Monday, May 18, 2015

moab in may: pause for refreshment

There are a decent number of dining options in Moab, in the summer at least as I imagine much of the town puts up its shutters over the winter.  Our first stop is almost always the Moab Brewery, where we had dinner our first night on our recent sojourn.  We walked there from our motel Thursday evening and scored a place on the corner of the bar.  It was busy but not as slammed as we have found it in the past.  For beers, I had a Dead Horse amber ale and H went with the Johnny's American IPA.  I was feeling the need for something green and had an enormous chicken caesar salad that was pretty good; H, who likes burritos, had a burrito.  People came and went, folks chatted with their neighbors at the bar, and things stayed busy but not crowded.

Friday morning we stopped for breakfast at the Moab Diner (Denver omelet for H and a peanut butter English muffin with bacon for me), which continues to confound us by refusing to be open on Sundays.  We got there early enough that there were plenty of tables available, but service was a little slow.  We had gotten some provisions at the grocery store before heading out for our adventures, so lunch consisted of sandwiches, beef jerky and chips at a trailhead - spectacular scenery makes the most banal food delicious.  The weather rolled in as we were leaving the Island in the Sky (Canyonlands NP) plateau and by the time we had gotten back to the motel, cleaned up and started walking in town, it was full-on pouring rain.  We swung by the in-town information center to pick up a guide to identifying local flora and then took shelter at Woody's Tavern for a couple of beers.  It was busier in there than we were used to: both pool tables and the foosball table were in use; plenty of scruffy young desert rats lined the bar; and the band was setting up for the evening's entertainment.

When the rain let up to a mere sprinkle, we hit the sidewalk again, walking back to Millcreek Boulevard to Milt's Stop & Eat.  Established in 1954 (and passing through several owners in the meantime), Milt's is still very popular, cranking out homemade chili, burgers, hand-cut fries and milkshakes.  We got there in time to get a couple of spots at the counter; the tiny place filled up around us and by the time we left, there were swarms of people at the walk-up window, getting to-go shakes despite the recurrence of the rain.  We split an order of fries (and made quick work of them, despite how blisteringly hot they were), and I got a cheeseburger and a small (huge) chocolate malt; H got a "Western BBQ Bacon cheeseburger," laden with grilled onions, bacon, cheese and BBQ sauce, and a chocolate shake.  It was all so delicious and I slurped my malt right to the bottom of the cup.

Mmmmmmmm-Milt's Stop & Eat

Saturday morning we went back to the Moab Diner for breakfast and to the grocery store for lunch provisions.  For dinner that night I had had the foresight to make reservations at Miguel's Baja Grill, remembering getting shut out as a walk-in in prior attempts.  We really like the food there - I got the pork tacos, H had the giant burrito with both red and green chile, and we both had their very good, but tiny, margaritas - but the service is so slow.  It's not that big a place and they had plenty of servers running around - they just need to do less running around and more paying attention, I guess.  Still, we weren't in a hurry to go anywhere so it wasn't that big a deal.

We went to a new (to us) place for breakfast on Sunday: the Wake and Bake Cafe.  We timed it just perfectly too as there was hardly anyone in there when we put in our orders (coffee and bagel with cream cheese and lox for me and a breakfast burrito for H), but by the time we got our food, there was a line out the door.  This is absolutely more of a locals place than the Moab diner: everyone in there was young, skinny and weathered, and I think more than one was wearing pajamas.  The lox made my bagel a little expensive but the breakfast tacos looked good and were quite reasonable - I'll give that a go when we go back.  Lunch was more scrounging out of the cooler between hiking and MTBing, leaving a little to be desired, but we knew we'd be stopping at Ray's Tavern in Green River on our way home.  The joint was pretty busy but we scored seats at the end of the bar where we devoured our cheeseburgers and fries, washing them down with some Uinta Cutthroat pale ales.  We always get sad when we have to leave to go home - but doing so with a bellyful from Ray's makes it all a little easier.

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