If you ever find yourself on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada, say, after a couple of days of rock climbing in Yosemite's Tuolumne Meadows, there really is only one place to head for grub: the Mobile gas station in Lee Vining. I'm sure there are other places, but whenever I find myself in this neck of the woods, I never make it anywhere else. Neither does anyone else, apparently. The line is always out the door at the famous "Whoa Nelllie Deli" tucked inside the gas station's convenience store.
Tucked behind the racks of t-shirts and postcards, next to the beer coolers and the stacks of firewood for sale, the deli churns out amazing fare that not only satisfies ravenous outdoor adventurers, but gourmands alike. Their food goes beyond the expected burgers and sandwiches (all of which look incredible), but the menu includes the likes of veal osso bucco, elk chops, slow-roasted pork ribs with huckleberry barbecue sauce (enjoyed by my climbing partner Matt, top), fish tacos (enjoyed by yours truly, below) and more.
There's not much more to say, really - except "go there now." They've got live music several nights a week in the summer on their packed outdoor seating area, ever-changing menu specials, and gas for your car and a dumping station for your RV. Seriously genius.
Some views of the climbing...
(I'm not a very good climber, and usually I'm scared out of my wits on exposed multi-pitch routes, but there's just something about it that keeps me coming back. Mostly it's thanks to Matt, my longtime friend and climbing partner who keeps me safe and knows and respects my limits. But then there are also the views... ahhh.)