This post was originally published on April 7, 2015.
On Easter Day, I finally made my return to the Westside Cafe in Vail. I had been waiting more than a year to go back to this restaurant (the last time I went was the day the Broncos played the Super Bowl) to get a giant Bloody Mary in a goblet and the chicken and waffles benedict. I told the others in the car that this was where we were eating breakfast and that’s that. I had to drink another one of these giant Bloodys also known as the “Big Ass Bloodies” on the menu. We waited for about 20 minutes to get a table inside and ordered drinks right after we sat down in a large comfy booth. I decided to get the Westside Bloody, which is crafted with house-infused vodka (jalapeno, red and green pepper, onion, garlic) and homemade Bloody Mary mix. I glanced at the Bakon Bloody below on the menu (made with Bakon vodka and garnished with a piece of candied bacon) and decided to add the candied bacon to my Bloody– for no extra charge! Boom baby, we were in business for a little under $10.
Little did I remember that each Bloody is served with a sidecar of Fat Tire– Cheers to sidecars! I think every place that serves Bloody Marys should also include sidecars of beer with the cocktail. It’s a greater counterpart to drink subsequently after each sip of a Bloody Mary. And the Westside Bloody? De. Freakin. Licious. I will return for a third time next time I’m out west on I-70. For food, my boyfriend and I split two different benedicts. The first, the classic chicken and waffles benedict that I raved about for a year, comes complete with sweet potato waffles, fried chicken, and chipotle bearnaise, and drizzled with maple syrup. The other we ordered may be my new favorite– the bison tenderloin benedict, which is bison tenderloin and bearnaise atop English muffins, splashed with dashes of Buffalo demi glace. Almost everything was wonderful– the drinks, the food, and the dimly lit “country” dining room with relics from the old Wild West. The only thing that could be improved upon a bit is the service, but then again, it was Easter Sunday and quite busy at this popular spot in West Vail.
AT A GLANCE 20/20
The Westside Bloody looked beautiful when it first arrived at our table. It was served in a goblet fit for a queen and was loaded with garnishes, rimmed with a nice pepper and salt mixture, AND came with a sidecar of Fat Tire. How’s that for a first impression? The color was a nice red hue and spices were visible throughout the cocktail, while everything was cleanly presented.
The garnish consisted of celery, olive, pepperoncini, thinly sliced pickle, baby corn, cherry pepper, cocktail onion, and an ingredient whose name I am still unsure of (it was pickled, had a tang to it, and reminded me of a mixture of okra, pickle, and tomatillo). I wish I would have asked what it was because I cannot find any information online– oh well. I also added candied bacon, which was quite sweet and indeed like a piece of candy! The garnish was beautifully presented and the ingredients were plentiful, while the combination of all of the ingredients together added for a creative, but relatively classic, garnish.
The Westside Bloody was spiced wonderfully to a T. The house-infused vodka adds a little spice, but not too much. It is just perfect and I am thinking this can be attributed to the nice combination of subtle ingredients, like green and red pepper, onion, and garlic, with the spicier jalapeno presence. The mix was complex, yet would be loved by even the simplest Bloody-drinking folks.
TEXTURE & ACIDITY 20/20
The texture of the Bloody was just perfect, while being quite filling (probably due to its large size!). It was not acidic at all.
The Westside Bloody Mary was very unique. For starters, who doesn’t love drinking out of giant goblets? The addition of the candied bacon was a great decision because, when I took a bite of the bacon, I would gulp it down with some of the Bloody Mary. This created a nice combination of sweet, salty, and savory all together. Mix the delicious Bloody, candied bacon, and the sidecar of Fat Tire and you have a winner! All of the flavors were so complimentary and ranged across all tastes. The salt and pepper rim added to each sip, as well. The house-infused vodka was a creative fusion of tastes and, unlike most infused vodkas, consisted of five different ingredients.
FINAL SCORE 98/100
Check out the Westside Cafe here. Westside Cafe is located at:
Holiday Inn, Vail, 2211 N Frontage Rd W, Vail, CO 81657