Chez Axel – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Chez Axel and its familiar Eiffel Tower rooftop

“Another Land of Enchantment.” That’s how the menu at Chez Axel describes the Provence region in France. No one who’s ever traveled through the region and luxuriated in a café crème at a sidewalk café on a leisurely Sunday morning would ever dispute that the region is as enchanting as any in the world.  It truly is a soiree for the senses, especially for those who believe food is art and that it can restore not only the body, but the heart and soul.

For freshness of ingredients, there is no region in France more renowned than the Provence region in southern France. The cuisine raised in this verdant, sun-drenched region has earned the nickname “la cuisine du soleil” or “the cuisine of the sun” a tribute to freshness and quality.  The produce in Provence perfumes the Mediterranean air where it competes with the wafting bouquet of lavender, oleander and olives.  Is it any wonder French cafés associate their freshest cuisine with this food-lover’s paradise?

The colorful and romantic interior of Chez Axel

High aspirations have been meeting consistently good execution at Chez Axel since it launched in 1996.  Owner-chef Stefan Springer is not the founding owner, but he’s raised the bar so much that in 2010, he was named Chef of the Year by the New Mexico Restaurant Association.  This award is accorded to an outstanding chef in recognition of excellent cuisine and excellent service.  Chef Springer was cited not only for his culinary skills, but for his civic-mindedness.  An organization he founded to keep at-risk students in school provides clothing, school supplies and other necessities.  Albuquerque can use more chefs like this. 

We can use more French restaurants like Chez Axel.  Interestingly, the restaurant’s exterior edifice does not have a Provencal theme.  Instead, its most conspicuous feature is a replica of the Eiffel Tower on the roof.  At night the Tower is illuminated, a beacon to lead hungry diners to a terrific menu of excellent cuisine in a colorful and romantic ambiance.  Each table is draped with white linen table cloths and red napkins folded into wine glasses.  Bottles of wine are displayed on floor level racks and on shelves above eye-level.  Service is personable and attentive.

French bread with herbed butter

The menu showcases French cuisine at an affordable price point, especially for lunch when you can have a two-item lunch combination meal for under ten dollars.  That combination features you choice of two items from a list of soups, salads, quiches and crepes.  You can also opt for entrees the type of which Julia Child herself might have featured had she operated a restaurant–Chicken Provencal, Beef Bourguignon, Cassoulet, Shrimp Provencal and Trout Almondine.  

The dinner menu shines even more brightly with an appetizer menu which includes Snails a l’Aixoise and frog legs as well as salads and soups.  A pageful of meat offerings is even more luminescent.  All meats come from the Adkins Ranch whose animals are “naturally raised” and are guaranteed high in protein, vitamins and minerals and low in fat and cholesterol.  All seafood (sole, trout, salmon, shrimp and scallops) come from Whole Food Market.   The desserts are made on the premises and are guaranteed absolutely delicious.

Tomatoes / mozzarella salad - Lettuce, basil, olive oil, croutons.

A basket of thinly sliced French bread and herbed butter arrives at your table shortly after you’ve placed your order.  The exterior is crusty while the insides are soft.  It’s a bit of a challenge to spread the cold butter, but once you do, it’s a bigger challenge not to eat two or more baskets full of the staff of life.  You’ll want to save a slice or two to dredge up the soup or an entree in which a magnificent entree with rich, delicious broth is showcased.

Culinary history is rife with examples of “rags to riches” foods–items writers often refer to as “peasant foods” by virtue of their humble, economically borne origins which rise to the level of sought after gourmet favorites.  One such food is French onion soup which is, at its essence, simply onions, a scrap of old bread, grated cheese and veal stock. Chez Axel’s French onion soup is amazing–a brown-and-tan crock brimming with thick, stringy cheese bubbling on top; perfectly caramelized onions; croutons softened by a rich, delicious beef broth; and the herbaceous hint of parsley, basil and bay leaf.  This is one of the most fragrant and delicious French onion soups in Albuquerque.

My favorite French Onion Soup in Albuquerque

Julia Child once said, “When beef stew is in the oven, all’s right with the world, and Beef Bouruignon is the best beef stew known to man.”   She loved this stew so much that in her first episode of The French Chef in 1963, that’s what she prepared.  Because of the time and care required to prepare it correctly, Julia’s recipe for this hearty stew may have been filed away in a recipe book, but it wasn’t endeavored often save for by the most intrepid of cooks.  It wasn’t until after the movie Julie and Julia that the home cook began to attempt it. 

