AUTHOR: linda TITLE: Whoa Nellie Deli DATE: 10:42:00 PM ----- BODY:

As generic as it looks from Highway 120, the Mobile "Restaurant" was especially recommended for its gourmet food. And since we planned to go through Lee Vining on our way back through Yosemite, we decided to pass up Nicley's to try it.

On the advent of Tioga Pass, we pulled in to park. Past outdoor picnic benches set to gaze upon the nearby majestic Mono Lake, a bustling crowd of hungry drivers clustered in awe around a beautifully illustrated cursive Woah Nellie Deli, and a simple but complete menu drawn on a whiteboard.

Articles by Food Network, Los Angeles Times and Gourmet magazine decorate the hallway to the restrooms. Between jewelry stands, shelves of sundries, and Yosemite-printed treats we ordered barbecue chicken and steak sandwiches and Mammoth Pale Ale at the counter, and were called to pick up the beautiful steaming plates of art a few minutes later.

Inside this unlikely oasis on a remote stretch of Highway 395, we watched Chef and Kansas City Royals fan Matt Toomey serve up lobster taquitos, buffalo meatloaf and tenderloin in an apricot-brandy glaze. It's to die for.

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