Another Cookbook Dining Adventure!
It's hard to tell this hotel is 126 years old. The fresh yellow paint makes the colonial style hotel look pretty young. It's actually a pretty swanky place that we couldn't afford. We were staying in a cabin, down the road.
Our Lake Lodge Cabins had a cute dining room, but it was cafeteria style which sounded less appealing. Plus, our Lake Lodge was not one of the hotels or lodges featured in our silly 1950 Ford Treasury Cookbook, with recipes from restaurants around the country. Lake Hotel did have a page in our book!
Down the Road
We grabbed our cookbook and headed down the road to check out Lake Hotel and its dining room. The parking lot already made us feel like we might be out of our league.
The ritzy lakeside entrance was made extra snazzy with the yellow tourist car resting in the shade of the modern (added 1928) porte cochere. Looking down at Lake Yellowstone it was fun to imagine the wealthy guests arriving by ship. This was much preferred, since stage coach travel was bumpy and dusty!
Don and I had only traveled 2 minutes from our lodge, but we needed to sit and settle our nerves for a bit in the lovely lounge, surrounded by windows. We sipped on lemon water and pretended we were guests until we got up nerve to peek at the menu and ask about reservations.
The Pre Happy Hour Crowd
We wandered past the small crowd gathering early at the tiny bar near the dining room entrance. The earliest reservation opening was 9:30. "We'll take it!" We decided after a quick look at the menu that didn't look much steeper than most National Park Lodge dining rooms.
After spending time at our own sweet lodge on porch rockers, we returned later in the evening to the lounge. There were indeed some snooty guests, giving the poor bartender a very hard time. But there were some delightful and possibly sober guests, who were enjoying live piano music. Some sang along while others danced. We finally entered the dining room, only a little famished by 9:30.
Sharing the Book
Most National Park lodge employees are international students, which could make my "cookbook encounter" extra tricky. But we lucked out with a young and relaxed American student named Dominique. He was chatty and comfortable and made no attempt to hide the fact that he was glad his busy night in the dining room was almost over... and that his long work season was about to come to an end. He seemed to be the kind of guy that could handle a lady and her cookbook.
Time to Order
because young people don't generally care a bit about an old cookbook. He continued to explore the book, the date and pages. I announced, "Now you know you're going to have to be in a photo with that book? Is that okay?" "Sure." he answered with out paying attention. Then he asked if he could borrow the book for a minute and he ran off and returned with the manager and two servers.
Jim took our photo while Dominique held the book. A few diners seemed to be wondering what was going on, but no one bothered to ask. We placed our ordered and teased about expected spareribs, next time!
We did eventually eat. It was late and we didn't order big or linger long. Don's bacon cheeseburger with truffle fries was just about perfect. My spinach and cold rice salad was the excellent choice after over 2 weeks of road food dining. It all tasted fresh and that bacon was so crispy I had to steal some!
I'll add two more photos as a reminder that cookbook dining adventures bring out the fun in all of us. Wait a minute? I really am not sure what those expressions are about.. on my face! I really just wanted to capture the smile on the Adam, the manager's face. And the other photo shows Dominique's big smile. I guess I could have just cropped myself out... but cropping can sometimes remove part of the story! It was a fun dinner and evening.
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.