I mentioned this restaurant in my review of the Furnace Creek Ranch Resort so if you read that some of this will be redundant. You should note that there are 2 other restaurants at the Ranch, one is Wrangler Steak House and the other is The 19 Hole - neither of which did we try.
As the name implies, this is a cafe style sit down restaurant. The ambiance is very nice. Has a rustic charm not found in chain places. The staff is pleasant and for the most part attentive.
So, let's get to the heart of the matter. Xanterra (who runs all the concessions at Furnace Creek as well as some other parks such as Mesa Verde) knows they have you captive. After hiking all over Death Valley all day you're not likely to drive 40 miles each way to a non Xanterra restaurant (or 25 miles to Stovepipe Wells which although not Xanterra is not much better). This translates into not much motivation to do things better.
Now, let's get to some examples. We had breakfast here to mornings and dinner one night. The breakfast was really quite reasonable. It's not what I would call a full menu but the do have most of the normal "american comfort food" things one would expect. Not a huge variety but certainly something for everyone. The breakfast prices are a tad high, but not totally outrageous. An omelette with two main add-on's is $10.25. Two eggs any style is $9.95 as is a stack of pancakes. For breakfast this pretty much matched our expectations of having a decent selection at moderately inflated prices.
Ok, so let's talk dinner. The dinner menu was very sparse. I guess they'd prefer you went next door to the more expensive steak house. We found the menu quite limited. I just checked on-line and the menu on their web site seems to have more offerings than I recall seeing on the physical menu when we were there. As I recall, they only had one hamburger type item, one chicken type item, etc. My wife was interested in the chicken (which is not currently on their web site menu). She asked the waitress about it and was told it was 3 pieces. When asked what pieces she was told "3 random pieces" and there was not assurance that ANY of them would be a breast. So, for example, they could give you 2 wings and a drum stick and call that dinner. So instead she ordered a steak. It was cooked well but not a very good piece of meat. Of the meager offerings, the only thing that was at all interesting as my general fall back item of a hamburger. The menu stated that it came on a "Pretzel bun" whatever that is. However, upon asking I was able to get it on a regular bun. It was, well, a hamburger - not much more, not much less.
All of the items on the menu, IMHO, were way over the top price wise. Way more than they should be, even in Death Valley. Come on folks, Las Vegas is only 2 hours away. It's not like the middle of arctic tundra. It can't cost them that much to bring stuff from Vegas. And, restaurants in Beatty, also 2 miles from Vegas (most of which are the same 2 mile) is not so overpriced.
So, bottom line: Breakfast - not bad, overpriced but within expectations of overpricing
Dinner - Lousy selection, poorly managed, and way overpriced
If you found this information useful in your decision making process, you gleaned information you may not otherwise have discovered, or you just enjoyed reading it and appreciate the time I put into writing it, please give me a "helpful" vote. You’re welcome to contact me through danhartfordphoto dot com (where you can see photos of my travels) or through the “Ask Caifdan69 about .........” button at the bottom of this review