Kirsten Fletcher and Monte Wornath are geniuses.
Maybe they'd score off the charts on an IQ test, then again maybe not, but the two friends conceived one of the best ideas for a local business that we've heard of. The pair, recognizing that intense hunger always follows winter recreating, got permits for and parked a small trailer at Virginia Meissner Sno-Park to feed and nourish the tired and hungry, or just hungry, who frequent the surrounding trails.
Skinny Skis Café serves up an impressive spread of food and drink with baked treats from Sparrow Bakery (including Ocean Rolls), soups from The Village Baker and coffee and espresso from Strictly Organic. The winter food cart also serves up hot chocolates (the fancy kind, made with Dagoba Organic Chocolate for $2.25 as well as good ole Swiss Miss for you low-brow heathens at $1.50), mochas, chai, tea and bottled water. They have a number of grilled sandos available, ranging from the stoner's delight, a Nutella, peanut butter and banana sandwich ($3.75) to the more traditional and wholesome grilled tuna and Swiss sandwich($6.75). Catering to the swelling number of food sensitivities, Skinny Skis allows diners to opt for soy milk and gluten free bread.
Open Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, the normal grooming days at Meissner (see meissnernordic.org for up to date grooming info and schedule), Skinny Skis Café will alter its schedule to coincide with Meissner's grooming operations, just as they did last week when they opened on Friday. It's worth noting that Skinny Skis is flexible on their hours. I got a cookie at 4 p.m. on Saturday despite the fact that their stated hours are 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Because they're geniuses, Fletcher and Wornath also offer sno-park permits, so you can avoid a fine if you weren't smart enough to buy one before leaving town.
Dad's Concessions Offers Cheap Goods at Wanoga
Skinny Skis isn't the only spot to offer up winter treats. Though less gourmet, Dad's Concessions, found at Wanoga Sno-Park, is the original Central Oregon winter food cart and has been keeping bellies full for three seasons now. And on the cheap, too. Robert Head Sr., owner, slings hot dogs, chips and a drink - all for $3. Beat that.
Open weekends from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Dad's wheels his cart up to Wanoga on school holidays too, which makes sense since he's also in the snow-tube business. Yes, you can buy a small tube ($15) or a large tube ($20) if you foresee sledding in your day. Like Skinny Skis, you can also get a one-day sno-park permit ($6) from Dad's.
photo credit: Nils Eddy