Every year, during the second Thursday through Sunday in August, California Four Wheel Drive Association, Inc. holds the Sierra Trek event, which is the largest four wheel drive events in Northern California. The event is held at Meadow Lake, in the Sierra Nevada mountains, northwest of Truckee, in the Tahoe National Forest, and offers amazing four wheeling, great companionship, fun, and great FOOD. Speaking of food, when you're at base camp, and your hungry for a snack, you'll enjoy the delicious food served at the Hi-Landers Snack Bar, operated by the Hi-Landers 4WD Club, of Orangevale, CA.
As with all of reviews that I publish, I have no affiliation with the restaurant reviewed, and there is no monetary gain on my part, as I am simply a person who likes to eat, and I love to write-up, and publish my dining experiences.
Photo: It's late morning on Friday, August 11, 2023, and I've arrived at Hi Landers Snack Bar to enjoy an amazing lunch. Despite the fact that I purchased a meal ticket for the 2023 Sierra Trek event, I could not resist enjoying lunch at this fine restaurant, as the food is simply amazing!
The restaurant is set up in a tent along "Main Street" and operates Thursday, Friday and Saturday during the Sierra Trek event, serving fine food and snacks.
Photo: The menu at Hi Landers Snack Bar is simple, and offers some of the best "snacks" in the high Sierra Nevada mountains. Despite the current economy, the prices haven't changed since last year, and remain an absolute bargain.
The format is that you make your selection from the menu, place your order with the staff, pay for it, and when your order is ready, your name will be called and you pick your order up from the counter. You pay for your order with "Trek Bucks," which are available at the nearby "Bank."
Photo: I looked behind the restaurant and said "hello" to the friendly crew, who were taking a break from making their outstanding cuisine.
Photo: The smoker/grill is the main source for cooking, and the pitmaster knows his trade. After the pork is grilled, it's shredded, mixed with barbecue sauce and allowed to slowly simmer in a large kettle. Burgers and dogs are grilled on the grill, and the Hi Landers use oak wood to enhance the charcoal.
Photo: The talented deep fry chef is making some of the best fries you have ever had the pleasure to enjoy. The pit and deep fry station are located behind the restaurant.
Photo: My friendly hostess, who was working the counter, brought my sandwich and fries to me with a smile.
Photo: I'm a happy "four wheeler," as I smile as I'm ready to enjoy an amazing lunch at Hi Landers Snack Bar, and the 56th Sierra Trek 4wd event, hosted by CA4WDC, with the event located in Meadow Lake, CA.
Photo: From the menu board, I went with a "Pulled Pork Sandwich," and an order of "French Fries." The "kid" in me added ketchup to my fries for dipping, but the fries were so delicious they didn't really need any enhancement.
High Landers Snack Bar doesn't skim on the pulled pork, as the sandwich included a generous helping of grilled, shredded, and cooked in barbecue sauce pulled pork. The pork was juicy, tender, with a bit of a "tang" and simply delicious. The pork was placed on a large, fresh roll and the fresh lettuce, tomato and onion were placed on the side. With the veggies on the side, the roll and the pork were hot, and the veggies were cold. When you opened the roll and added the veggies, you enjoyed the contrast between hot and cold, which makes for a sandwich sensation.
The fry chef at the restaurant creates some of the best fries that I've ever enjoyed, and it's amazing he deep fries such great fries at a four wheel drive event, located in the high Sierra Nevada mountains. The fries were "crinkle cut" of average size, perfectly deep fried to a beautiful, medium golden brown on the outside, but juicy, white and tender inside. They crunch when you bite into them, and the golden crust contrasts perfectly with the tender, white inside. The fries are as good as it gets, and no meal at High Landers Snack Bar is complete without a side of their extraordinary fries. Delicious!
I added the chilled lettuce, tomato and onion to the warm sandwich, and when I bit into it, I was rewarded with a taste sensation! The warm tangy pulled pork worked perfectly with the chilled veggies, and the soft, chewy bun held it all together. Simply amazing!! Where else except at High Landers Snack Bar could you enjoy such an amazing sandwich for a mere $5.00?
