The meals are meant to come out quick, but at Above the Blue, it's anything but fast food.
That's because at the new walk-up eatery at the corner of South Park and South Main Street in Breckenridge, owners and cooks Matt Blake and Stephen Dickinson are taking their professional high-end kitchen experience, along with plenty of local ingredients, and applying it to the quick-and-easy take-out format. Dickinson describes it as "food truck-style food without the truck."
There's the applewood smoked ribs and pulled pork sandwich - both prepared in the very, very tiny kitchen that opens up to the sidewalk - or the meatball sandwich with a roasted garlic and fresh basil marinara. Customers can also get coney dogs, a Frito pie made with house-made chili and served in a bag - "it's like summer camp," Blake said - or a falafel sandwich served up with Bella's Black Bean Hummus (a Summit County company), among other things.
Everything's house-made daily, and the duo tries to use as many local ingredients and producers as they can.
"All our passion's in all our food," Blake said. "It's not opening boxes ... it's got some home-cooked passion."
Blake previously worked as the head chef at Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant and Cantina, and before that, as the sous chef at Hearthstone Restaurant. Dickinson worked with Blake at Mi Casa after honing his skills at The Blue Spruce, Beaver Run and several restaurants in Vermont and Atlantic City, N.J. For both, it's a little different being the faces of the business (they're used to being solely in the kitchen, away from customers), but they're enjoying the face-to-face time they're getting working the register.
"When you're working in the back of the house, you don't really get to see the smile on (customers') faces," Dickinson said.
Currently, the eatery is open for lunch, dinner and late night (the bar crowd has been especially appreciative of the hours), but as soon as ski season gets going, it'll be open for some grab-and-go breakfast as well.
"It's great doing our own thing," Blake said. "It's a sense of achievement, opening something up."