Happy Trails for Vegans
Posted on 07 / 26 / 2010
It's obvious I haven't been hiking on the Los Feliz side of Griffith Park in some time or I would have discovered this little gem years ago. It is so refreshing to find a restaurant of any kind in a nature park that doesn't serve the standard chips and soda "vending machine" fare. In fact, I think The Trails should amend their roadside sign to somehow reflect that fact. "Pies, Soda, Coffee" does not accurately describe the amazing food they serve.
The first time I went I ordered the Ranger Pie which is a hand-pie with a puff pastry crust stuffed with veggie meat, potatoes, peas, celery, carrots, onions, perfectly seasoned with herbs and spices. I was surprised and delighted that it was served with a side of savory sage gravy! Imagine, piping hot, homemade VEGAN GRAVY in the middle of the wilderness! There was more than enough for the pie and I wished I had something else to dip in the left-overs -- it was that good!
A few days later my hubby and I stopped in after a strenuous hike. I was worried that there would be a long line of ravenous vegans and that they would be sold out of their vegan goodies, but the line was short, the food was served almost immediately and, once again, I left with a smile on my face. Here's what we ordered: one Mushroom and Cashew Pie and one order of Vegan Chili with Sage Blue Cornbread. I didn't have any of the pie as I don't like mushrooms (gasp!) but my hubby like it so much he almost got another one (and he finished ALL of his gravy). He had to help me finish my chili lunch because it was HUGE. The chili was medium-spiced and had three kinds of beans, tomatoes, peppers, corn and carrots. It tasted very fresh and not at all greasy. :) The carrots were cut into half moons, which was an interesting twist, but they could have been cooked little more, for my taste. The blue cornbread wedge was thick with a little bit of a crust, while still maintaining a moist, dense, cake-like center, with just a hint of sage. Quite possibly the perfect cornbread. A meal in itself, really.
I've gone back a few more times now and have tried the Snake Dog, the Agave Lemonade, an iced Green Tea Latte, and finally, their Mini Fruit Pies. All of the food was very good, but both the Strawberry-Rhubarb and the Cherry Pies are straight from heaven. Hubby loved the cherry pie's cinnamony oatmeal crumb topping. Both are large enough to share.
Kudos to Mickey Petralia for elevating the "snack hut" to a new level. Nature parks everywhere take note!
Excellent Food, Adorable Decor, Inexpensive
Closed on Mondays, Cash Only