresh tomatoes and mozzarella. It’s definitely lighter fare and we strive to make it healthy and just what you crave on a hot summer’s day.”
The Jumbo Prawn salad, served on a bed of greens, jicama, grapefruit, and avocado was perfect on a hot summer’s day
The Poolside Café is also known for its specialty cocktails, and rightfully so. They are creative, refreshing, and go way beyond your typical summer gin and tonic or vodka cocktail. A few of the choices include the ‘Namaste’, created with Hangar One Buddha Hand Citron, coconut water, and Acai berry juice, and the ‘Baldy View Bramble’, a delicious shaken concoction of Aviation American gin, blackberry preserves, and fresh lemon juice. Full disclosure, even though I wasn’t ‘on vacation’ and it was midday on a weekday, I had to try the Poolside Punch made with 10 Cane rum, fresh grapefruit, orange, cranberry, lemon and lime juice. It was summer in a glass – light, refreshing, and fruity without being overly sweet. I highly recommend it.
If your day takes you to the Sun Valley Lodge, or even nearby, pop into the Poolside Café for a relaxed, very low key, very chill way to stay cool and enjoy a delicious break from your busy day.
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