Whispering Canyon Cafe, inside the Wilderness Lodge, has a vegetarian item on the menu for lunch and dinner that’s easily veganized by leaving off the yogurt sauce.
Skillet-Fired Red Quinoa Cakes with Edamame Salsa, and Organic Greens.
This is a well-balanced, filling, nicely paired dish that feels like a complete meal. There are 4 delicious and good-sized quinoa cakes to the order, along with a good portion of salad with a fantastically light vinaigrette. The edamame salsa is more of a succotash, in my opinion, served with corn, and is not spicy at all–it was also light and fresh.
We started with the Flash Fried Navajo Bread (minus the honey). It was incredible. Like a savory, thin doughnut. A definite highlight and excellent appetizer. The bread itself is free of animal products (if you order it without the honey topping); however, it is fried in a shared fryer (and so are the french fries).
We also got sides of green beans and potatoes. They were unremarkable and relatively bland. The Quinoa Cakes were really enough food, and the sides unimpressive, so I’d stick to just the Cakes (and bread) next time.
For dessert, they offer Tofutti, Rice Dream, and raspberry sorbet.
The restaurant is open to the grand, rustic lobby. With the majestic setting of the hotel (and not to mention the prices on the menu), I was expecting a more upscale experience. However, Whispering Canyon is about as opposite of upscale (and “whispering”) as you can get. They have guests literally yell out for their ketchup until the last table who had the ketchup (usually the children) bring all the bottles over. It’s a bit of a hoot, but certainly not a relaxing or date-night place.
You put a coaster on your table to denote how rowdy you want things to get… but our “Watch From the Fence” coaster didn’t help too much. :p
However, their veg dish was inspired, so I’d definitely go back.