Photo: The best "French Fries" that I've ever enjoyed in the High Sierras! The fries were deep fried to a golden brown perfection, with just the right amount of crunch on the outside, and tender inside. Simply delicious! I couldn't resist adding some ketchup for dipping, but it wasn't really needed as these fries are as good as fries can get.
Photo: "Pulled Pork Sandwich" assembled with the lettuce, onion and tomato. The hot pork and bun contrasted perfectly with the chilled veggies, which made for a perfect sandwich. Like a burger, the contrast between hot and cold makes for a superior sandwich.
Photo: Side view of this simply delicious sandwich, showing all of the layers of pork, tangy barbecue sauce, onion, lettuce and tomato which made this sandwich so flavorful and delightful.
Photo: It's early afternoon on Thursday, August 10, 2023, and I've arrived at Hi Landers Snack Bar to enjoy a late lunch. The event dinner will be served later at 6:00 pm, but I can't resist enjoying a snack, as this restaurant - temporary to the Sierra Trek event - serves delicious mountain cuisine that I simply can't resist.
Note the bottles - not small packages - of mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup and dill pickle relish on the counter, which added a lot of class to this fine, temporary restaurant. I truly believe this customer will enjoy his cheeseburger!
Photo: Meet "Hi-Lander Sue," my friendly hostess at the counter, who hands me my lunch with a smile. Such a friendly and gracious person!
Photo: I'm a happy guy, as I'm ready to enjoy a delicious hot dog and fries, grilled and deep fried to perfection. Check Hi Landers Snack Bar when you attend the Sierra Trek event, as you'll simply love their delicious food.
Photo: One "Hot Dog," along with an order of "French Fries," as delivered by "Hi Lander Sue." Now, it's time to dress the dog and the fries...
Photo: My hot dog was a large quarter-pound beef dog, grilled to perfection, complete with grill marks. The meat was placed in a large, fresh bun, with the perfect meat-to-bun ratio. Each bun was lightly toasted on the grill, which always adds to the delicious flavor.
One bite into the dog and I was rewarded with a crisp "snap," which is the trademark of natural casing, along with a juicy, flavorful taste sensation. These dogs were wonderful! The dogs came "bare" from the kitchen, but there were jars of mustard, ketchup, dill pickle relish and mayonnaise for your pleasure, if that's your preference. I did succumb to temptation and added mustard, relish and mayonnaise, as a dog is a bit on the dry side, in my opinion, without any additions, and I love mustard. I'm not a kid, so I NEVER ruin a fine hot dog by desecrating it with ketchup! Such an amazing hot dog!
The "French Fries" at High Landers Snack Bar are simply the BEST! The fries were deep fried to perfection to a medium golden brown with a "crisp," but white, juicy and tender on the inside. Yes, I added ketchup, as the "kid" in me loves to dip my fries in ketchup, but it really wasn't needed, as these fries were stand-alone delicious! You MUST order fries with any meal at this fine restaurant, as they are some of the best I've every enjoyed, and make a perfect side. The fry chef has talent!
Photo: For the CA4WDC Sierra Trek event, the Hi-Landers 4WD Club, of Orangevale, CA, set up the Hi-Landers Snack Bar, simply known as the "Snack Bar." The restaurant satisfies the hunger cravings of hungry four wheelers, and part of the proceeds is donated to CA4WDC in their effort to keep trails open. So, it's a win-win, as you'll enjoy amazing cuisine and you'll be helping to keep our trails open.
Sierra Trek 2022 ran from Thursday, August 11th until Sunday, August 14th, and for the past 55 years, has been held at Meadow Lake, in the beautiful Tahoe National Forest, northwest of Truckee.
It's a little past noon on Saturday, August 10, 2022, and the restaurant is in full operation, dishing out great snacks and "comfort food," at the 8000 foot elevation.
Photo: The menu is posted at the counter, and lists the modest selection the restaurant offers. The prices are reasonable, the food is delicious and the staff is super friendly!
Photo: The format is that you make your selection from the menu, place your order with the staff, pay for it, and when your order is ready, your name will be called and you pick your order up from the counter. You pay for your order with "Trek Bucks," which are available at the nearby "Bank." Note this customer is ready to hand over a few purple "bucks," which happen to be worth $1.00 each.
