restaurant reviews
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Paul Wagner
(balzaccom) - F

Locale: Wine Country
restaurant reviews on 10/10/2012 16:16:10 MDT Print View

If you've ever taken a long backpacking trip, you've probably dreamt about food--especially the meal you are going to eat once you get back to civilization. Pizza, hamburgers, steak, cold beer, salad....they all seem to find a place on the menu, once you get started on the idea. Shoot, we know people who have spent most of the last night of a trip talking around the campfire about what they are going to eat the following day at the nearest restaurant.

And speaking of restaurants, there are a few that have quite a reputation among backpackers as well. The gas station at Lee Vining, the Old Priest Grade Inn, Pizza in Yosemite Valley all have their advocates. We've come to really like Patty's Gourmet Cafe between Sonora and Columbia.

But there is one restaurant that stands out in a completely different way. We have eaten there at least five times in the last ten years, and every single time it has been worse than disappointing. Sometimes the service has been absolutely rude and incompetent--waiting forever for a table in an empty dining room. The last time we had perfectly nice service, and absolutely dreadful food--cold food without even a hint of sauce or seasoning. And the amazing thing is that this restaurant is pretty much the only show in town in a National Park. You'd think they'd want to do better.

It's the restaurant at Grant Grove Village in SEKI. We can only wonder what amazing arrangements have been made to make sure that it has been so bad for so long.

Anyone else have a least favorite place to eat? Let us know, so we can avoid it!

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
Some pizza place in Millinocket, ME on 10/10/2012 22:31:19 MDT Print View

Many moons ago (or so it seems) when I did the AT, I was ultra skinny when I finished. I started off at a chubby 195 lbs on my 5'6" frame. Though, even then, I was reasonably muscular/stocky, 195 lbs was a bit too much.

Fast forward to August after 5 mos, 2000 miles and schlepping way too heavy of a pack. I lost 50 (yes) lbs and was down to 145 lbs.

When I finally arrived back home, Mom had a look of of shock. And my Italian grandmother wanted to do an almost immediate force feeding of linguine into her grandson who was on the far side of gaunt.

Which brings me to that pizza place in Millinocket, ME. I can't recall the name..but it wasn't so much awful as BLAND, TASTELESS and CARDBOARD like. To a person who grew up in the northeast with its plethora of awesome independently owned Mom and Pop pizza places is legendary and who had Neapolitan genes in his DNA, this pizza was a near abomination.

Not high school cafeteria bad with its certain charm and with its associations with high school crushes, idle time and no responsibilities or frozen pizza bad with its association with late night post-drinking munchies (I was only 24, after all, when I did the AT) or even a Dominoes with its expected "its bad, but filling and cheap" but just plain "I can't believe an independently owned pizza place would sell his crap" bad.

I was disappointed. My faith in humanity (or at least Mom and Pop pizza places) was crushed. My last meal on my last day on the trail will forever be a sad, sad, sad memory.

I still ate the whole large pizza by myself, mind you. A certain saying about sex and pizza comes to mind.... :)