Chez Axel’s rendition of Beef Bourguignon has that deep, rich flavor made possible only when it is carefully prepared in a slow and loving manner and with excellent ingredients and good wine.  It’s a version which might even be better the next day when the flavors have melded even more fully.  It’s a deep, rich flavor combining slowly braised, fork-tender beef with a very good wine and fresh, perfectly prepared carrots.  The entree is served with two sides, chef’s discretion.  Count your blessings if it’s the peppery snap pea pods and the buttery long-grained rice.

Beef Bourguignon a l'orange: pieces of beef loin sautéed in olive oil with garlic, herbs, orange zest, carrot, onion & grilled mushrooms, stewed in red wine

In the process of making cooking a national pastime (back in the days before most women entered the workforce), Julia Child introduced the American television audience to quiche in the early 1960s.  Two decades later, an American author named Bruce Feirstein wrote a best-selling book called Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche which lampooned masculine stereotypes.  Men who were all too conscious of fashion and who followed all the trends were referred to as “quiche eaters.” 

My friend Señor Plata is one man confident enough in his masculinity to admit his love for quiche, especially if it’s nearly as good as the  mushroom and spinach quiche at Chez Axel.  The base for this quiche is a light, delicate and flaky crust that would be the envy of any blue-ribbon award-winning pie.  Atop that fabulous crust is more than an inch of fluffy eggs topped with mushrooms and spinach under a blanket of molten Gruyere cheese.  All quiche should be this good. 

Mushroom and spinach quiche with carrots

Julia Child wrote in The French Chef Cookbook that cassoulet can be prepared in one day, but “two or even three days of leisurely on-and-off cooking makes it easier.”  In his Les Halles Cookbook, celebrity travel host Anthony Bourdain was more definitive, calling for three days of preparation time.  One thing is for certain–if you want to prepare a cassoulet dish, you should have the patience of a saint.  Kate Hopkins, who writes as The Accidental Hedonist, puts it best: “you have to want to make this dish, as it is an all day affair. A person doesn’t casually make a cassoulet. This dish is best made with an obsessive desire.” 

Said to date back to the Hundred Years’ War during the 14th century, history and legend tell of a communal dish so hearty, it revitalized war-weary soldiers who promptly dispatched the invading forces.  As with French onion soup, cassoulet is an archetypal peasant dish–an earthy, rich, slow-cooked casserole of beans, meat and herbs meant to be shared.  Chef Springer’s version is made with pork, lamb, bacon, tomato, garlic, herbs and white beans.  It is absolutely the perfect dish for a blustery winter day when its comforting qualities embrace you in a soul-warming embrace.  The pork, lamb and bacon penetrate deeply to flavor the broth with fat, flavor and utter deliciousness.

Cassoulet - Pork, lamb, bacon, tomato, garlic, herbs, beans stew

Even as the captivating voice of Edith Piaf resonates over the restaurant’s sound system with Les Trois Cloches, Chez Axel seems woefully out-of-place in the timeworn shopping center that houses an international menagerie of restaurants in Ho Ho Chinese, Viet Q and Wings N Things.  It frankly would be a better fit for the countryside in Provence.  Duke City gourmets are thankful it’s here and not there.

Chez Axel Restaurant
6209 Montgomery, N.E.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Web Site
LATEST VISIT: 25 November 2011
1st VISIT:  28 October 2011
COST: $$
BEST BET: Beef Bourguignon, Mushroom and Spinach Quiche, French Onion Soup, Cassoulet

Chez Axel on Urbanspoon

Cafe Dalat – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Cafe Dalat, one of Albuquerque's very best restaurants of any genre.

Cafe Dalat, one of Albuquerque’s very best restaurants of any genre.

Da Lat is one of Vietnam’s most well known vacation destinations, serving since the turn of the century as the vacation spot for affluent Vietnamese and foreigners. Considered the unofficial honeymoon Mecca of Vietnam, it is located on the greater Central highlands of Vietnam and at 1500 meters (~4920 feet) above sea level is one of the few cities in Vietnam surrounded by pine trees, just like James Nguyen’s adopted home of Albuquerque.

That’s one reason James named his latest restaurant venture after the beautiful city of Da Lat. James opened Cafe Dalat on Sunday, August 31st, 2003 after nearly ten months away from the Duke City dining scene. Formerly the proprietor of May Hong, he has brought with him all the great recipes from May Hong and added some 15 or so other great entrees and appetizers, including some dim sum. His wife, in fact, returned to Vietnam for several months before Cafe Dalat’s launch to learn dim sum from a dim sum master.  Every year James travels to California, the progenitor of new trends in Vietnamese cuisine, to see if there are any new dishes or trends he can bring back to Albuquerque.

