We chanced upon the Erick Schat’s Bakkerÿ after we missed the turn for our hotel in Bishop. The building, full of knick knacks and coin-operated vibrating rides outside, intrigued us and we decided to check the bakery for breakfast the next day. We got there around 7:30 AM and the place was already swinging, mostly with locals. The large, but crowded, bakery offers a whole array of products: from breads, to pastries, to doughnuts, to beautifully decorated cookies to candies and even gelatto. They have coffee drinks, sandwiches (for lunch), homemade jerky and a few tables. In addition to their local business they also do mail order. It’s a busy place.
We all got to chose a pastry for our breakfast. I had a cream cheese croissant and while it wasn’t extraordinary, it was pretty good – better than the ones I get at Safeway, at least :-). I thought Mika’s cinnamon roll was a bit dry, but it did taste like cinnamon. Camila’s maple doughnut bar was extra-large but otherwise tasted just like your average doughnut. Finally, Mike did enjoy his ham-egg-and-cheese croissant, the ingredients were good as was the croissant. I had a very good mocha ($4) and the rest of them had milk. In all, it was a good place to stop for a pastry but I wouldn’t get out of my way to come here.
On a different note, while the staff was very friendly and helpful, not all of them speak English well. Our server couldn’t understand my husband’s request to warm up our pastries until I asked her to do so in Spanish. Not a big deal, of course, but I thought I’d mention it.
Erick Schat’s Bakkerÿ
763 N. Main St.
We stopped in Bishop for the night during out trip from Las Vegas and Death Valley to Mono Lake and saw Bar-B-Q Bills when we drove into town. We love BBQ so we decided to have dinner there. We got there around 8:15 PM on a Sunday evening, and as they close at 8:30 PM we decided to get our meal to go (our hotel room had a small kitchen we could eat at). There were still people in the restaurant and coming into the restaurant at this time, so I think we could have eaten there as well. The restaurant itself is your run-of-the mill American restaurant. It looks more like a pizzeria than a restaurant and sports a poorly lit dining room, a counter where you order your meal and a small salad bar (almost depleted by closing time).
We all ordered the ribs, so that’s pretty much all I can talk about food-wise. The girls had the “Little Wrangler Rib Dinner” ($4.75) consisting of 2 spare ribs, baked bans or French fries, garlic bread and a soft drink. Mike and I had the rib dinner ($15), which was basically the same except for more ribs (I’d say about 6). It also included a bowl for the salad bar. In addition we got the onion rings ($2.60) and a side order of mashed potatoes (~$2.50), as Mika has been in a mashed potato kick.
The ribs themselves were OK. They were very tender, but too dry for our taste. The BBQ sauce they came with was too vinegary for my taste, and I thought the ribs were better without it (even though they definitely needed the moisture). The onion rings were quite good, it was a nice size portion for the price. The french fries were your standard battered type, tasted OK if you like that kind of French fries. The garlic bread, on the other hand, was pretty inedible. It was very soft (microwaved?) and tasted nothing of garlic. Nobody touched it. The mashed potatoes were also just OK.
The salad bar, even though depleted, was OK for our purpose. Mike got some potato salad (don’t know if it was any good), and I stocked up on hard boiled egg bits, chick peas and mini corn for Mika. She was happy.
I have to say that while the kids portions were fine, Mike and I should have shared a meal rather than have each of us get our own. As it was we only ate one portion of ribs, couldn’t finish the onion rings and left one portion of French fries untouched. We had the ribs the next day for a mid-day snack, but the other food was wasted. So if you go, order less food than you think you’ll want.
I don’t know if we’ll find ourselves in Bishop again, but if we do I’ll probably skip Bar-B-Q Bills. Those ribs were just too dry.
187 S Main St
We just came back from a short “vacation” to Las Vegas. We made our way back to the Bay Area through Death Valley and the eastern sierra. Yesterday, after a visit to Bodie, we had a late lunch at Nicely’s in Lee Vining. Nicely’s is your typical coffee shop sort of restaurant, serving all-American coffee shop food at reasonable but standard prices. What we had was fine, not great, but then again, we didn’t expect it to be so.
The restaurant itself looks like your all-American coffee shop: tables, booths, outdated decor, the sort of thing you’d have encountered 50 years ago and can still encounter at countless little towns in this country. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, and they have both a dining room inside and outside seating under umbrellas. Even after 2 PM it was quite crowded. Service by our veteran waitress was efficient, though not terribly friendly.
Both kids had the Kraft mac & cheese kid meal ($4, including french fries, 2 oreo cookies and a small drink). They were quite happy because they love Kraft mac & cheese. Mika substituted her french fries with mashed potatoes ($1 extra), but she didn’t like them very much. She was unhappy about the pool of melted “butter” on top of the potatoes. Mike and I shared a NY steak sandwich (~$10) and onion rings ($1 extra as a substitute for fries). The steak was on the thin side, but tasted good enough. The onion rings were also quite good. I ordered a slice of bread pudding ($4), but I was less happy with that. The pudding was pretty dry and tasted overwhelmingly of cinnamon. I wouldn’t order it again. Mike and Mika shared a slice of banana cream pie, which was pretty good. It came directly out of the fridge so it was a bit cool. Our sodas tasted fine, the glasses were refilled appropriately. The kids ordered lemonade and it tasted home made with real lemons. Mika liked it, Camila did not (she prefers the fake kind).
In all, it was a very typical coffees shop meal experience, nothing to write home about (unless you are a foreign tourist and want to experience the “real thing”).
Highway 395 at Fourth Street
Lee Vining, CA