Weekend Cooking: Eating in Yosemite and Lake Tahoe


A well-deserved latte in the morning – the one-year-old does not sleep well in pack n plays!


It’s not the easiest thing to do, dragging two kids (aged 3 and 1) on a roadtrip. There’s so much to pack – diapers, extra clothes, a pack n play for the baby, toys and books and a well-loaded iPad for the big one. There’s plenty more to think of – where can we stop? Is this a good place to stay? How will they fare on the drive?

As a result we haven’t been all that adventurous when it comes to roadtrips. International trips though, we’ve done two to Singapore, a 20-plus hour flight with stopover!

I just realised that this is the first time we’ve crossed a stateline since the kids were born (not counting the husband’s work trips)! Our previous trips have always been within California, which is a rather huge state as states go.

Er but yeah, we did pop into Nevada a little as we drove from the East Bay to Yosemite and then to Lake Tahoe. So it kind of counts!

But this is a Weekend Cooking post! So on to the food!


Erm right, that’s not food.

We stayed at the Yosemite Lodge at the Falls, how lucky we were to score a night’s stay just a week before! We’d stayed outside Yosemite a few years ago when my parents visited and the problem was that it was quite a drive in and out of the park (from the park entrance we arrived at, into Yosemite Valley, was nearly an hour). We sure didn’t want to do that again, especially with little kids. The lodge is a decent place to stay, although rather pricey! It’s right where the tram tours are, and there’s a restaurant for dinner and a cafeteria for all other meals. The only issue we had was the very noisy guests next door, who arrived at midnight and proceeded to slam doors, and of course woke the baby who refused to go back to sleep in the pack n play – in other words, he slept in my bed, kicking legs, tickly fingers, nuzzly nose and all equals no sleep for me!

The cafeteria does ok food, a pretty good variety at lunchtime from cold salads and sandwiches, to hot foods like pork chops served with mashed potatoes and asparagus, burgers, pizzas, the usual stuff. Breakfasts are the standard pancakes/waffles/French toasts with bacon/sausage etc. And this being California, the breakfast burrito.


I was pleasantly surprised by the restaurant, which is only open for dinner. It has a lovely view of the forests and the cliffs (but as we were staying at the lodge itself, it was a similar view from our room) with dramatic floor to ceiling windows. Lovely service (always a plus!) and some delicious lamb chops served with a gremolata and mashed potatoes, and a cheesy French onion soup to start, made for a relaxing (as relaxing as one can have with two kids clamouring to be fed) and enjoyable end to our first night of the roadtrip!

The drive from Yosemite to Tahoe was just absolutely breathtaking! We took the Tioga Pass and saw the Tuolumne Meadows  (at 8,600 feet one of the highest-elevation meadows in the Sierras), Tioga Lake, Mono Lake (apparently over 1 million years old!), saw plenty of snow on the ground and on the mountains (I’m always still fascinated by snow, having lived most of my life in the tropics).


And in Tahoe, there was plenty of good food too. From the Hawaiian stylings of Kalanis (a bit of an odd choice I know, but it was just by our hotel, and we were hungry), with some perfectly cooked duck, served with Vietnamese pickles, a Thai basil mash and a duck spring roll (interesting, but it was unfortunately sitting in its sauce which meant it wasn’t crunchy). They even served the kids some free ‘appetisers’ when they seated us – string cheese and oyster crackers!

20140530-103259.jpgTo the simple breakfast of a vegetable omelette with potato pancake and biscuit at Driftwood Cafe.


The Blue Dog Gourmet Pizza was another hit. The pizza dough was just right – not too bready or thick. And the toppings weren’t overly salty as some places tend to be. We did a half Primavera and half Meat Lovers so there was something for everyone.


And because we were in Tahoe we did the boat cruise. The two-hour trip took us to Emerald Bay to see the Vikingsholm, a 38-room mansion built in 1929, and the quaint little ‘tea house’ built on the tiny rock of an island opposite (the only island in Lake Tahoe).




Thanks to the Kindle, I managed to do a fair bit of reading. I started and finished The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry – a very endearing book. And finished reading The Septembers of Shiraz – a bit depressing to be honest (a lot of it takes place in prison) but evocative and elegantly told.


Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, beer, wine, photographs



  1. The photos of the mountains and water are beautiful! The photos of the food are making me hungry. Especially the pizza! I’m a pizzaholic and love big chunks of veggies on my pizza, The pizza places around here put teeny tiny pieces on their pizza’s and it drives me crazy!
    Sounds like you had an awesome trip!
    Here’s My Weekend Cooking


  2. Looks like a great trip – and I commend you for doing it with a 3 and 1 year old! My kids are the same age and the dreaded road trip gives me anxiety for weeks (we drive 6-8 hours from NY to VA to see family). The duck with basil mash looks especially delicious!


    1. Woah 6-8 hours! I’ve yet to do such a long drive with the younger one. We’re wondering about heading down to San Diego which is about 8 hours’ drive!


  3. Such beautiful scenery. I’ve never been to Yosemite. Much different than Michigan, where I live. Glad you found some good food and managed to survive the road trip with the little kids. Definitely a challenge!


  4. Oh my. All the food looks awesome but the pizza really called to me! Good for you for traveling with the kids!


Comments are closed.