Snuggled up against the side of Mount Rainier, Cooper Creek Inn is one of the most famous mountain establishments in Washington. Operating at this location for nearly a hundred years, it started as a gas station. Since the entrance to Mount Rainier Park is about 5 miles further north, it was probably the â€œlast gas.â€
Remodeled years ago, many of the bare bones of that old building are still visible in the dining room. The dining room was crowded when we went, but the service was friendly and the room was cozy. There is a charming gift shop as you enter the restaurant, and a bar at the back. The walls are covered with art and hand-crafted items, and the whole effect is welcoming and relaxing.
We found the menu had medium rates with pie at $5.99 and blue cheese steak at $24.95. We ordered the Deli Sandwich and Fries and the Cod and Chips at $8.99. I ordered cod, but the check said Halibut and Chips priced at $11.99. I wish I had noticed this before we were on the road. We also ordered the blackberry pie at $5.99.
The sandwich and fish were very good. The three pieces of halibut were very tender, breaded with Japanese panko bread crumbs, and had a very crisp coating seasoned delicately with a little salt and pepper. The fries were skinny, crisp, and a big serving came on the plate. The sandwich came on thickly sliced bread. We ordered wheat, with a generous filling of turkey and Swiss, cheddar and American cheeses. Pickles and tomato added tang. Another big serving of fries rounded out the plate. A very nice sandwich for lunch.
We had a good lunch in a nice place, but the problem with the check is troubling. It is possible they would have taken care of everything, but I will never know. Moral here: Always pay attention to what the check says, before you leave the premises.
IF YOU GO
Copper Creek Inn
35707 State Route 706 E. in Ashford
Open year-round. Summer hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Carolyn Augustine, who writes the Senior Eats column for Senior Scene, is a freelance food writer.