f you’re lucky enough to find yourself ski-tripping in California, Colorado, or Maine make it a point to eddy out at one of these spots for some really, really good food.
Tioga Gas Mart/Whoa Nellie Deli. Lee Vining, California: You’ve never seen a gas station quite like this before. If you’re driving to Mammoth from the north on Highway 395, you’ll pass a Mobile gas station in the tiny town of Lee Vining, near the shores of Mono Lake. Inside this Mobile station, you’ll find the Whoa Neli Deli, where chef Matt Toomey whips up fish tacos with ginger coleslaw, mango salsa, and Brazilian black beans. The menu also includes such specialties as wild buffalo meatloaf, lobster taquitos, and herb crusted grilled pork tenderloin. They offer wine tasting (yes, there is a wine tasting inside a gas station—bring a designated driver), live music on Thursdays and Sundays, and fishing supplies. And, of course, you can get your usual gas station cuisine of chips, candy, and soda. But why bother when lobster taquitos are on the menu? Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 9 pm. 760-647-1088. www.whoanelliedeli.com—Megan Michelson
Gas Café. Crested Butte, Colorado – En route to the ski area you pass this little nugget on the right hand side. By all means stop, and order the burger. Yes, this gas station burger is made with 100% grass fed beef from Parker Pastures in neighboring Gunnison and a served on homemade buns from The Luna Bakery also based in Gunnison. Grill hours are 6:30 am to 3 pm. Find them on Facebook or call to order ahead 970-349-9656.
Good Food Store. Bethel, Maine – Although it’s not exactly inside a service station, Sunday River skiers frequently run across the street when filling up at the Irving station to this hip eatery and natural gourmet food shop. A local favorite since 1994, travelers can stock up on homemade, take-out lasagna, chicken pot pie, or pesto tortellini salad, or, even better, grab some freshly barbequed brisket from their Smokin Good BBQ joint just outside the store. 207-824-3754. goodfoodbethel.com