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The Inside Scoop: Slopeside Tavern & Ski Sapphire Valley

Call me basic… but I am a sucker for a good brunch. I love breakfast — and I especially love breakfast with a Bloody Mary around 11 am. Over the weekend Nick and I ventured to Sapphire, which sits kinda in-between Cashiers and Highlands, and found ourselves in Slopeside Tavern. I follow the restaurant on Facebook and have seen some of the delicious dishes they serve so I was excited to get the chance to try it for myself. 

First, the restaurant is adorable. It’s rustic with timber frame beams and an industrial decor. It’s wide open with a giant horseshoe bar at the centerpiece. The atheistic is right up my alley. Above the full-service bar is a huge TV, and there are other TVs around the room, making it the perfect place to catch the Sunday game. 

The menu is diverse, with an array of fresh, made-to-order meals. I honestly struggled to decide what to get. They have appetizers like wings — in flavors like buffalo, jerk, slope side special seasoning or sweet chili, or if you are more on the healthy side, they have loaded hummus with traditional hummus topped with feta cheese, black olives, whole chickpeas, olive oil, and smoked paprika — tell me your mouth isn’t watering just reading that! 

I debated getting a flatbread because I LOVE a good flatbread and Slopeside Tavern’s selection sounded yummy — Chicken Pesto, Loaded Veggie, Mediterranean, Italian — but typically if there is a buffalo or chipotle chicken option on a menu— that is my go-to, which is what I did on Sunday. 

I ordered the crispy chicken chipotle sliders — and I assumed they would be miniature-sized sandwiches — but imagine my surprise when they came out with a crisp basket of fires and featured two massive size sandwiches topped with fried chicken, tomato, lettuce, chipotle aioli and of course I added pickles because pickles are basically a food group. 

My meal was $13 and worth every penny. Nick ordered the breakfast burger, which had a massive over 5 oz bed patty topped with bacon, cheddar cheese, and an egg — all served on sourdough bread. As far as brunch burgers go — it was basically a masterpiece. Nick elected to go with the tater tots for his side and they definitely didn’t disappoint. 

The highlight for me of course was the Bloody Mary. The Bloody Mary mix was the perfect amount of zing and served in a mason jar with olives, celery, a lemon, and lime. **Chef’s kiss** 

One of the coolest parts of Slopeside Tavern, aside from the delicious food, is that it sits at the base of Ski Sapphire Valley — which is hailed the best spot in North Carolina to learn to ski or snowboard. 

Nick and I sat inside because as you guys know, I HATE the cold — but Slopeside Tavern does have a patio that overlooks a massive ski/snowboarding hill as well as a tubbing run. 

The Frozen Falls Tube Park has tube rentals for around a 2-hour session — there is a nice large snow area for the kiddos to play who don’t want to hit the slopes. From 4-8 p.m., the park offers twilight hours for a little bit of a discount and children 12 and under have a special rate as well — about half the cost of an adult ticket. 

Ski Sapphire Valley has everything you need to hit the slopes — equipment rental, the chair lift, you can even rent a jacket if you need to. You can warm up on the practice hill before taking the lift to the top of the mountain to coast down. Or if you like me — sit at the patio and watch everyone else do it while you stay warm with a Bloody Mary. 

Slopeside Tavern is located at 217 Sapphire Valley Rd, Sapphire, North Carolina 28774.

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