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FEED ME: Cutest breakfast in town
JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Writing authoritatively that there’s one “best breakfast” in town is impossible. At least if I want to be taken seriously.
Some mornings, a hot-out-of-the-oven salt bagel slathered in honey walnut cream cheese from Pearl Street Bagels is the best breakfast in town. Other mornings it could be a ham and cheese croissant from The Bunnery or a Southwest breakfast burrito from D.O.G. Some days it may be the banana bread French toast at Nora’s or, if you’re feeling posh, a specialty Eggs Benedict at the Four Seasons.
There is, however, little room for arguing the cutest breakfast spot in town.
Shades’ little log cabin was cute, but doesn’t come out on top. Persephone Bakery Café is also in the running, but its crisp white interior is more casually elegant than cute.
Walk in the front door of The Alpine House’s – a bed and breakfast that also serves breakfast to those not staying with them – and hang a right into its woody breakfast nook, where a colorful hanging chalkboard sign will greet you.
Across the top of the chalkboard is a playful illustration of an ice axe. The owners, Hans and Nancy Johnstone, are both former Olympians. Hans also is an Exum guide and one of the most accomplished mountaineers in the Tetons.
Above the ice axe is a giant, “Good Morning!” It exudes more cheer and optimism than any bit of handwriting I’ve ever seen. And it only gets cheerier. Recently it read “French Toast with Peaches & Cream and Vermont Maple Syrup!” and “Huevos Rancheros with Chorizo!!”
After reading the chalkboard you will notice the rest of the room: plush couches set around thermoses filled with hot water and different coffees, soaring ceilings and an overstuffed breakfast bar.
Colorful bowls are filled with fresh fruit, yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, and house-made granola. Baskets lined with linen napkins hold scones, bagels, fruit-filled croissants, plain croissants, and toast. There’s a platter supporting a tower of muffins.
I was surprised to discover the scones came from a pre-made mix. They are among the butteriest I’ve had in town. My second morning breakfasting at The Alpine House, I might have secreted an extra scone into my pocket. Three hours later, on the JHMR tram, I might have whipped it out and driven the skiers and boarders around me mad with jealousy.
For your $15 you get as many scones and as much of the other breakfast bar items as you can eat in addition to the hot breakfast entrée of the day. I’ve heard complaints about the fact The Alpine House does only one hot item each morning. However, if the hot breakfast item of the day isn’t to your taste, the obliging kitchen staff will bend over backwards to come up with something that is.
Besides, who doesn’t like French toast with peaches and cream and Vermont maple syrup, right?
The Alpine House also does espresso-type coffee drinks and fresh juices. These are included in the breakfast price.
While The Alpine House welcomes non-guests to enjoy breakfast for $15, guests at the boutique inn enjoy breakfast as part of their room rate. And a room here isn’t nearly as much as you might expect for the amenities and cuteness: a basic room, which still comes with down comforters, cheery Scandinavian-styled décor, and access to the hot tub, is well under $200 a night.
So, if you’ve got guests coming, consider directing them to The Alpine House. And then make sure to join them for breakfast. Or go without guests.
The Alpine House, 285 N. Glenwood St. Breakfast daily from 7:30 until “9 or tired.” 739-1570.