On our drive back down the 395 from Reno to LA, we normally stop in Bishop at Looney Bean for lunch, Lone Pine’s Alabama Hills Cafe or Lee Vining’s Whoa Nellie Deli, but as my husband Jeff promised we would widen our horizons, this year we didn’t. Yet, true to form, it was difficult for him to stop, even for a much-needed bathroom break. After my not-so-nice complaining and a not-really-silent treatment while I stared at him, he decided to stop in Mammoth, only a few miles from the highway, killing two birds with one stone, so to speak.
Jeff was in Mammoth recently while working and found someplace he wanted to try, Elixir Superfood & Juice; it’s in an outdoor shopping plaza. We parked and walked in, and even with our masks on, the aroma of curry, cumin, fresh herbs and coffee was strong, warm and welcome. After a quick review of the menu and Jeff (my vegan husband) telling me it’s gluten free and vegan, but also serves fish and chicken, it still took me a while to understand that everything on the menu was gluten free. They serve salads and grain bowls (rice or quinoa) with protein or vegan style, juices, coffees and more. Jeff ordered the Thai Buddha bowl, vegan style with brown rice. It has marinated tofu with wasabi-ginger dressing. He also got a cup of coffee. Struggling with all the gluten free options I had, it took a while for me to order. I couldn’t decide on the Patagonia bowl or the nourish bowl… or did I want the create my own bowl? And then I saw it: teriyaki bowl. I asked if the Teriyaki was gluten free and the nice lady behind the counter smiled at me and said, “Yes, it is. Everything here is gluten free.” Oh right!
I ordered it with chicken, subbing broccoli for shredded cabbage. While waiting, we happened to glance over at the dessert display…
“We’ll take the dark chocolate, chocolate chip cookie—and Jeff, do you want something?” I asked.
“No,” he said. “I’ll share whatever you get.”
“Yeah, no” I replied. “We’ll take the date and banana oatmeal cookie, too.” I got both, knowing they’ll pair perfectly with his coffee. We got our food and drove off to find a place to park with a beautiful view of snow capped mountains. Then we dug in.
Jeff’s Thai Buddha bowl was awesome, featuring firm, bite-sized pieces of tofu with wasabi-ginger dressing, warm brown rice and veggies… Come on! It’s delish, and so was my teriyaki bowl, though the tamari-teriyaki sauce was kind of sweet for me; still, it was great, and I was stoked to have teriyaki sauce again. Those cookies deserve their own food column: moist, light yet dense, not overly sweet, so good it was hard to share them. What’s better than a dark chocolate cookie with chocolate chips that’s vegan and gluten free (but you wouldn’t know if you weren’t told)? Maybe a date and banana oatmeal cookie with coffee? Maybe.
enjoyelixir.com, 3325 Main Street, Mammoth Lakes,