Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dining In Mammoth Lakes: Not Just Hoagies and French Fries

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?

The Publik Square
First up, for lunch we headed to The Publik Square, a small, locally-owned shop that serves breakfast and lunch. We had some great sandwiches – a big coup was finding a veggie wrap for my vegetarian 14-year-old that she actually liked. Score! I had an Italian wrap that was generously filled with Italian meats and veggies that I accidentally ate all of after telling my husband he could have half. On our way out of town the next day I stopped by for one of their Breakfast Burritos and it was equally delicious – and equally huge. Yes, I ate that one up, too, but my husband had learned a lesson and had already eaten.

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.

Petra's Bistro
For dinner we headed to Petra's Bistro. I can't say enough about the meal we had here, except that I'm trying to bribe my husband to make the drive to Mammoth next weekend so that we can eat there again. The restaurant is owned by brothers Robert and Kirk Schaubmayer and they've done a great job of creating a warm dining environment with an attentive and cheerful staff. We ate there the day before our 17th wedding anniversary, but my husband and I considered this our official celebratory dinner since it was so exquisite. In fact, we considered changing our anniversary date but we figured it would just confuse the children.

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.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Pin It


Related Posts with Thumbnails