The "Trek Bucks" are like small "Monopoly money," and help the event committee keep track of expenses. You simply give the "Bank" how much money you want to spend and they'll give you the same in "bucks." At the end of the event, if you have some "bucks" unspent, you can redeem them for the same amount of greenbacks at the "Bank."
Photo: The Snack Bar is busy on this early Saturday afternoon, serving delicious diner cuisine to hungry four wheelers.
Photo: My friend Robert is enjoying a hot dog that he had just purchased, and gave me the inspiration to visit the Snack Bar and enjoy one or two of them myself.
I hadn't planned on visiting the Snack Bar, as at the event, I had purchased the option to enjoy daily breakfast and dinner, prepared by Sierra Trek volunteers. But... looking at Robert's hot dog, how could I ever resist?
The Sierra Trek committee prepares delicious food at the event! Check out the fine cuisine I enjoyed last year by clicking on this link. The cuisine at this year's event was nearly identical to last year, and just as delicious!
Photo: "Chili Cheese Fries," which are an order of fries, with optional chili and cheese. The fries, which are deep fried on the grill in back of the restaurant are perhaps the best fries I've ever had the pleasure to enjoy.
Photo: Look who I ran into as I was ordering my burger and fries... friendly Becky, from Old Goats Saloon, located a couple of doors down from the restaurant. Becky is a lady with fine taste, as she smiles, as she shows off her order of "Chili-Cheese Fries," along with an order of "Cheese Nachos."
Photo: As much as I LOVE hot dogs, I decided to begin my "foodie" journey with a "Hamburger," along with an order of "French Fries." Little did I guess that I'd be back for hot dogs, along with a second order of fries just an hour later!
Photo: After picking up my order, I proudly show it off. I really wasn't hungry, as I was waiting for the amazing Saturday night dinner, but after seeing Robert's hot dog, I couldn't resist.
Hi-Landers Snack Bar is located on "Main Street" of the Sierra Trek event, on private property at Meadow Lake, CA. You can see some of the activity that's happening this afternoon, including vendors and a truck show. I didn't spend much of the time taking in the activities of "Main Street," as I was alternating between the fine cuisine of the Snack Bar, and the fine refreshments of the Old Goats Saloon, just a couple doors down.
Photo: The burger and fries arrived "naked" off the grill, but I did pick up a few packages of mustard to "enhance" my burger. Really, the burger was so delicious that it didn't need any "enhancements!" Ditto with the fries.
Photo: From the "Main Course" section of the menu, I went with a "Hamburger," along with an order of "French Fries."
The beef patty was good sized - at least a quarter pound - and grilled to perfection by the talented chef. The meat was tender, juicy, lightly seasoned, and grilled just right. I'd guess the meat was cooked to "medium," as it was grilled on the outside, and tender, juicy with just a hint of "pink" on the inside. The meat rested on a fresh, larger-sized sesame seed bun, with just a small amount of barbecue sauce on the bun to enhance the flavor. The meat-to-bun ratio was perfect.
Except for the small coating of barbecue sauce on the bun, the burger came "bare," but the restaurant provided small packages of mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise for dressing. I squeezed a couple packages of mustard on my hamburger, as I like mustard.
Salad items for the hamburger included sliced red onion, tomato slices and lettuce leaves. All of the "salad" was fresh and delicious, and definitely enhanced the taste of this delicious burger.
The "French Fries" ... or simply... "the fries..." were AMAZING and perhaps the best fries that I have EVER enjoyed in all of my 70 years! The fries were large and "crinkle cut," lightly salted and deep fried to a perfect golden brown on the outside, with a white and tender inside. Simply delicious!
I later found out that these delicious fries were deep fried inside a large, "Texas-style" grill, using charcoal for heat, and oak wood for smoke and taste. The talented chef certainly worked magic with the fries, and later in the day, I came back for seconds.
