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“A Good Family Option”
Review of Grand Depot Cafe

Grand Depot Cafe
Ranked #22 of 70 Restaurants in Williams
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast
Reviewed June 10, 2013

Wow, I'm surprised by the vitriolic (that means hateful) reviews of this place here on tripadvisor! It's a buffet-style restaurant, people! What did you expect?

My family recently bought a multi-night package from the railway which included meals, so we ate two breakfasts and two dinners here, and all were fine experiences. Honestly, the two nights we had dinner here we noticed a difference in the quality of the food. On both nights the salad bar was nice with lots of fresh choices, but on the second night we ate there, the dinner meats were all quite dry and institutional-tasting. The first night, the carving station had nice, tender ham, and the buffet line had a flavorful coq au vin, but on our second night we were disappointed to find the quality of food was inconsistent. Desserts were rather average, and the coffee was weak, which we found to be true in many of the restaurants we visited on this trip. (Surely that's not a western thing?)

Breakfast was good, too, except for the weak coffee. Again, there were plenty of choices and we found the food quality to be quite good. One thing that struck us as odd was that one side of the buffet line is a made-to-order station (eggs in the morning, pasta at dinner). For some reason, the line at this station was always ridiculously long and spilled over to the regular buffet line where access to fully half the buffet was blocked. A simple solution would be those velvet ropes to channel the line so that it wouldn't block half the other serving lines, but maybe that doesn't happen every day (though it happened every time we were there.)

The servers at the cafe, like all the staff we encountered at the hotel, gifts shop, depot, etc., were exceptionally friendly and helpful. If you are any kind of snob at all, I guess you should just avoid buffet restaurants altogether, but our family found this to be a clean, convenient place to get good meals during our trip.

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Thank GeorgiaJaneite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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582 - 586 of 703 reviews

Reviewed June 10, 2013

Our breakfast buffet was overpriced and only slightly better than the complimentary buffet you find at other hotels. The other problem is everyone who is catching the train is eating at the same time you are. The service in the cafe is marginal, at best. I think they know the have the monopoly on "train fare" and most visitors won't be back anyway.

Thank osodoro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2013

Terrible is an understatement when describing this establishment. Where to start?

The Railway's "changes" to to try to make this place better are akin to putting lipstick on a pig. A few years ago the railway changed the name from Max and Thelma's (the former railway owners) to the Grand Depot Cafe. Cafe? Doesn't "cafe" imply an intimate dining experience with a menu available? Nope, not here! Buffet... smorgasbord only. And not even a good one at that.

Last year the railway closed the restaurant for a few months and completely renovated it to include a curved food trough line and stainless steel galore. However, when I recently patronized it last week (foolish, foolish me) the mashed potatoes were ice cold, bread was hard as a rock and the chicken fried steak was dripping oil and grease. They were out of meat at the carving station on a slow night (on a Wednesday evening, mind you).

Why is it that the railway's parent company Zanterra can provide excellent quality food-court style food at the Grand Canyon Lodges, but doesn't come in and close this place down? The food is inedible as others have said. Don't waste your time or money here.

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2  Thank Haregu N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2013

The breakfast meal was nice and the omelet station was great. The dinner meal left something to be desired. The meat at the carving station was dry and cool and the other food was not that warm. The pasta station was the only bright spot of the meal.

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Thank James S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2013

Avoid this one. Food is better in a school cafeteria, and prices are much lower there (even at private schools). Steam table food, emphasis on quantity instead of quality. Just keep walkin', partner.

1  Thank Daniel J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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