Eating/Skiing in Mammoth (report)
Part of the fun in visiting different locations is trying the local fare. Mr OCAnn and I took a trip to Mammoth Lakes to ski the behemoth this past weekend.
Here's the quick overview for anyone interested in what Mammoth eats.
Saturday, we stopped @ Eric Schat's Bakery (a "famous" local-chain) in Bishop before heading up the mountain: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/580725#4254095
For late lunch, we had chili size @ Burgers, a great, comfortable, casual Knowlwood-like restaurant: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/580725.
For dinner, we went to Nevados, an upscale (for Mammoth), local favourite: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/580735
Sunday, we hit the slopes, snacking & munching @ McCoy Station cafeteria. Wow. The food here is actually really good. Usually ski slope fare is passable, often akin to cafeterias in schools and major corporations, but we loved their cheese pizza and their chili (which you can dress up with bacon, green onion, cheese, sour cream, etc). Bags of chips can range from $1.50 to $4. There's a wide selection of food (salad bar, fresh grill, soup/chili bar, etc) and prices to match the altitude. If we had time, I would've like to have tried more of their offerings....
Sunday evening, we had planned and pre-paid a four-course dinner at Parallax (which is at the McCoy Station). For no reason and no notice, they cancelled dinner that evening. Mr OCAnn and I arrived ready for the champagne reception at Mammoth Mountain Inn, and after some prodding at the Front Desk, we were told that dinner that evening was cancelled. So we went to dinner at Whiskey Creek (which was our original dinner plan for Saturday night): http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/580867 . We consoled ourselves in the beer and enjoyed a relaxed dinner.
There are a lot of other options w/i the Village @ Mammoth (pitas, pizzas, sushi, etc). I wish we had more time & more meals. For those with condos with kitchens, there's a Vons in town where you can stock up....
On our drive back to OC on Monday morning with chains, we had to make an urgent pit stop. We pulled off on one of the lonely, few-and-far-between roads and we found a gas station with a homey convenience store that also served as a quaint cafe. This place was heaven-sent. It had an old--but clean--restroom. And their cafe sold house-made baked goods (great choc chip cookies & banana nut bread, among others). And as we walked in shivering, fresh pizza from the oven was being pulled out (oh, the aroma!). They had a selection of veggie, pepperoni & cheese--all very delicious, considering that you're in the middle of nowhere. They had other items ready (chili, b'fast wraps, etc) too. There was a good selection of other items that you'd find in other gas-station shops, but if you're in the area and need to make a stop for whatever reason, this is the place. I *believe* it was off McGee. It's west of the 395 w/the gas station 1/4 mi down on the left.
Note: To avoid altitude sickness, be sure to hydrate PRIOR to heading up the mountain; this should greatly alleviate possible symptoms. And if you do get it, be sure to sip water throughout the day (and night); don't take gulps, it'll likely come back out more forcefully than it went in.
From this past weekend on, you'll need snow tires and/or chains. Flights are available btwn LAX & MMH starting 12/18. Travel safe & eat well! =)
Erick Schat's Bakkery
763 N Main St, Bishop, CA
6118 Minaret Rd, Mammoth Lakes, CA
6060 Minaret Rd, Mammoth Lakes, CA
1 Minaret Rd, Mammoth Lakes, CA
24 Lake Mary Rd, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
Years ago, when I went there often to board, I always looked forward to eating lunch at Mill Cafe (between Main Lodge and Canyon Lodge). They had the best tri-tip sandwich, and their garlic fries were delicious (this was right when garlic fries were getting popular). Two years ago when I went, they were still ok, but not as spectacular. But, I agree with OCAnn, the food on the slopes is a lot better than I expect it to be.
Whenever we drive up 395, we try to time it to eat lunch or dinner at the Lone Pine Pizza Factory and get a veggie pizza. Pizza Factory is a chain, but it's handmade dough and fresh pizza...and I find the Lone Pine location to be best. The veggies on the pizza are really fresh and still a little crisp, which I love.
Last time we were up in Mammoth was for 4th of July and we had dinner at Convict Lake Resort, which we had heard good rumors about. We were a little disappointed. The wine was actually hot - like they had left it in a window facing the sun or something. I had the elk and my husband had duck. They were both cooked nicely, but I remember thinking the cook must have dull tastebuds or something because the sauces were really overwhelming the meat. And I love strong flavors, but the berry sauce on my husband's duck was just too intense. I never thought I'd say that...Finally, I don't recall the vegetables being very good...I hate when a place neglects their veggies.