Proprietor James Nguyen with a plate of lime beef

Proprietor James Nguyen with a plate of lime beef

Alas, Cafe Dalat isn’t nearly big enough to serve an extensive dim sum menu, but it is certainly one classy restaurant and has surpassed May Hong and Saigon as my highest rated Vietnamese in the city and one of my highest rated in New Mexico in any genre. It’s easily on par (maybe even better) than Cyclo, a nationally regarded Vietnamese restaurant in Chandler, Arizona and it’s better than many of the Vietnamese restaurants I frequented in the San Jose area.  In 2004, Weekly Alibi readers selected Cafe Dalat as the very best Vietnamese restaurant in Albuquerque. Two years later, it earned a four-star rating from the Albuquerque Journal’s luminous restaurant critic Andrea Lin.  Competition is increasingly formidable, but Cafe Dalat continues to outshine its competition.

Since James launched Cafe Dalat on Central Avenue, several other Vietnamese restaurants have sprung up across the city. In fact, the Duke City area (including Rio Rancho) now has more than two dozen Vietnamese restaurants, most serving very good to outstanding food. Curiosity-seekers will try the other Vietnamese restaurants and some will spread their business around to the ones considered worthy of their appetites, but invariably when you ask them which is the city’s very best, it’s Cafe Dalat that comes immediately to mind for most of them.

Banh Mi, the outstanding Vietnamese sandwich!

Banh Mi, the outstanding Vietnamese sandwich!

There are many reasons–not the least of which are James and his lovely wife–that Cafe Dalat gets the nod over formidable competition. For one thing, it’s probably the most striking Vietnamese restaurant in the city thanks to James’s complete refurbishment of the drab, dingy remnants of the previous tenant, the Little Saigon restaurant.  Attractive upscale touches, a competitive wine list; rich, dark woods and subdued lighting add those subtle touches of class and ambiance to which most restaurants aspire. Not even the acid etched graffiti on an east-facing window detract from the restaurant’s panache.

Then there’s the menu. Eighteen different appetizers (not to mention five additional tofu and vegetarian appetizers), four cup-sized soups and fifteen different swimming-pool sized bowls of pho and stew–and that’s just the first page of the menu. Just trying to narrow your dining choices is a tremendous challenge.  The really great thing about Cafe Dalat is that you can’t go wrong no matter what you order. You may not like (make that love) some items as much as you’ll like others, but there’s probably nothing on the menu you won’t dislike.

Shrimp in Bacon: jumbo shrimp wrapped in fried bacon and topped with crushed peanuts

Okay, maybe you’ll dislike the durian shake, made from what is considered the stinkiest fruit in the world. Most Americans consider durian malodorous and they might be right. It’s an acquired taste, one of which I’m proud to boast I have. Even if you don’t like durian shakes, there are other rich, creamy and fruity cold concoctions on the menu–strawberry shakes, jackfruit shakes, fresh coconut juice, the incomparable Vietnamese lime aid and even an avocado shake (like sweet guacamole you ingest with a straw).

19 November 2011: The appetizer line-up is like a “who’s who” of the very best Vietnamese appetizers ever assembled all in one menu. If you love spring rolls or egg rolls, Cafe Dalat’s are among the very best in the city, but even better are other appetizer alternatives, including some interesting starters you might not associate with Vietnamese cuisine.  One example is the shrimp in bacon, called Mariscos Costa Azul in Mexican mariscos restaurants where they’re served.  Cafe Dalat’s rendition is topped with crushed peanuts and served with fish sauce.  Bacon with anything makes for a great combination.  You’ll love these.

Luscious lime beef!

Luscious lime beef!

16 June 2007: The lime beef is fabulous! Nearly carpaccio thin slices of seared steak are blanketed with refreshing mint and cilantro and crushed peanuts as well as grilled onion and invigorating spices. This is an appetizer for which it’s okay to use your fingers to use the razor-thin steak as a scooping device for the complementary ingredients. Provided with the lime beef is a bowl of nuoc cham, the quintessential Vietnamese condiment based on fish sauce. Cafe Dalat’s nuoc cham is among the very best in Albuquerque, but that’s a common theme.

