October 05, 2008
Dining through Yellowstone (and Grand Teton)
Let's face it, national-park food is sort of like Amtrak dining-car food, but with even better views. (I think they serve the exact same "garden burger.") The wine list in the parks is better too.
By the end of our Yellowstone visit, M. and I had developed a routine. First, a leisurely campground breakfast. Then some walks around geological areas -- Norris Geyser Basin, for instance. Then, around 2:30 p.m., a large late lunch at one of the grand old lodges, e.g., Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel or the Old Faithful Inn.
Then fishing and buffalo-watching, or whatever. Back to the campground after dark for tea and whiskey.
Finally, if you are looking for a meal in the Grand Teton or Yellowstone areas, you should skip International Leisure Hosts, Ltd.'s Flagg Ranch lodge.
We tried to eat lunch there today, with emphasis on tried. On a slow day, with only about five tables filled, we ordered sandwiches, waited ... waited, only to be told that, surprise! some employees had eaten them! New sandwiches were promised, right away. (No offer to "comp" our meal though.) We waited ... waited -- and then we walked. You would think that by the end of the season they would have worked out their kitchen procedures.
So forget Flagg Ranch. Go a little farther south to Signal Mountain Lodge, which offers a much better menu, fast service, and the view in the photo above.