Customers rewarded as Mountain Cravings celebrates anniversary
By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY
Takeout food can be both delicious and healthy, especially at Mountain Cravings restaurant in Top Town Crestline, where they feature smoothies, juices, shakes, burgers, hot dogs and more.
Their menu has expanded this past year from the heathy fruit drink bar it began as and added what has been called the best fish and chips dinner on the mountain, burgers, an extensive beef hot dog menu and a selection of Mexican foods and coffee drinks.
Since Maria Martinez purchased the restaurant one year ago, these changes have all been for the better. She has added Beyond plant-based burgers and has received an excellent response from her many returning customers. Mountain Cravings has filled a niche in the community for excellent takeout food worthy of taking home. They do not have indoor seating in the small building, but do have an outdoor picnic area for customers, which is well used during the summer and festivals.
Martinez is celebrating her one-year anniversary of ownership of Mountain Cravings – which took place on Jan. 10 – by having a special price each day on one or more of her food items, all month long. By checking out the “Mountain Cravings Facebook” page, customers will know which food items each day are discounted for this anniversary celebration.
Martinez worked hard to save enough to purchase this restaurant. She spent the last 35 years here on the mountain cooking for many different restaurants, including cooking at the Bear House in the morning and at The Cottage in the evening. In addition, for many years she sold tamales, delivering them out of her car in Blue Jay, while raising her now-adult children, who support her in this venture. This holiday season, she made 1,025 tamales for her customers, selling them by the dozen.
“When I see customers satisfied with their meals, and their reaction with their happiness, it makes me very happy. Then the hard work is all worth it,” said Martinez.
The original smoothies are delicious and many are very healthy with fresh-cut fruits. Their Wild Berry, Fat Burner, Super Green Cleansing, Peachy Blue, Strawberry Spinach, Pina Colada, Energy Breakfast, Strawberry Banana and Tropical Fruit Treat often confuse the customer as to which one to get, since each is a significant size and all are delightful to drink and freshly made when ordered.
They have a great Thrifty ice cream selection and make an excellent banana split with three flavors of ice cream, a selection of chocolate, caramel, strawberry and mango sauce toppings, plus peanuts and whipped cream and a cherry on top. Their ice cream cones and cups are very popular during the summer, and Mountain Cravings’ shakes can be made from any of their ice cream flavors.
Martinez has added many new selections this past year, including chicharrones, fruit bowls on the weekends, jalapeno poppers and elote (a special Mexican style corn on the cob with toppings). Her Taco Tuesday specials feature potato with beef tacos, carne asada street tacos and fish tacos. She has fresh mangos in season.
Mountain Cravings’ fresh coleslaw – which they make of green and purple cabbage, carrots and onions with their own special homemade sauce – is one of the highlights of the restaurant, as is their fresh ranch dressing. They have a special honey fried chicken that has many fans returning frequently to buy.
The all-beef hot dogs are offered with a selection of toppings, from Mexican style, New York style, chili cheese and even an LA dog. Toppings can be mixed and matched.
Mountain Cravings was inspired by the small-town vibe of Crestline. Originally founded back in in October 2020, it survived the COVID closures since it was already a completely takeout food restaurant, with a menu of delicious comfort food, which is sure to have something for the whole family. Many meals are large enough to share.
Yoceline Martinez said of her mother, “She was an amazingly dedicated single mother, who did lots of work, but it was so worth it, bringing stability to our home, and happiness to our mother by giving her pride in her accomplishments. I do believe you must work hard to achieve success in your life.”
“I am pleased to share this first anniversary with my customers. I believe if you work hard enough and dedicate yourself to a goal, such as I did to get this restaurant, your dream can come true. Work hard, believe, and you can achieve your goal,” added Maria Martinez.
Maria Martinez in front of her restaurant, Mountain Cravings, celebrating its first anniversary this month. (Photos by Rhea-Frances Tetley)
Inside Martinez has added side items for meals.
Mountain Cravings new electronic menu board lists the daily specials and its amazingly diverse menu.
An original drink: the Mountain Chino with Caramel from Mountain Cravings.