Seligman, AZ., is a classic Route 66-era town, located on one of the longest stretches of the orginal right-of-way of historic Route 66. Naturally, when you travel Route 66, you'll be wanting to enjoy classic diner fare, and when you're in Seligman, you can't find better cuisine than at Roadkill Caf.
Photo: Roadkill Caf
Photo: After you leave I-40, and travel west on Historic Route 66, there are a series of signs, which convey a safety message in a very humorous fashion. The signs are placed about 100 yards apart, and each contains part of the message, which is a poem, and rhymes, just like classic literature. This series of signs really got me laughing, and it's located just outside of Seligman. It reads as follows: "If hugging on the highway... Is your sport... Trade in your car... For a davenport." I laughed about that message all the way to Las Vegas!
Photo: Roadkill Caf
Photo: I love the "rustic names" of the menu choices. This is a portion of the breakfast menu highlighting my choice of breakfast today: "Guess that Mess," which is Roadkill Caf
Photo: I could not resist snapping this classic photo, which includes the classic menu, coffee, and artfully stacked creamer.
Photo: Roadkill Caf
Photo: What could be more classic than mounted animal trophies and a Route 66 neon clock?
Photo: Roadkill Caf
Photo: Such a slow, lazy Sunday morning! As my breakfast is being prepared, the staff just stood around, chit-chatting, and not doing much of anything. There wasn't any need to sweep the floors or bus the tables, as the dining room was squeaky clean.
Photo: My friendly server, Kendra, brings out my "Guess that Mess" breakfast, along with my order of toast. More on the breakfast in a later photo.
Photo: Oh yes, I know what my "mess" is, as friendly Kendra snaps my photo. Roadkill Caf
Photo: My breakfast of "Guess that Mess." It's not a "mess," as it's absolutely delicious! The "mess" is served in an iron skillet and starts with a base of home fries, with sausage, two eggs cooked the way to specify - over easy, in my case - and topped with sausage gravy. Of course the meal includes your choice of toast, in my case, as always, sourdough. Before placing my breakfast on the table, Kendra asked me if I wanted a side of gravy, at no extra charge, and I said "Heck yes!" Folks, that's service!
If you're a "roadie," a history buff, a fan of historic Route 66, of if you've ever read John Steinbeck's great novel The Grapes of Wrath, then a visit to Seligman, Arizona should be entered into your trip planner. Seligman is the eastern anchor of the longest, continuous surviving section of Route 66, and is truly a place where you'll want to visit. Like every other activity, visiting a historic 1950's style town can build up an appetite, and when you're visiting Seligman, I recommend that you stop at the Roadkill Cafe, on the western edge of town.
Let's turn back to pages of time to Sunday, January 14, 2007, which was our first visit to Seligman, and Roadkill Cafe...
Left: Roadkill is easy to find, at the west end of Seligman, along historic Route 66. Right: Beth prepares napkins, and allows me to snap her photo. Note the rustic decour of the restaurant. As an added bonus, there is a concom dispensing machine in the men's restroom. I'm not sure if that's an added attaction or if it has significance...
Sure, like most of Seligman, Roadkill Cafe is a magnet for tourists, as many tourists flock to Seligman, but the tourist aspect is only paint-deep, as the restaurant caters to local tastes and features the cuisine of a northern Arizona roadhouse. In addition to a very fine restaurant, Roadkill has a bar that really caters to the locals, and anybody with a taste for beer and fine mixed drinks. The bar is patronized by friendly locals, and sports a sign at the entrance that reads, "Welcome hunters." When you see a sign that's worded as such, you know you've hit pay dirt!
Sharlene and I were visiting Laughlin, Nevada with our friends Jerry and Edna, and I suggested that we pay Roadkill a visit, as Jerry and I are both huge fans of local restaurants, and are, at heart, wannabee "roadies," so it seemed logical to pay a visit to Seligman. Roadkill Cafe serves food that is made from local ingredients, so you're not getting some institutional slop that's distributed to many of the national chains. Anyway, with a motto that reads "You kill it and we grill it," how could you pass up a restaurant like Road Kill?
Photos: Roadkill Cafe's kitchen is plainly visible and offers a look into the way the folks prepare the fine meals. I love a restaurant that featues an open kitchen, which is another reason to dine at Roadkill Cafe.
