After my fun-filled weekend in Denver, Carolyn, Tyler, Christina, and I made the 8 hour drive to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to partake in an adventure that we have been planning since last September. We were on our way to hike 41 miles on the Teton Crest Trail in the back-country of the Grand Tetons. About 10 years ago when I was back in college, my family and I took a trip to Yellowstone and we spent only an afternoon driving past the Tetons. I remember being absolutely awed by the jagged snow covered mountain peaks with crystal clear lakes and lush green lands surrounding the ranges. When I was asked by Carolyn, Tyler, and Christina to join on this adventure, there was no way I would turn down the opportunity to go back to the Grand Tetons.
Once arriving in Jackson, we took care of business first and obtained our camping permits, ice axes, and bear spray. The day before the hike, we rented bicycles in the morning and rode on the trail next to the Tetons. This was a really special experience that was close to my heart as I remember saying to my family 10 years ago that I want to come back someday to bike on the paved path next to the Grand Tetons. I really wanted to bike all the way to Jenny Lake and back but 40 miles of bicycling the day before beginning a 4 day hike would not have been a wise decision. Like Christina reminded me, we came here for the hike. I did ride a little longer than the rest of the group, but kept it close to 30 miles. I was in my zone.
After making about 8 wrong turns in the town trying to make my way back to the rental shop, I returned the bicycle and met the group for lunch at Cultivate Cafe.
Cultivate Cafe was a great choice in continuing our healthy habits for the day. The food menu uses 100% organic ingredients and all the sauces are vegan and gluten-free. I started off with a Golden Goddess smoothie for the Golden Goddess herself, duh! The smoothie consisted of mango, turmeric, ginger, date, and vanilla. Just what I needed after a 30 mile bike ride. For lunch, I chose the WYO tacos with southwest seasoned chicken, black beans, purple cabbage, pico de gallo, ancho chili sauce, and crema.
With all the color popping from the plate, I expected more flavor from this taco. I could tell the chicken was of high quality, but it needed a more noticeable marinade. The ancho chili sauce and crema was delicious by itself, but not with this chicken. There was too much tomato taste from the pico and the beans needed some zing. This taco did not do it for me and I would give it a 1 out of 5.
Price: 2 chicken tacos and a salad for $16. The WYO tacos can alternatively be filled with jackfruit for $14 total.
After backpacking 41 miles of the Grand Tetons in 75 hours with ascending and descending 3 mountain passes, setting up and packing up camp 3 times, endless bug bites and liters of water filtered, I was ready to come back to civilization.
Fiesta Mexican Restaurant
Tyler really wanted authentic tacos post hike and I was clearly on board with this decision. I think Carolyn and Christina were hesitant on this choice, but I think we were all too hungry to debate. We quickly made our way to Fiesta Mexican Restaurant.
Before I sat down, I immediately washed my hands in the bathroom. Brown water filled the sink as I was finally able to wash my hands for the first time in 75 hours. What simple, but instant gratification I felt.
After I sat down, I put those clean hands right into the basket of chips. The chips were warm, fresh, flakey, and salted lightly. Just the way I like them.
Taco options here include asada, lengua, pastor, longaniza (like chorizo but made with minced meat and different spices), suadero (thin cut of beef), cabeza, and campechano (combo of beef and longaniza). Not until after I ordered, I saw that cod and pork tacos with cactus were also options for a small price increase. Because I was already pounding a ton of chips and we had a big steak dinner reserved for later, I was okay with my order of just the asada and pastor tacos.
I started with the asada taco. This taco was a little too greasy and fatty and almost reminded me of the makings of a philly cheese steak. As for the pastor taco, the pork was a little too dry and it needed some pineapple. I ranked both tacos a 2 out of 5.
Price: $3.50-4 per taco.
All in all, Wyoming impressed me with its mountains, lakes, and wildflowers, but it did not impress me with the tacos!