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Old 08-22-2016, 07:23 AM   #1
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Five Star Dining in National Parks

For those if us that occasionally need to get away from hot dogs, here are some fine dining experiences found INSIDE some of our national parks:

From the article:
"Visiting a national park often means backpacks, cargo shorts, hiking boots and trail mix, but for those who stay a few days at one of the parks hotels or lodges, a night or two of fine dining can balance out the sensible shoes and steady diet of peanuts, raisins and chocolate chips.

These five restaurants are known for their excellent food — much of it regional — and great service. If you're planning a visit to one of these parks, bring along a change of clothes for dinner."

Link to the article
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Old 08-22-2016, 07:29 AM   #2
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My wife and I ate at Lodge at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon a few years ago and the food was excellent, not to mention the view. We also ate at the Lodge at Zion National Park and had an excellent meal their also.
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Old 08-22-2016, 07:58 AM   #3
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I doubt any of them are formal. We have eaten in Yellowstones Old Faithful Inn ( not air conditioned) and while clean clothes are a plus formal is not the style
Same at Jordan Pond House which is in the middle of a system of carriage road bike trails. Tea is outside, servers in shorts. Maybe a scooch up in dress at dinner which is still not formal. Because its close to home we go there fairly often.

In Grand Canyon we ate at the Arizona Room .. good food and informal. The El Tovar menu did not excite us.
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Old 08-22-2016, 08:39 AM   #4
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We seek out a good place to eat out every once in a while, but unfortunately your opening comment plays to the all to common belief of non rvers that all you eat when you camp is beanie weenies and marshmellows. There is not a single restaurant we have ever found that serves better food or a wider menu than our camp site. When we do eat out, it is more often than not to get pizza or fresh seafood [wife does not cook fish] at a quaint restaurant [often a dive] but 5 star or even any stars are never a factor, just a tasty local offering.

Since we are more often out and about during the day, our food out is often for lunch or maybe an early dinner. The smell of a smoky road side BBQ that might seem like an abandoned shack if it were not for the cars parked outside, is all that it takes for us to slam on the brakes and do a 180. We did eat at the Ol F Inn a few years ago but we were there walking thru the smoking pots and water when lunch pangs hit. That's all I remember about the place other than I thought the menu was way too pricey.
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Old 08-22-2016, 08:41 AM   #5
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I still believe the best dining in town is in my own site!
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Old 08-22-2016, 09:09 AM   #6
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We've eaten at a few National Park restaurants.
We consider it all a part of experiencing what the National Parks have to offer.
For us, we would be remiss if we hadn't gone to Yellowstone Lodge and eaten at their restaurant. We don't eat out on a regular basis when camping, but it is a nice break from the routine. Especially at big places like Yellowstone where you spend the entire day out exploring and come back very tired later in the day, it is nice to go and have a meal served.

The food was good, but I wouldn't put it at excellent, and as others have said the dining atmosphere is more casual than formal. Still, it was a great experience.
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Old 08-22-2016, 09:28 AM   #7
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We eat very good when camping... Not much of a Hot Dog type eater... Steaks and Baked potatoes is what I like etc...

We have a couple of stores here that make up full meals in a cold wrap. Albertsons is a food chain that does this. Perfect for camping... We keep them cool in the top of our 5-day Coleman Ice Chest... I can make it a five star meal with a couple of tall candles haha...

We can nuke whole potatoes in saran wrap for five minutes and make the greatest baked potatoes to go along with good ole T-Bone steaks...

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Old 08-22-2016, 09:43 AM   #8
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Its fun to eat out especially at a lobster pound. If you want to deveneer the interior of your RV, steam lobsters and clams inside.

Better to buy a propane burner and large pot for outside. A turkey fryer works fine for lobster. We don't do turkey anymore.
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Old 08-22-2016, 09:45 AM   #9
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There are more than 5. What was formerly the Ahwahnee Hotel has a fantastic restaurant. We ate there for our 25th wedding anniversary. What an atmosphere too! The most expensive meal I ever ate! We weren't camping, we stayed at the Ahwahnee in a cabin. What a great trip that was!

I find funny the comments about the best meals are at camp. Of course we eat good in camp. Of course we can and do have steak and other great cuts of meat. We keep at least 5 or 6 camping oriented cook books in the trailer. I cook over the fire and spent a few bucks on the Automatic Chef. What a great campfire cooking tool!

But here's the thing, whether you go out and get a hot dog or an Italian beef sandwich at an outdoor hot stand, or eat a $200 meal at a 5 star restaurant, it's a treat to eat out. It's relaxing. it's an experience. It's part of our vacations. For us a typical camping trip includes a couple of dinners out and a breakfast or two. And certainly a stop at what ever local brewpub happens to be nearby.
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Old 08-22-2016, 11:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocBrown View Post
But here's the thing, whether you go out and get a hot dog or an Italian beef sandwich at an outdoor hot stand, or eat a $200 meal at a 5 star restaurant, it's a treat to eat out. It's relaxing. it's an experience. It's part of our vacations. For us a typical camping trip includes a couple of dinners out and a breakfast or two. And certainly a stop at what ever local brewpub happens to be nearby.
Mostly agree except for the $200 meal at a 5 star. Just doesn't wash for us to spend that kind of $$$ on something I can cook better at home. Not relaxing or an experience for us. To each their own on this one, but when we look for an eating experience out, its at a place like I mentioned before or an open air bay side burger joint that is local to the area. Our experience and memory is the view and the smell of the outside, not the inside of a fancy eatery.
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