As you walk into Roadkill Cafe's large dining room, you'll notice that the decor is uniquely western, as there are mounted heads of animals, such as deer and antelope on the walls, and the ceiling is paneled in rustic cedar. Frying pans, pots, animal traps and tools hang from the ceiling and posters line the wall, many of them attesting to the fact that this is a 1950's Route 66 roadhouse. I would not categorize the decor as "roadhouse," but I would call it rustic, western, or northern Arizona, and if I had to describe it in a word, I'd say delightful.
We were greeted by a friendly waitress named Beth, who is a 9-year veteran employee of the Roadkill Cafe, who seated us at a very rustic table, and produced menus. As we made our choices from the menus, we couldn't help to notice the wagon that sits in the middle of the restaurant, loaded with bottles of condiments the restaurant sells, and the cashier's station, where Roadkill T-shirts are sold. After we made our menu choices, Jerry and I wandered around the place, taking photos of the very open kitchen, a HUGE plus for kitchen fanatics, as Jerry and I are, and chit-chatting with the locals at the rustic bar. Jerry likes to collect match books of places where he's been, and Roadkill's bar only offers plain match books. As Jerry remarked to me that he wished Road Kill had custom match books, a friendly bar patron offered to autograph a match book for him. Now that's friendly!
Left: A look at the dining room of Roadkill Cafe, where the wagon loaded with condiments can be seen near the left-center of the photo. Right: Edna helps herself to the salad bar. The soup kettle is to her right, just in front of the window to Route 66.
Roadkill Cafe's menu features an all-you-can-eat soup and salad bar for $6.95, which sounded good to Jerry, Edna and I. Sharlene opted for the French Dip sandwich and fries for only $7.95, which proved to be an excellent choice. All of us ordered the all-you-can-drink Pepsi at $1.79, which was served in a 1-quart mason jar, with ice scooped from a nearby ice chest; a nice, rustic touch. Roadkill's menu is quite varied, and offers something for everyone, but we just couldn't pass on the all-you-can-eat soup and salad bar, as it sounded good on a cold January 14, 2007 afternoon, where the outside temperature was in the upper 20's.
As soon as we'd ordered our lunch, and Beth had brought our drinks, she invited us to have a round at the soup and salad bar. The salad bar isn't fancy, but its good, and the choices are fresh, plentiful, and free of water that seems to plague many lesser salad bars. Salad choice include such ingredients as lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, beets, carrot slices, baby corn, broccoli, onion slices, celery slices, grated cheese, potato salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw, and the usual assortment of salad dressings that you'd expect to see. On the side, condiments include croutons, soda crackers, sunflower seeds, bacon bits and olive oil. The soup bar features the soup-of-the-day, which varies from day to day, but on this Sunday afternoon, the featured soup was creamed broccoli. Yummmm!
Photo: My delicious meal of all-you-can-eat soup and salad. Yummmm! Note the mason jar of Pepsi to the left; that's how soft drinks are served at the Roadkill Cafe in Seligman, Arizona.
Sharlene's French Dip sandwich arrived on a plate that included a mountain of homestyle fries, deep fried crispy, but not too salty or greasy. Yummmm! I had the honor to finish off her sandwich, as she never seems to be able to finish her meal, and I can attest that the sandwich was good, as the meat was cooked perfectly, and not dried out, as per the norm at many roadhouse restaurants. As an aside, the dip was good!
Left: Beth brings us more food! Not the upright piano in the background and the toy car that proudly display the motto: "You kill it, and we grill it!" My kind of place... Right: Beth takes a photo of Jerry, the author, Sharlene and Edna, as we enjoy our lunch.
Left: A peek inside the friendly bar, which features mounted animals, rustic decour and very friendly people. Right: A smiling Beth takes our cash, as we pay for our fabulous meal.
Roadkill Cafe is a fun and friendly place to eat, that serves good food at reasonable prices. It caters to tourists, but the locals dine at the cafe, so you know that it's good. When you're visiting historic Seligman, Arizona, you can't pass up a visit to Roadkill Cafe. Be sure to say a big "hello" to friendly Beth. Roadkill Cafe is highly recommended by both Jerry and the author...
It's classic, it's chintzy, but the food is good, there is plenty of it, the staff is friendly, and the atmosphere is priceless. Roadkill Caf is a must-visit when you're motoring Route 66, and visiting Seligman, AZ. Oh yes, as a matter of fact, if you love mainline railroading, Seligman is a railfan's paradise. Click on the hyperlink for a visit to raifanning in the Seligman area.
Roadkill Caf502 W. Hwy. 66
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