What does a food/cocktail blogger do for fun in Mammoth? As you would guess, not much. The mountain resort town is a far cry from the destination spot for good food and well-made cocktails. I found this out on a Mammoth trip this past weekend with a bunch of my blogger friends.
While the Village offered a variety of happy hour deals for apres ski, we were disappointed in the dearth of tasty lunch/dinner options and the quality of cocktails. Don’t get me started on the horrible drinks and bartender at Whitebark at the Westin. Blah to Sazerac served with 2/3 ounce of absinthe and over crushed ice. Fortunately, though, I did happen to come across a couple of gems.
Located on the shores of Twin Lakes and 5 miles away from the Main Lodge, the Tamarack Lodge was originally going to be my place to hang out while everyone else was on the slopes. The Lodge offers complimentary crosscountry tours on Fridays and Saturdays starting at 11am. Rental gear and a trail pass for all day costs about $50 or you could go in the afternoon and pay $42. However, since food blogger Mattatouille — our personal chef for the weekend, thank gawd — was accompanying me and was on a budget we opted to hang out in the Lodge’s lobby, the Lakefront, for some cocoa and conversation.
I’ll definitely have to come back here when I’m on booze again. From 11am to 2:30pm, the lounge offers a nice selection of hot wintry drinks to warm you up, like hot buttered rum for $7, and Keoki coffee (Kahlua and brandy) and Irish coffee (just Irish whiskey, Irish cream and coffee here, no creme de menthe!) for $8. There’s also mulled wine ($4) and hot cider ($3) as well as a full bar if you’d rather enjoy some cognac, etc.
We just enjoyed our cocoas which were actually pretty good, sweet and creamy, so I knew it wasn’t made with hot water and a packet of cocoa powder. Mm, the perfect nonalcoholic way to warm up my bones. There were some board games and Matt tried to get me to play chess with him but I liked him too much to subject him to my Mr. Hyde side if I lost. In any case, it was just lovely to sit in front of the wood-burning stove, sipping our drinks and chatting.
After everyone returned from snowboarding, my bf and I checked out this brewery, hidden behind the Village’s parking lot, with bloggers H.C. and Hanh and were pleasantly surprised. Not only do they offer free tastings of their selection of 10 or so beers but they sell growlers for $20 that you can fill up with beer which will range in price from $7 to $22 for 4 pints.* My bf served as my taste tester to help me choose not only which beer to put in my growler but which bottles of beer to take home.
For the growler, I went with the Double Nut Brown Ale — a rich, chocolatey and coffee flavored beer. Now since this was from the tap, the salesperson said that it had to be consumed within five days. So I chose to get this for my blogger friends to enjoy back at the condo. I did, however, get a big bottle (1 pt, 6 oz) of the Hair of the Bear Dopple Bock and Charley Wine, both award-winning reserve beers. Everyone in our group seemed to favor the Dopple Bock while the Charley Wine’s “hints of vanilla,” “rich and malty” flavors and 10% alcohol content appealed to me.
This was definitely a fun alternative to wandering the Village again (they need more stores!) or lounging at the condo. And even though we got there just short of closing time at 6pm, there was still a bunch of people crowding the counter. Can’t imagine what that tiny room must be like during peak hours after everyone returns from the slopes.
_* The store said that the growler I bought was $20 but for some reason the MBC Facebook page says it’s only $7. Did I get the out-of-towner price?_
BTW, I started to make a Google Map of “Things to do in Mammoth.” If you have any other suggestions, I’d love to hear them for future reference.