For the price of $7.00 you simply can't beat the hamburger and fries, as the meal was simply delicious. Consider Sierra Trek is a CA4WDC fundraiser, and a portion of the revenue generated at the snack bar goes to CA4WDC. Not to mention the fact that you're at the 8000-foot elevation in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and you're around 1-1/2 hours from Truckee, the nearest town. Forget your "fast food" cravings and enjoy an amazing burger and fries at Hi- Landers Snack Bar!
Photo: Behind the restaurant, the chef was cooking burgers, dogs and ... surprise! ... he was deep frying "French Fries" on a "Texas style" charcoal grill, with oak wood for seasoning and smoke. The chefs at Hi-Landers Snack Bar have culinary talent!
I have never seen, or even imagined deep frying fries using a charcoal grill, complete with oak wood, for the heat source. I suppose it goes to show you that you learn new things every day. I plan to try this little trick at home one of these days.
Photo: Now I know what made the fries taste so heavenly... the chef deep fried them on the charcoal grill, using oak wood for seasoning and for smoke. The fries were simply a slice of heaven!
Photo: The chefs have taken a burger order off the grill, placed it in a paper basket and will be giving it to the kitchen staff, who will add onion, tomato and lettuce. Burgers are served "naked" with the exception of a light coating of barbecue sauce on one side of the bun, so you can customize your burger to your individual taste.
Photo: Only an hour after enjoying my burger and fries, and after a couple of trips to the Old Goats Saloon, I just HAD to return and order not one, but two hot dogs, along with another order of the amazing fries.
Photo: I'm a happy four wheeler, as I'm ready to enjoy two "Hot Dogs," along with another order of the best "French Fries" in the Sierra Nevada, and perhaps any place else in California.
Photo: From the "Main Course" section of the menu, I went with two "Hot Dogs" along with a side of "French Fries." My friend Robert had raved about the hot dogs, and I simply LOVED the fries I'd enjoyed an hour earlier with my "Hamburger," so instead on simply one dog, I ordered two! I decided to leave calorie counting for the next day...
Each hot dog was a large quarter-pound beef dog, grilled to perfection, complete with grill marks. The meat was placed in a large, fresh bun, with the perfect meat-to-bun ratio. Each bun was lightly toasted on the grill, which always adds to the delicious flavor. One bite into the dog and I was rewarded with a crisp "snap," which is the trademark of natural casing, along with a juicy, flavorful taste sensation. These dogs were wonderful! The dogs came "bare" from the kitchen, but there were packages of mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise for your pleasure, if that's your preference. I did succumb to temptation and added mustard, as a dog is a bit on the dry side, in my opinion, without any additions, and I love mustard. I'm not a kid, so I NEVER ruin a fine hot dog by desecrating it with ketchup!
Like the burgers, Hi-Landers Snack Bar simply "nailed" the meat-to-bun ration with these hot dogs, as it was perfect, and helped to make the hot dogs simply delicious.
The "French Fries," which I found out were deep fried on the smoker were so delicious that I came back for seconds! I've already raved about the fries, and just let it be said that the order that I enjoyed an hour ago was so good that I came back for more. Just for "grins," I did use a little mayonnaise for dipping, but it really wasn't needed. These fries were simply AMAZING!
Photo: I dressed my hot dogs with a couple packages of mustard, as I love mustard on my hot dogs. Note the buns were lightly toasted on the grill for added flavor and presentation. The hot dogs served at Snack Bar were simply amazing!
Photo: My second order of "French Fries," where were probably the best fries that I can ever remember of enjoying. I attribute the amazing taste to the skill of the chef, and the fact they were deep fried using a charcoal-fired grill as the heat source, and oak wood for added flavor and smoke.
On my second order, I used a couple packages of mayonnaise to dip my fries into, but that was purely optional, as the fries were simply stand-alone delicious!
What could be better than to enjoy delicious snacks at one of the premier four wheel drive events in the State of California? The food is delicious, the prices are very reasonable, and the staff is as friendly as it gets. And the fries are perhaps the best fries that I've ever had the pleasure to enjoy...
When you're enjoying all the fun Sierra Trek has to offer, stop by the Hi-Landers Snack Bar and enjoy some amazing mountain cuisine.
Hi-Landers Snack Bar
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