A cast of Michigan refugees mans the grill and stokes the fire at Keystone’s LaBonte’s Cabin, lending a laid-back ambience to a high-altitude spot for filling up on fresh-smoked barbecue, signature burgers or super-hearty chili.
Located at the base of North Peak and the intersection of the Santiago and Ruby Express lifts, LaBonte’s is geared for outdoor dining, though a large, rustic warming shed next door offers picnic tables for those snowier afternoons.
Hungry for what is arguably the best macaroni and cheese in Summit County? It’s just one of the tasty sides (homemade baked beans and herb-infused mashed potatoes, too) served in concert with the slow-cooked beef brisket and pulled pork. Like any good barbecue joint, the secret’s in the sauce, so be sure to liberally slather on the Carolina-style mustard or the subtle sweet or hot sauces.
Alternately, enjoy a cup of not-too-spicy beef chili or the namesake burger, fitted out with sautéed onions and Worchester/garlic sauce. LaBonte’s also features a full coffee bar, beer and cocktails; on warmer days, it turns into a full-blown hangout, with riders chilling in beach chairs and jamming to the reggae tunes.
Check out more on-mountain dining spots at Beaver Creek, Vail, Breckenridge, and Heavenly with the on-hill dining guide.
– Andy Stonehouse