I've been driving to work the last few mornings wondering, "Where did everyone go?" It seems like the vast majority of Angelenos have taken August off, ironically leaving the roads clear for the rest of us not fortunate enough to go on a last-hurrah summer vacay. I'm jealous... errr... happy for them! While there might be a vast difference between soaking up Maui's UV's vs. my office's florescent rays, it doesn't stop me from dreaming about where I would take a quickie vacation. I wouldn't go anywhere extravagent or long-term; instead I'd like to replicate a trip my parents used to take us on every summer to Mammoth Lakes. We'd jump into the car at 3 a.m., (to be fair, I was carried in a sleep-induced haze) and head North, timing the six-hour drive so we could arrive just in time for breakfast at The Stove: an age-old breakfast dive in the tiny mountain town, famous for heaping plates of blueberry pancakes, waffles, ham steaks, eggs and mason jars of iced coffee. The meal would kick-off our trip perfectly, and we'd spend the rest of the week hiking, catching trout and enjoying al fresco meals on the deck of a Lake Mary cabin.
The Stove: A Mammoth Lakes Institution
Just about a year ago my husband and I were driving home from a wedding in Lake Tahoe and we made a special stop at The Stove. He had never been to Mammoth Lakes and it had been years since I had been back to The Stove, so it was only natural that we stop. Let me tell you, it didn't disappoint. Maybe it was the nostalgia or the clean mountain air, but everything was just as I remembered it. The wood decor, the line out the door, and the unfazed waitresses flip-flopping between taking orders, slinging food and bussing tables. We ordered a mountain of food to share: ham and scrambed eggs, blueberry pancakes and banana pancakes dotted with crunchy macadamia nuts.
Fluffy Blueberry Pancakes
Banana & Macadamia Nut Pancakes
Bryan couldn't believe the portion sizes when they arrived, remarking that they seemed designed for carbo-loading before an all-day hike. From my previous experiences with my family, that's absolutely true. The ham and eggs nearly cascaded off their plate and the "short" stack of pancakes was anything but, yet we cleaned those plates as though our upcoming 300-mile trip back to L.A. was a foot race, not a drive.
(Ham) Steak & Eggs
Mason Jar Iced Coffee, complete with old-school Honey Bear!
It's been nearly a year since that meal and I'm vicariously reliving it through the photos! Maybe a quick drive north is in order...