I’ve often been quoted as saying, “A vacation destination is only as good as its food.” Hence, even though my trip to The Land Of The Rising Sun was exotic and memorable, I didn’t have one enjoyable meal while I was there, taking it down a few notches in my book. In Japan’s defense, I am a vegetarian and a girl can only eat so much rice…I’m sure sushi lovers would have a whole different experience. Regardless, food matters BIG time to me, especially when it comes to vacation.
That being said, I can properly begin to rave about the feel-good feasts at The White Stallion Ranch. Equipped with an onsite restaurant, the ranch’s all-inclusive nature provides guests with three solid meals a day. Key word: solid. Trust me, after all the riding you’ll be doing, comfort food never tasted so good!
A cold and hot breakfast is available starting at the crack of dawn, ensuring you’re prepped for a full day of riding. The cold breakfast is served buffet style and has everything from granola and yogurt to oatmeal with all the fixings. A variety of juices are served, alongside fresh cut fruit. The hot breakfast is made to order, and you can check anything on the menu you’d like prepared for you. I tried everything, ranging from french toast, specialty omelets, to my very favorite, the blueberry pancakes.
You’ll return from your morning ride famished and ready to inhale whatever food is placed in front of you. Lucky for you, the folks in the kitchen put together an eclectic menu, with options ranging from a Mexican fiesta taco feast to the tried and true American classic, burger and fries. There was always a vegetarian option for every meal (take note, Japan!)
A scrumptious dessert was served daily, too. I particularly loved these potato chip cookies, and can’t wait to try to recreate them in my own kitchen.
My favorite meal on the ranch, I loved dinner because everyone sat down at the same time, sharing communal tables and stories of their day. The ranch’s owner, Russell True, also made a nightly appearance at dinner to explain the activities for the following day. He knew all the guests by name, really adding to the family feel of the ranch. From pasta and garlic bread to the biggest steaks on the grill I’ve ever seen, the chefs insured everyone was well-fed and had their calories replenished.
There were several options to take foodie inspired rides through the desert via horseback and hayride. From wine and cheese to beer and Cheetos, once you finally made it to your snacking destination, you felt like you’ve never worked harder for a grown-up beverage. Good feeling, indeed.
Unlimited lemonade, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, and cappuccinos are available all day and night. The only thing not included in the all-inclusive stay is alcohol and specialty beverages. I loved the way the ranch presented this: instead of having a bartender create and charge drinks for you, you were in charge of preparing them yourself and then paying via an honor system at the end of your stay. You recorded your beverages on a little “I owe you” piece of paper called a Chit, and then put them in a basket. Your beverages are tallied up for you, and you pay with one credit card swipe at checkout. Brilliant? I vote yes.
While the food certainly wasn’t the only thing to love about the ranch (more on that in a future post!), it certainly helped make my stay even more enjoyable and, quite frankly, delicious.
By: Jessica Tiare Bowen