16 June 2007: Best in the city honors (at least among the Vietnamese restaurants that don’t specialize on banh mi) might also be accorded to the Banh Mi Thit (pictured above), popularly known as a Vietnamese sandwich and described on the menu as a hoagie. Banh mi is a Vietnamese word for bread and indeed, the French inspired baguette on which this sandwich is crafted, is worthy of adulation. At Cafe Dalat, the Banh Mi Thit is engorged with small slices of pickled carrots, daikon, cilantro, jalapenos, soy sauce, black pepper, onions and your choice of meat: barbecue pork, grilled pork, grilled beef, grilled chicken or ground beef. No matter what your meat selection, you’ll enjoy the contrasting and complementary sweet, savory, piquant and tangy flavors as well as the textures.

Baked rice cake

Baked rice cake

1 December 2007: One of the things that may surprise you about Cafe Dalat is that something with a simple name hold an adventure in complex flavors and deliciousness. Take the rice cake for example. Anyone who’s been in a diet is familiar with the tasteless cakes of puffed rice. Cafe Dalat’s baked rice cake (pictured above) features a shrimp enrobed in a yellowish pastry made from a mixture of flour, coconut milk and basil. It is meant to be wrapped in lettuce and dunked in fish sauce and is even better than it looks.

19 November 2011: Even on a sweltering summer day, it’s nearly impossible for me to pass up Cafe Dalat’s spicy beef stew, my very favorite soup anywhere in Albuquerque. It’s like an aromatic elixir, one sip of which instantly cures whatever ails me. This soup is brimming with flavor and served steaming in a swimming pool sized bowl. It’s flavored with fifteen different spices, giving it a piquant, spicy and savory taste. It also receives a slight tang from pineapple chunks. Its savory flavor is derived from thinly sliced eye round and beef brisket. The round rice noodle is thick and always perfectly prepared.

Banana Beef Stew

Banana Beef Stew

1 December 2007: For sheer comfort, however, the restaurant’s best stew is probably the banana beef stew (pictured above) which contrary to its name has nothing to do with fruit. This stew is made with banana shank, a boneless cut of beef with a lining of fat for flavor. It is simmered slowly in a five-spice broth and served with your choice of rice or egg noodle or vermicelli or bread. The bread is warm, yeasty baguettes perfect for sopping up the flavorful broth. This stew truly has properties that uplift the soul. 

16 June 2007: Mothers everywhere will tell you there’s nothing better than a steaming bowl of chicken noodle soup when you’re under the weather.  Vietnamese mothers and chefs make the very best chicken noodle soups anywhere.    One of the very best on Dalat’s menu is a pho brimming with wontons filled with ground pork, barbecue pork and a thin egg noodle swimming in a chicken broth along with onions and scallions. The paper-thin wrapping skins are barely resilient enough not to fall apart in the steaming broth, but when you do break into them you’re rewarded with a delicious ground pork seasoned with anise.  The broth is rich and luxurious, so good it might make you wish you were ailing.

Grilled beef over patter noodles

16 June 2007: Over the years we’ve sampled just about every entree James has offered either at May Hong or at Cafe Dalat, but he’ll occasionally surprise us with something new. A 2007 addition to his novel-sized menu is an eggplant and pork entree (pictured below). This entree is constructed with sliced eggplant and ground pork stir fried in a sauce that seems to be equal parts tangy, spicy and sweet, a combination that only the most skillful cooks are able to consistently get absolutely right. Cafe Dalat gets it right!  Eggplant, in particular, is one of those items which if made incorrectly can leave an inky and bitter aftertaste.  Dalat’s rendition is tender, each slice absorbing the flavors of the sauce.

Ask James if his restaurant serves the type of food served in Vietnam and he’ll openly tell you he serves the type of food only the affluent can afford in his native country. It’s the type of food served in restaurants most citizens can’t afford to visit.  Like most Vietnamese families, the Nguyen family diet consisted mostly of vegetables, fish and bread. James fondly remembers the catfish pond and vegetable garden in his family’s back yard and to this day prefers the simplicity of a limited diet to American extravagance. It’s not, however, as though a fish and vegetable diet ever became mundane. Vietnamese cooks are very inventive and became experts in the use of flavorful sauces, many of which have made their way to his restaurant.

New to the menu: eggplant and ground pork

New to the menu: eggplant and ground pork

4 October 2011: One such example is the catfish in ginger sauce, a whole catfish which is perfectly prepared–crispy on the outside and lovingly tender on the inside. A slightly piquant but mostly sweet ginger sauce the color of Day-Glo glazes the catfish. The fish itself is bony and caution must be exercised when you eat it, but it’s so good, you’ll work around the bones and pick off ever bit of the flaky, tender and delicious fish. This is an inspired entree!

