Trying a new restaurant can be as intimidating as trying a new pair of skis: you hope for greatness, yet you fear disappointment. But make no more excuses—head straight on over to Telluride’s latest restaurant, Flavor, and sink into the good stuff. Flavor lives up to its namesake.

The New Orleans-inspired cuisine is fresh and fun without being overdone. Owner, Eric Eckert, explains, “I wanted to bring something new to Telluride. The dishes are unique, but there is something here for everyone.”

One glance at the menu, and it’s clear that Eric has met his goal. Breakfast items range from classic fare such as buttermilk pancakes and omelettes to more eclectic fare such as shrimp and grits and pain perdu, a bourbon French toast. The dinner menu has great dishes like poboys, sashimi salads, and pan-seared fish.

When I stopped in for lunch and ordered the crispy salmon rolls appetizers and the cochon de lait sandwich, Eric joked about me finishing it all. Little did he know, I easily could have.

But my voracious appetite wasn’t due just to the powder skiing from that morning. The flavors at Flavor were just right. The Asian plum sauce complemented the lightly fried salmon rolls perfectly. The apple-cabbage slaw gave the pulled pork sandwich just the right boost. And the aioli that came with my fries was good enough to consider stealing and hiding under my shirt on the way out.

Flavor’s menu is refreshing in other ways as well. The ingredients are local, primarily Colorado based. This summer, Eric plans to shift the menu to reflect what’s in season at the Telluride Farmers’ Market.

Despite all this, the prices are surprisingly fair. Breakfast, lunch, and après items hover around $10 a dish; dinner’s closer to $20. And there are great specials throughout the day. My new favorite, of course, is those salmon rolls with a pint of beer—only $10!

Eric spent the past two decades splitting time between New Orleans and Telluride, building a mastery of restaurants and food. When the old Fat Alley space came up for rent, Eric couldn’t pass on the spot. He and his crew spent the fall scraping the floor and renovating the interior. It was time well spent; Flavor’s interior is rustic, cozy, and hip.

Flavor is in many ways a reflection of Eric’s favorite places. “I love hole-in-wall restaurants, and I love fancier places. What’s important to me is quality.”

Just the thing you want after a day of powder skiing.

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