Mountain food delivers gourmet experience at Mammoth

By Marlene Greer

As a friend and I sat on the sundeck of Mammoth Mountain’s Mill Cafe, we pondered how far dining on the mountain has come. He obviously enjoyed his pulled pork, while I sampled a heaping tuna salad wrap with a side of carrots.

The days of dry burgers or warmed over hotdogs are long gone. Today’s on-mountain dining is healthy, plentiful and delicious.

The menus at Mammoth’s four base areas and mid-mountain McCoy Station are very impressive. From artisan sandwiches and organic greens to fresh baked goods and fruit salad, skiers may choose from many healthy selections.

“We’re not a complete organic food service, but we’re trying to have as much fresh food as we can,” explained Bill Cockroft, a senior vice president at Mammoth Mountain.

And fresh food will also come to you. The old burrito snow cat has been renamed the Little Mill and will serve a variety of casual fare including pulled-pork sliders.

At the other end of the scale, fine dining may be found at the upscale Parallax restaurant. Located inside McCoy Station at 9,630 feet, Parallax has been completely renovated.

It reopened in November 2010 with a new look, menu and chef. While open to members only for lunch, the classy restaurant offers a snowcat dinner to the public on Fridays and Saturdays.

The dinner begins with a champagne reception at the Mammoth Mountain Inn. Guests then ride up the mountain in a luxurious snowcat.

Once at Parallax, guests enjoy a chef’s table personally selected by head chef Marc Mora. There is also a special children’s chef’s table for kids ages 12 and under.

The special dinners cost $79 for adults and $29 for children 12 and younger.

Our menu featured wild arugula salad with Sonoma goat cheese, lobster bisque with ginger lemongrass creme and black peppercorn crusted duck breast. But it was the roasted Brussels sprout salad with Parmesan cheese and Italian pork that had one guest, who didn’t even like the vegetable, going back for seconds.

Marlene Greer is a La Verne freelance writer. Email her at

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