The atmosphere at Bonnie’s on the Aspen Mountain is ultra ski casual, family friendly and fast-paced. People come and go. This a canteen for the serious skiers as you do not need to “waste” too much time with waiting, just refuel on the ready, deliciously naughty food.
The ski slope views from Bonnie's
It is all buffet-style, so grab your tray and stride from the desserts (strange the line starts with sweets temptations, perhaps because of the sugar’s quick energy delivering potential for the skiers), through a salad bar, warm dishes and grill, up to drinks and snacks just before the tills. Then get some ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard or pickles on the counter behind and run to one of the available tables. Unless you are a big group or come during the earlier or after-lunch hours, then you will probably share a table with others. Nobody minds, the food is great and satisfying. On a sunny day you can sit outside at the large terrace and enjoy the rays shining spot on your face. After the relaxing sun tanning session and the recuperative meal, to be polite, clear your tray to the designated area inside Bonnie’s.
Mountain views from Bonnie'sNaughty lunch plate at Bonnie's
Although the tray may look a bit Mc Donaldish, this is all freshly made high-quality generous mountain food. The highlights are the white bean chili soup with tortilla chips, the large slices of the apple strudel, the burgers, hot dogs and choose-what-you-want salad bar. The hearty white bean chili soup is the perfect warmer on the very cold days, wonderfully rich and immediately satisfies. I love the option of adding the crunchy tortilla crisps on the top. Choose wisely from the salads since the Caesar was a bit disappointing, rather boring and dry. Some of the other grain and lentils-based salads tasted more fresh and delicious.
Cheeseburger being prepared
In the mood for a burger? Bonnie’s is the right place to have one. If you skied hard, you deserve it. The burgers including the Cheeseburger are being prepared in plain sight on a grill at Bonnie’s. The bystander entourage of salivating customers either waiting for one or pondering whether it is worth the cholesterol-rising sin, is the proof that its wonderful smell allures many of them like flies on a piece of meat. As my eyes pierced the melting cheddar over the juicy meat on a bed of tender and fresh bun soon it turned out to be worth of the sin, at least this time. Neither were the sublime sweet potato fries served with the burger the angels guarding our heart, yet they were so good that I dove into the second portion of them as if I had nothing before. My husband was so busy with his burger that he did not mind me finishing up his fries. Crisp, full of flavour and not oily – simply perfect! Later on the slopes, the meal did not make our turns more swift, but somehow we went down faster, perhaps assisted by gravity?
If you feel like anything sweet after this heavenly hell of great food then go for it. Unless you are a tow-track, I doubt you would still have any space left in your belly for the desserts if you ate all that we had. The Apple strudel is huge, but I got it confirmed by the locals frequenting this popular lunch spot that it is very good, so on your meat-less day have one for lunch. Also if you are one of those first lift to last lift (that I call maniac) skiers and want to hit the slopes quickly, then just get one of the energy-boosting snacks and off you go. There are energy food bars, originally flavoured potato chips and the American staples such as the ultra processed M&M’s arranged conveniently just before the cashier desks, so help yourself, you naughty skipper of the proper meal.
Energy snacks at Bonnie'sMighty leaf tea
Drinks: You can have wine (the selection is good and prices favourable), but if you are not a ski pro then it is safer to have a cup of tea. I admit, I have a glass (or two – never say never) sometimes, but for some reason it feels more appropriate in Europe (better wine?). The selection of tea from Mighty leaf at Bonnie’s is great. Mighty leaf tea became very popular at the American restaurants and cafés. For the cold mountains I went for the Bombai Chai. The black tea with spices empowered me with a dose of caffeine and warmed up my cold limbs. Interestingly, it is an Indian blend and it is not often as cold in India as in Aspen during the winter, but it works in both locations. When warm it makes you feel the heat less because of its inner illusion of warmth and when cold it tricks our receptors into feeling warmer.
Cuisine: Mountain cafeteria-style buffet. American, Italian and French oriented.
Visits: February 2012-2016
 Open during the winter season only for a quick lunch on the slopes.
 601 E Dean St, Aspen, CO 81611, USA.
 +1 970 544 6252