1 December 2007: So, too, is Cafe Dalat’s rendition of cube steak (pictured below), as delicious a beef entry as I’ve had at any Vietnamese restaurant anywhere. It’s better, in fact, than many a prime steak I’ve had. Cubes of eye of round steak are marinated in a sublime mix of lime and spices then stir-fried to an unbelievably tenderness and served with stir-fried green pepper and caramelized onions.

Caramel Catfish

1 May 2015: One person’s bizarre is another person’s delicacy. In April, 2015, Albuquerque’s NewsCastic outlet  published a list of “13 bizarre things on ABQ menus.” Among the baker’s dozen was the caramel catfish at Cafe Dalat.  While not taking umbrage with the categorization of caramel catfish as “bizarre,” owner James Nguyen confirmed that the dish is absolutely beloved by Vietnamese people and that it’s usually paired with sour soup.  What’s not to love?  This is a terrific dish.  Now, if you’ve got visions of candy caramel enrobed catfish, you’re in for a surprise.  After sugar has been caramelized, fish sauce is added and the concoction is stirred until the sugar is completely dissolved.  Shallots, chili and ginger are then folded in.  The result is a rather thin and very intriguing sauce with powerful flavors, perhaps the least obvious being sweetness.  This is a caramel sauce unlike what you might imagine.

19 November 2011: American tastes which lean toward grilled meats will quickly become enamored of Cafe Dalat’s grilled pork in which pork is marinated with the sweet spices of anise and cinnamon to create an olfactory treasure that dances on your taste buds. One of the best ways to have it is with patter noodles which don’t really seem to be noodles at all. In fact, they seem to be more like a one large rice noodle sheet in a cheesecloth pattern. The grilled pork is topped with crushed peanuts and scallions. It’s traditional to wrap the pork first in patter noodles then in lettuce leafs with cilantro, julienned carrots, daikon, ribbons of cucumber, bean sprouts and fresh mint leaves inside. These lettuce wraps are then dipped in Cafe Dalat’s pleasantly piquant fish sauce. If freshness has a flavor, it’s something like this dish.

Cafe Dalat's rendition of cube steak

Cafe Dalat’s rendition of cube steak

All dishes at Cafe Dalat are attractively presented with a diversity of colors and forms. Plating is almost an art form and this restaurant has a penchant for eye-pleasing arrangements. Everything on your plate is where it should be for optimum harmony and appearance. The balance of color, texture and appearance gives diners pause to reflect on how great everything looks. It tastes even better!

Other Vietnamese restaurants may come and go, but Cafe Dalat will stand the test of time because it consistently prepares and serves the very best Vietnamese cuisine in Albuquerque.

5615 Central, N.E.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
(505) 266-5559
Web Site

LATEST VISIT: 1 May 2014
COST: $$
BEST BET: Spicy Beef Soup, Catfish in Ginger Sauce, Grilled Pork with Patter Noodle, Banana Beef Stew, Rice Cake, Cube Steak, Caramel Catfish

Café Da Lat on Urbanspoon

Roadkill Cafe – Seligman, Arizona

The famous Roadkill Cafe on Route 66 in Seligman, Arizona (Elevation 5,280)

 I had my dinner yesterday
In a place they call the Roadkill Cafe
They serve their dishes full of tricks
Scraped off Highway 66.
From the Roadkill Cafe menu

The legality of gathering and consuming roadkill varies from state to state.  In Tennessee, gathering and consuming flattened fauna (save for domestic pets) is not only perfectly legal, it made for great comedic fodder when Volunteer State native Al Gore ran for the Presidency.  In Maine, the police have to tag the furry Frisbees before you can take them home to cook it, while in Wyoming, the tagging is done by a game warden.  Only if you have a scientific collecting permit and plan to study it can you pick up roadkill in California.   Arizona state laws not only prohibit gathering and consuming roadkill, jurisprudence specifically prohibits the hunting of camels. 

States in which roadkill is legal would envy the menu at Seligman, Arizona’s famous Roadkill Cafe on Route 66.  The menu includes such flattened food and car-crashed carrion as “Rack of Raccoon,” “Long Gone Fawn,” “Rigor Mortis Tortoise,” and “The Chicken That Almost Crossed the Road.”  Political correctness doesn’t spare the child either.  The children’s menu includes “Donald Forgot to Duck,” “Poached Bambi Burger,” “Barney Con Carne” and “Rocky the Low Flying Squirrel.”  The restaurant’s motto is “You Kill It, We Grill It.”

