We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Hang onto your wallet and don't expect much selection”

Forty-Niner Cafe at the Furnace Creek Ranch
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch
Reviewed March 24, 2014

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

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Califdan69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (948)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

471 - 475 of 948 reviews

Reviewed March 24, 2014

We ate at the Forty-Niner twice on our recent trip to Death Valley. In the morning, the food, service and everything was great.

We came back for supper and were told that it would be a 30-minute wait. No big deal, in part because there aren't really any other options. The wait was actually 45 minutes. Once we were seated and ordered, it took another 30 minutes or more for our food to appear.

The wait staff were very kind and considerate, and apologetic for the slow kitchen. When we arrived after our wait, I heard the gentleman in front of us remark to the hostess and his children that he was the one who normally cooked their meals. The hostess' response was that if he was a decent cook, then they could sure use him in the kitchen. I didn't think about this comment until we were waiting so long for our food. I don't blame the wait staff or the kitchen staff - this problem rests with Xanterra's HR department and administration - you need more people in the kitchen.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank IlluminataPhoto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2014

From the moment I stepped into this place I was welcomed, seated, and served with good beer and food. They seem used to meeting the needs of many travelers so all was accomplished with ease.

Thank Mary B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2014

We knew going into a remote location, we would be a captive audience with our choice of dining or even breakfast for that matter. We were somewhat surprised that the 49'er Cafe actually met our needs realizing we were going to pay more and were at the mercy to what was available. The staff was friendly and actually quite busy at times as they waited on everyone there. We ate six meals to include three dinners and three breakfasts. The dinners were good and the food tasty. We figured it would be the standard fare of steak, fish, pork and pasta with mashed potatoes or vegetables. We were not disappointed. The breakfasts were okay as well as we ordered egg and bacon, oatmeal, or more a continental English muffin or toast. Of course the prices were higher than what you would normally pay for, but again, we had to consider where we were. In sum, I am glad there is a nearby restaurant to meet our needs for breakfast and dinner. The service was fine and the food average.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Budrock9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2014

The buffet was decent enough, although why our group of 12 was told we could not sit in the empty half of the restaurant rather than filling the half-full side - which meant other people had to sit there anyway! - was odd. And the restrooms were not the cleanest, especially since many alternatives for the day were going to be Park Service pit toilets!

Thank jih1269
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Forty-Niner Cafe at the Furnace Creek Ranch also viewed

 
Death Valley National Park, CA
Death Valley National Park, CA
 

Been to Forty-Niner Cafe at the Furnace Creek Ranch? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing