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The restaurant itself looks like your all-American coffee shop: tables, booths, outdated decor, the sort of thing you’d have encountered 50 years ago and can still encounter at countless little towns in this country.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