Bob - we've actually talked about delivering resupply to the other end of the lake. The problem with that is the logistics nightmare it would create when people are early or late on their estimates (since we can't leave packages on that side).
JJ - sorry for not answering your question originally. The hiker barrel gets pretty full later in the season, mid - late July. You can usually pick up one or two day's worth of food no problem. The only issue is that occasionally, we have to clean out the barrel - it really is just a barrel, and some of the food at the bottom can get a bit funky over time. So, we usually ask a hiker or two to do the cleanout (in the past, we've been accused of picking things out of the barrel and selling them in the store - so to keep those rumors from starting again, we let the hikers do it). Anyway - if you're there right after a cleanup, pickings might be low.
As for who's got the better food? Why, us... of course ;)
Actually, MTR's probably got really good food - but they don't open their restaurant to hikers like we do. They don't cater to the hikers or to the general public, but rather to the folks who reserve lodging there... so they bring in a cook and a limited amount of food. I've heard that hikers have from time to time been able to get a burger or sandwich there... but you won't find the weekend BBQs (tri-tip, ribs and chicken with baked potato and salad... and PIE) ;)
And of course, you're right... you won't find our pies ANYWHERE except for VVR. It's been a VVR tradition going back to Butch that the current owner has happily continued.
OH... and did I mention that the first beverage is free to the thru hiker?
And, I will warn you - we are more expensive than the stores in towns - we are in the wilderness, 3 hours from the nearest store... so, just be prepared and make sure your bill doesn't sneak up on you, and you'll have a great time.
Yeah, the boat dock is about 1.3-1.4 miles from the trail... the lake is FULL this year, so no extra walking ;)
P.S. Robert - you can always schedule an early shuttle if enough hikers want to go out early on a particular morning.