19 Mile House Restaurant
Gush over a slice of cobbler !
Given the isolation of Mount St. Helens, it's understandable that the
surrounding region lacks for notable food finds. You will find one quiet,
good, and highly atmospheric restaurant along Spirit Lake Highway. As its
name indicates, 19 Mile House (9440 Spirit Lake Hwy., Kid Valley;
360-274-8779) lies at the 19 mile point of the road. The rustic, riverside
restaurant is just about a 15-minute drive beyond the Mount St. Helens
Visitor Center at Seaquest State Park, perfect if you're en route to or from
The kitchen turns out tasty chow, the specialty being a daunting tower of
meat called the St. Helens Burger, which comprises a quarter-pound beef
patty, a fried egg, a slab of ham, both Cheddar and Pepper Jack cheese,
a pile of fresh local greens, onions, and tomato, and a special house
sauce. Slightly spicy house-made chips make a perfect accompaniment.
Dessert is the true highlight here - 19 Mile House specializes in fresh
cobblers, with blackberry or strawberry-rhubarb among the delectable
options. You can eat inside the rustic dining room hung with volcano
souvenirs, but in warm weather it's preferable to grab a seat on the
veranda and admire the rushing rapids of the North Fork Toutle River
while trying to imagine the torrential volcanic debris that gushed through
here following Mount St. Helens' eruption.