So what comes to mind when you think of eating at mountain resorts? Fried foods? Sandwiches? Digging up whatever's left over from inside the couch of your rental condo? Don't go there. We were recently invited by Snowcreek Resort in Mammoth Lakes to check out their properties and to get to know some local restaurants, and we were introduced to a couple of great places to eat that have fresh, inventive, imaginative food that you might want to try out. Besides, do you really want to gnaw on that year-old chicken bone?
Owner Ryan Farnes is also a snowboarder and owner of Publik Snowboards – there are a few of their custom snowboards, made from sustainable products like hemp and bamboo, on display and he mentioned they often have snowboard demos in front of the shop. (I also found this adorable story in a local paper about how Ryan met his wife in the aisle of the local Vons. Sorry, couldn't resist – I'm a sucker for how-they-met stories.)
Publik Square took over the space formerly occupied by Quizno's, but their food is much better, and a cut way above the fast-food establishments located across the street. Good food made with fresh ingredients and at a reasonable price – it's a find.
Our gastronomical adventure started off with an amazing cocktail – the Sonny Carter, which consisted of cucumber vodka, fresh ginger and fresh-squeezed lemon juice. I can't remember the story the waitress told us that's behind the name of the drink, but I'd like to rename it 'More Please.' Next we had a few appetizers, some exquisite ahi tuna bites that were followed by a dish consisting of polenta and pork belly that was one of the best things I've eaten in recent memory. I can't recall the official name, but again I would rename it something like, 'Five Of These' or 'Pork Belly Owns Me.'
For dinner I had their perfectly-cooked pork chop and even my vegetarian daughter admitted she was having trouble keeping her hands off of it. I had to remind her that she was going to have a hard time convincing her conscience that pigs were a vegetable. But can you blame her? Look at this creation:
To be honest, I can't remember what my husband or two daughters ordered because I was so in love with my pork chop, but I know that there were approving grunts all around. Then chef sent out a couple of desserts – a tiramisu and a beautiful dish of sorbets – and the grunts were replaced by high-pitched squeals. And that was just from me and my husband:
I plan to go to back to Petra's, but I hope I don't have to wait an entire year until my 18th anniversary. Although, to hell with the kids – I think I'll just move the date up a few months.
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