fo o d a n d w i n e
DINING HIGH, DINING LOW OUTBACK AND RED HAWK JUST A CHAIRLIFT AWAY
By Matt Conger
Satisfy your appetite at The Outback with some of the best ribs and barbecue around.
t’s easy to build up an appetite when you’re spending the day exploring all 2,900 acres of Schweitzer. And once hunger strikes, finding a place to eat is simple with numerous options in Schweitzer’s village. But in my opinion, for those who want a true Schweitzer Mountain dining experience in the winter, head to The Outback or Red Hawk Café at Sky House for on-mountain food at its best. At first glance, you may be hardpressed to find similarities between these two places. Sky House sits at the highest point of the mountain at 6,400 feet, while The Outback occupies the lowest point, next to the Stella six-pack lift at 4,000 feet. And while The Outback has been around for almost 50 years, this is only the fourth year for Sky House. Both places have their own unique atmosphere and interior décor: the walls of The Outback are covered in old Schweitzer memorabilia, historic skis, and neon snowboards from the ‘80s, while Sky House’s modern, clean-lined interior helps draw visitors’ eyes to the magnificent views of Sandpoint and Lake Pend Oreille.
schweitzer magazine | 2018 • 2019
Although there are major differences between the two locations, they have two important things in common: great food and a chairlift ride. All of the other Schweitzer restaurants are located in the village, while The Outback and Sky House require a chairlift ride before making your way to each spot. Sky House is the first thing you see when you arrive at the summit of the Great Escape quad. Since its opening in December 2016, Sky House has earned a reputation for amazing food and a view that can’t be beat. There are two sides to Sky House: The Nest, which is a sit-down style restaurant and bar, and the Red Hawk Café, which is more of a cafeteriastyle dining option. Both offer great food, but Red Hawk provides a grab-and-go style for convenience and speed. Red Hawk offers familiar food options with unique culinary twists. One of my favorite dishes is the Summit Burger. Featuring barbecue sauce, bacon and gorgonzola cheese, the Summit Burger is a perfect meal for a cold day on the mountain or when you are craving something sa-
vory. Soak up some vitamin D on the deck while enjoying the Summit Burger with a cold beverage; it’s the perfect complement to a day of skiing and riding! If you’re not a skier or rider, no need to worry because you can get a foot passenger ticket and ride the chairlift to lunch. On the other hand, I hate to break it to our non-skiers but there is no way to get to The Outback unless you have skis or a snowboard and can tackle intermediate groomers with confidence. It’s worth the enjoyable slide to the backside of the mountain where a firepit and chairlift benches welcome you with open arms. This past year, The Outback started offering house-smoked barbecue fare on the weekends. On Saturdays, choose a half chicken or half rack of ribs, and on Sundays try the smoked brisket. All barbecue options are smoked for 24 hours in order to get that fall-off-the-bone smoky goodness that all the great barbecue spots are known for. Being a fan of barbecue (and having a soft spot for ribs!) I ventured to The Outback on a Saturday to give it all a try. The ribs were fantastic and came with more
Lifestyle and visitor magazine for Schweitzer Mountain, a four-season ski and snowboard resort in Sandpoint, Idaho.