Mountain Style: No Fast Food Here!

Local vendors serve gourmet food on-the-fly

By Addie Pascal

Looking to infuse your day with a bit of culinary adventure?

Jonesin’ for a gourmet meal at a blue-collar price?

Have a hankering for a hearty sandwich after a long hike?

Well, you needn’t look further than the local to-go scene. You see, “fast food” isn’t what it used to be—especially in this community—as local vendors take pride in their gourmet offerings. Around here, fresh, locally sourced, in-season sustenance with delicious flavor combos won’t break your bank. Your biggest challenge will be choosing which one.

Jackson Stompin’ Grounds

When Nick and Nora Phillips started serving mouth-watering meat combos at the Jackson Hole Farmers Market five years ago, they had much bigger plans in mind. “The idea for Sweet Cheeks began with a retail butcher shop,” says Nick. “We have a passion for sourcing sustainably and humanely raised animals, and wanted to connect the rancher and consumer in our community.”

Now into their fourth year on Scott Lane, Sweet Cheeks Meats has developed a loyal fan base. And for good reason. Foodie reviewers call it “The Best Lunch Spot in Jackson Hole.” Some even claim to “live and die by their smoked brisket.”

In addition to grab-’n’-go-style breakfasts, which change daily, the lunch menu offers three to five made-to-order options. Or round up a few friends for happy hour on Thursdays, when you can enjoy themed, shareable small plates. (Cajun, anyone?)

Sweet Cheeks uses locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, including Cosmic Apple Gardens produce, loads of farmers market goods, and locally raised whole animals. With offerings like the chile verde breakfast sando, a green curry sausage bahn mi, and old-fashioned diner-style smash burgers, you know each meaty bite will be packed with irresistible flavor.

Make a stop at Sweet Cheeks Meats and fill your pack for the trail or the office. Find them on Instagram @sweetcheeksmeats.

A Driggs’ Standalone

On the Idaho side of the Tetons, John Perry (aka “Johnny Darkhorse”) and partner Tara Dolson serve soul food sandwiches and more—done right.

The unassuming shack and ’59 Airstream Star Bar that make up the physical location of Chops in Driggs offer regular favorites and seasonal specials. Customer picks include the grilled pork chop sandwich with cranberry barbeque sauce and apple slaw. Or try the Kitty Ninja Melt with charred zucchini, caramelized onions, sagebrush smoked provolone, and tomato juniper jam on griddled multigrain bread. Other popular items include the Gheezer (a goat burger) and the Club Cubano.

Johnny knows how to make local ingredients shine with specials that include meat from Thistle Brooks Farm, beef from Teton Valley Longhorn, produce from Full Circle Farm, fresh-baked bread from 460Bread, Teton Coffee Company coffee, seasonal fruit from Woods Garden, and wild mushrooms from independent foragers.

And if your mouth isn’t watering yet, head to @tetonstreetfood on Instagram or Chops Eats on Facebook for a visual look at the goods. But be warned: Once you taste it, you may find yourself asking (as one reviewer put it), “How could anything be more delicious than the meal I just ate?”

Voted “Best Lunch Spot in 2018” in Teton Valley News’ “Best of Teton Valley” roundup, Chops has definitely found a recipe for success. “I think the fact that the food is unique, well-seasoned, served in substantial portions, and made with love are the reasons locals return and visitors end up finding us,” says Perry.

More Food on-the-fly

Streetfood and Butter: Marcos Hernandez and Amelia Hatchard opened this gem in Wilson in 2014. The globally themed menu emphasizes Mexican fare. And their newer café, Butter, offers their same made-from-scratch values, but in Victor.;

The Yard Bar at Calico: With a sprawling, kid-friendly lawn and a fast-casual atmosphere, Calico features simple versions of its Italian menu at the Yard Bar. Drink in every last bit of a summer day here.

Teton Thai Plate in Jackson: This unpretentious hole-in-the-wall tucked off Cache Street serves authentic Thai cuisine. Take out or eat in, but don’t forgo the Panang curry.

Teton Thai Tap Room in Driggs: Teton Thai’s Tap Room serves up brewed beer, Japanese izakaya (pub-style) cuisine, and sushi. The hipster pub, which has transformed the vibe in Driggs, offers both indoor and outdoor seating and welcomes children.

Mobile Food Vendors

Look for these vendors at outdoor festivals and events, or book one for your private event.

Café Genevieve Food Truck: Get your sliders, tacos, and sandwiches done to order. And if they ask you if you want to try their Pig Candy, the answer is “yes.”

Everest Momo Shack: Sange and Rita Sherpa offer traditional Nepali and Indian cuisine, including the savory dumplings their business is named after. Catch them at pop-up events.

Jackson Hole Pop: This truck, cleverly named “The Kernel,” serves up sweet and savory gourmet popcorn.

Lucca Truck: Mark and Mel Tuttle offer some of the best wood-fired pizza in the region. And they cook it up in a converted 1947 classic Dodge truck.

Moe’s Original BBQ: If you’re after good ol’ fashioned Southern-style barbeque, Moe’s has you covered with pulled pork that’s out of this world.

Morales Homemade: The Morales family is the talk of Victor for their authentic Mexican tamales, salsas, tacos, and their seasoned dried fruit called “Naughty Fruit.”

Nom Nom Doughnuts: When you’re ready for dessert, see Melissa Mattson at Nom Nom. Her doughnuts enchant both kids and adults.

Pica’s: Pica’s serves tasty Mexican fare with a fresh twist. It’s a consistent local favorite.

Pinky G’s: Tom Fay’s pizza is regularly prized “The Best Pizza in Jackson.” And he’s been featured on The Food Network, too!

R&R Catering: Ron James and Retta Feller supply awesome smoked barbeque to the attendees of mobile events on both sides of the hill.

Sagebrush Grille: Jamie Culp and Amy Marrington bring you “elevated” mobile catering. Indulge your inner foodie with a pork slider topped in a red pepper aioli and arugula or roasted cauliflower bites.

Taste Buds: Carolyn Coffey and Kristi Davidson have something
for everyone, like tacos, sandwiches, and salads made fresh to order.
Catch them seasonally outside Grand Teton Brewery in Victor.