Road warriors know that restaurants affiliated with, and under the same roof as, a garden-variety chain motel like Holiday Inn are just ordinary at best, and sometimes downright awful. They generally serve oleo instead of butter, Folger’s instead of freshly roasted and ground beans, and a mediocre food bar by which they use quantity to cover up their quality sins. As a result, road warriors seldom stay at the motel restaurant for breakfast.
Let the record show that the Holiday Inn at the southeastern gates of Steamboat Springs, CO, is a stellar exception to the rule.
The boys had blueberry pancakes. Standard fare, right? But when they are plate-sized and griddle-crisped, and when they have so many blueberries the boys have to take a few out just to get the “pancake” part to ring truly, and when the whipped spread is pure dairy butter, we’re onto something. The “wheat toast” was freshly cut from a crusty, coarsely-pored, artisanal loaf. The vegetarian omelette (well done, naturally) was loaded with fresh spinach and other veggies, with a healthy shot of feta, cooked perfectly. The hashed browns were crispy on top, tender underneath, and yes, each table has its own Tabasco Sauces (both classic red and jalapeno green).
If you’re staying at the Holiday Inn in Steamboat, don’t bother heading into town for breakfast. Rex’s is well worth sticking around for.