During our second-to-last week at Pipe Spring, Tom and I took some of our favorite rangers out for dinner on a Saturday night. We decided to move away from our usual “Big Al’s” and went to another Kanab restaurant with great reviews: The Iron Horse Restaurant and Saloon. We don’t eat at saloons very often, but our young rangers like beer, so we thought this would be a good place to try.
From the moment we walked in, I knew I was going to like the Iron Horse. There was plenty of parking outside, and we entered through an adobe arch decorated with a horse sculpture on each side. There were stuffed raccoons playing cards just inside the doorway. An old west facade decorated one side of the courtyard with quirky and kitschy items sprinkled in. We got our picture taken in a giant chair wearing cowboy boots. I took pictures of the rangers posing behind cutouts. Josh “drove” the wagon and team of horses. We admired the stack of antlers and the kachinas.
Iron Horse has a variety of items on the menu, but it doesn’t try to do too much. I ordered a steak and everyone else had some kind of barbecue. The barbecue was a little different because it was served with the sauce already on it. We had sides of mac and cheese, baked beans, fries, and cornbread. The cornbread and mac and cheese were very good. The rest of the food was average but good enough. For dessert Tom and I split a “Belt-buster Brownie.” It was half of a pan of brownies with huge scoops of ice cream and hot fudge sauce on top. Delicious! The brownie was fresh and fudgy.
We enjoyed the Iron Horse so much with the rangers that we took Johnny and Val there when they visited the next week. Johnny and Val have been our traveling companions the last two summers and we really missed them this year. They stopped by Pipe Spring on their way back to Texas from Yellowstone where they worked all summer.
Our second meal at Iron Horse was better than the first because we knew what foods to avoid. I had a different steak and Tom had a burger instead of barbecue. Val got a big salad and Johnny also had a steak. All our food was delicious and cooked just right. There was live music and the singer was very good – he sounded like Glen Campbell. Maybe a little loud, but it was Friday night. The four of us split a Belt-buster Brownie, which was just as good the second time.
Poor Johnny didn’t enjoy the restaurant as much as the rest of us. He was horribly allergic to something in the restaurant. First his eyes watered, then he started sneezing. He went to the restroom to wash his face, but it started again as soon as he sat down. He soldiered on, however, and didn’t let the allergy ruin his evening. I don’t know what set him off, but I hope he can avoid it in the future.
I’m not sure if I have wonderful memories of Iron Horse because the food was so good or because the company was so good. We had a great time there with our rangers and with Johnny and Val. I would recommend the restaurant to anyone visiting Kanab, and hope they had as good a time there as we did.