- Feature: Life appraised
- THE ARTS: Skeletal scenes
- MUSIC BOX: Muy caliente
- GET OUT: Open trails
- The Foodie Files: Standing on morel ground
- COSMIC CAFE: How can I ‘spring clean’ my psyche?
- Jackson, Wyo., gets Jack White
- THE BUZZ: Spreading the love one T-shirt, toothbrush at a time
- PROPS & DISSES
- MUSIC BOX: Upcoming mega music fest is labor of love
FEED ME! An elevated java experience
There’s one major problem with Elevated Grounds. It’s in the Aspens. I live in East Jackson. And I don’t like to drive.
From its spot-on baristas to its colorful Fiestaware dishes and mugs, carefully curated selection of baked goods from the valley’s best bakeries and made-to-order paninis, Elevated Grounds gets it right. The furniture could be a little less Ashley Furniture and a little more thrift shop, though I give it points for trying to be cozy with upholstered chairs in front of a gas pseudo-fireplace.
The mug my double espresso came in was perfect for holding with two hands. All coffee cups are not shaped alike and I like mugs my hands can hug.
Burritos are the Jackson Hole chargers’ go-to breakfast. However, the ooey, gooey strawberry cream cheese croissant at Elevated Grounds weighs about as much as a D.O.G. breakfast burrito and if you need a burrito break, it’s worth a try. It’s not nearly as much of a gut bomb as the D.O.G. burrito, and it doesn’t stay with you as long, but, well, life is a series of trade-offs.
Last week, after skiing hard all day at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, I stopped into Elevated Grounds for a late afternoon snack. Parking my car out front, I was thinking a “Wicked Good” bar, which EG gets from Atelier Ortega, would be the perfect snack. However, once inside the smell of warm paninis got me thinking I needed more than a snack. Before I knew it, I was ordering a chicken salad pesto melt.
Not that this was an easy choice. Other panini options (all $8.96) include Brie and apple, with sliced Granny Smith apples and melted Brie with yogurt cranberry sauce, and ham and Swiss featuring sliced honey ham and melted cheese with a side of creamy pesto aioli.
There are also three full-sized salads ($7.08 each) to choose from: the Eagle’s Nest with the same tarragon chicken salad that came on my panini, grape tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette; the Asian Pear with sliced pear and craisins with Asian vinaigrette, Grape Nuts and pickled ginger on the side; and the Greek with Mediterranean olives, grape tomatoes and crumbled feta cheese with Greek dressing. But the salad option was not on the table after a day of chasing the steep and deep – I needed some serious replenishment.
When my fuel arrived at the table, melted Provolone cheese and a thick layer of pesto oozed from beneath the fresh ciabatta bread. However, upon biting into the panini, it wasn’t either the cheese or pesto that fell into my lap. If there’s a chicken salad in this valley with more chicken in it than at Elevated Grounds, I have yet to encounter it.
I’m still exploring the breakfast options at Elevated Grounds beyond the strawberry and cream cheese croissant (which comes from the Bunnery) and a slice of veggie quiche. The latter kept me sated longer, but, well, it’s difficult to beat the buttery, buttery taste of a flaky croissant, especially when the strawberry and cream cheese goodness hidden inside are happily melted together. Not really a fan of microwaves, and especially not when it comes to baked goods, I applaud Elevated Grounds for having both a toaster oven and a microwave available.
And because I still had room in my stomach after polishing off the chicken salad pesto melt, I also bought a Wicked Good bar. Shortbread topped with a fig spread and all sorts of seed-y goodness, it lived up to its name.
Elevated Grounds is located next to Wells Fargo in the Teton Pines commercial strip. Open 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday; 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays. 734-1343.