I'm obsessed with this salad. It's the perfect combination of warm and hardy, yet fresh and light. It has a crisp crunch from the lightly cooked Brussels sprouts and creaminess from the chèvre that starts to melt on the warm greens and squash. It's my favorite thing to eat for lunch, and you can find it at The Haven. Well, on The Haven. It's a food bus here in Ketchum.
I got to know chef/owner Kellee Havens and her partner in food-crime Caitlin Hartley while working at PlayHard GiveBack last spring, just after moving to Ketchum. PHGB headquarters is located in "the old Mama Inez" building, as locals fondly say, referring to the space that once housed a local Mexican restaurant. Translation: there's a kitchen. Handy for making PHGB's signature trail mix, and also handy for Kellee and The Haven. I'm all for symbiotic relationships, and this is a great one.
While a kitchen is integral to PHGB's trail mixing, packaging their product only demands kitchen time one day per week, resulting in an empty kitchen on those days dedicated to the computer. And since The Haven food bus is a bus, one that happens to serve amazing lunch bites involving long cooked meats (for example the Kobe Brisket Grilled Cheese with extra-sharp cheddar, charred onions and horseradish), a professional kitchen is extremely helpful to have. So they share! And unless Kellee and Caitlin are off catering an event, The Haven's green bus can be found outside of PHGB on the corner of 7th and Warm Springs Road every Monday - Thursday from 12 - 2pm.
I made friends with Kellee and Caitlin, and was able to take in all of the amazing aromas that were floating around the PHGB office while designing away on my laptop. Then of course, I simply had to walk outside to eat lunch at The Haven because it smelled so good, and Kellee's descriptions of the daily menu were too mouthwatering to pass up. It's a clever scheme they have going on (kidding). But I was hooked.
I now work from home, but one day last week the Man was kind enough to deliver my lunchtime favorite to the house. And the following day I ventured to the truck myself and sat on the deck outside PHGB to devour the same thing again. Two days in a row. I couldn't help it, it's just so good. The Man adores the Warm Winter Salad as well, but he orders it as a side with the Patty Mack, a pan-seared Mac and Cheese with extra-sharp cheddar, breadcrumbs, cream and bacon. It smells as amazing as it sounds. That and The Haven's freshly baked cookies?
The Haven's menu changes practically daily (though lucky for me the Winter Salad has been a seasonal fixture!), and they're the only place in town to change things up so regularly. Coming from California I've been spoiled by restaurants with nightly menus, and it's refreshing to see a menu here that's in keeping with the seasons, and reflects availability of ingredients. Just last week Kellee got in some beautiful wasabi arugula, and the following day served Leek Risotto Cakes on Spicy Greens to showcase her fresh produce. I wish more restaurants in Ketchum would follow Kellee's lead and pay tribute to the seasons with the food they serve.
Not only does the menu change regularly, but it always features a wide array of dishes to meet everyone's desires. Vegetarian soup with spinach, chickpeas, coconut milk, ginger and mint; Herb Chicken Sliders on freshly-baked rolls; BBQ Pulled Pork Pita with cabbage slaw; Chicken Pot Pie with a homemade biscuit; Veggie Curry with apples and cilantro; and the CBLTA, a chicken sandwich with bacon, lettuce, roasted tomato and avocado are just a handful of the inventive twists on old favorites that Kellee comes up with. Plus she's always keen to accommodate alterations for weird allergies and preferences, which, I obviously know firsthand. Thanks, Kellee!
Lately Kellee has been on a grilled cheese kick (which you may have guessed from my description of the Kobe Brisket above) with variations like the Chicken Parmesan that features chicken meatballs, brie, and roasted tomato, and the Bourbon Apple with extra-sharp cheddar and brown sugar. And even the Turkey Brie Melt with avocado and roasted bell pepper.
Check out the daily photo of their awesome specials chalkboard on Facebook, and come get it while it's hot, and that means now because it's slack in Sun Valley (translation: the slow season) and Kellee closes at the end of the week for the month of May. You'll be hooked too and we can spend the next four weeks together drooling over memories of The Haven's creations, anxiously waiting it's return for the summer in June...