The interior of the Roadkill Cafe

The many species of wildlife–among them mule deer, elk, antelope, javalina, turkey, rabbit, mountain lion, coyote, fox, prairie dog, bobcat and black-footed ferret–which call the Seligman area home obviously can’t read the Roadkill Cafe’s menu or they might have relocated.  Many of the illiterate among them hang on the walls of the OK Saloon on the back of the restaurant, the handiwork of a taxidermist.  Still, it’s precisely because of the presence of wildlife in its natural habitat that Seligman is a very popular destination for hunters and photographers. 

Situated about halfway between Flagstaff and Kingman, Seligman calls itself the “birthplace of historic Route 66” (though Springfield, Missouri would dispute that claim).  At 5,250 feet in elevation, it has one of the few remaining Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad stations as well as a Harvey House.  Aside from mounted wildlife, the OK Saloon is a veritable museum with antiques from the area’s Old West heritage.  Located immediately outside the saloon is the old Arizona Territorial jail which once confined several unscrupulous scofflaws.  Adjacent to the jail are Old West storefronts which have had several cameos in commercials and documentaries.

Charbroiled Cheeseburger with Fries

The Roadkill Cafe is replete with roadside kitsch–and not of the dead animal variety (though there are several mounted animal heads on the walls).  The walls and ceiling are paneled in rustic woods resonating a pronounced Western or Old West theme.  Farm implements, animal traps, frying pans, pots, tools and sundry bric-a-brac serve as decorative touches.  There’s something to see everywhere you turn, but perhaps the most catchy kitsch is the menu which will bring a snicker to all but vegetarians and animal rights activists. 

The simple thing to do would be to order the all-you-can-eat soup and salad bar which will set you back a pittance and enthrall you with a nice variety of ingredients, toppings and dressings.  Beverages are served on quart-sized Mason jars and are refreshed faithfully.  The coffee is served on thick ceramic mugs and is hot and delicious.  You can easily tell the tourists from the locals.  The tourists are the ones with the cameras flashing and the locals are the ones who walk in and sit down without waiting to be escorted to their tables.  Both tourists and locals are welcomed as guests.

"The Chicken that almost crossed the road" - Fried Chicken with Seasoned Texas Fries and Cottage Cheese

The charbroiled cheeseburger (whose roadkill sobriquet escapes me) is one of the more popular items on the menu, perhaps because no matter what it’s called on the menu, it’s bound to be good.  That’s the magic of charbroiling.  Not only does it make the entire restaurant smell as if you’re cooking out-of-doors, it leaves a nice crusty bark on the outer edges of the burger no matter the degree of doneness.  The Cafe’s burger features a thick beef patty of about eight ounces topped with a slice of melted American cheese.  Pickles, tomatoes, onions and lettuce are plated on the side and there’s mustard and ketchup on the table.   A charbroiled buffalo burger is also available. 

Lame jokes about the chicken that crossed the road have been told for years.  We now know about the chicken that didn’t make it across that road.  It’s on the Roadkill Cafe’s menu where it’s listed as the “chicken that almost crossed the road.”   It’s a good thing it didn’t make it all the way across.  The Cafe’s fried chicken is delicious with a crispy golden crust that sheathes a juicy leg, thigh and wing.  The crust isn’t greasy as chain restaurant chicken tends to be.  Served with two sides of your choice, you’ll be well advised to order the seasoned Texas fries which are cut from baking potatoes.

Pecan pie and Pumpkin pie

The menu features a number of pies, not made on the premises but quite good.  The pecan pie and pumpkin pie are fresh and tasty with a thick, buttery and flaky crust.  Both go very well with the restaurant’s coffee. 

Seligman is the quintessential Old West frontier town which has parlayed its Route 66 heritage into a popular travel–and perhaps dining–destination.  The Roadkill Cafe is one of several reputedly excellent restaurants in the town.  It’s become our preference for a meal on the way to or from Las Vegas.

Roadkill Cafe
502 West Highway 66
Seligman, Arizona
Web Site
LATEST VISIT: 12 November 2011
COST: $$
BEST BET: Fried Chicken, Cheeseburger, Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie

Roadkill Cafe & OK Saloon on Urbanspoon

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