Eating in Torrey, Utah

When Mo and I traveled through Torrey in 2007, we discovered a great restaurant just across the street from our RV Campground west of town.  Cafe Diablo boasts “southwestern cuisine”, and the first time we went there, it was a quiet place, fairly new, and nearly empty.  Our meal was a fabulous treat, completely unexpected in a place like Torrey, and we were excited about eating there again on this trip.

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Cafe Diablo is open seven days a week, and since we wanted to eat in the patio, I called for reservations just after five.  Even that early, on a Sunday night, the place filled up before we even placed our order.  The gardens were gorgeous, the menu was filled with fabulous creations, and the wine list was huge. 

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A special treat included complimentary tapas, fresh vegetables from the garden, marinated in various delectable flavors, presented beautifully.  As the evening wore on, however, and the place filled to capacity, our server was too busy with larger tables of four to pay attention to us. 

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Our meal took forever to arrive, behind other diners who arrived much later than we did. When it did arrive, it was great, actually a fascinating piece of edible art, but then again, we were ignored for much too long. Considering the price range for entrees, we did expect better service.  It took more than an hour to get our after dinner coffee, and when Mo asked for the check, the waitress basically ignored her. 

We had looked forward to this particular dinner, so were pretty disappointed with the service.  We won’t go back.

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In contrast, another place in Torrey, just a half mile or so down the road, is the Capital Reef Inn and Cafe.  I first found this place in the early 90’s, and always manage to stop in at least once when I am in Capital Reef.  There is a small motel adjacent to the restaurant, and beautiful stone paved gardens filled with native and non native plants.  The small store in the restaurant has canyon stuff, including maps, guidebooks, tee shirts and sweat shirts, the usual, but it is all so much fun to look through.  In the dining room is a large mural of red canyons, and my favorite little treat is a display of dozens of vials of various colored sands collected from throughout canyon country.

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What makes all this even more worthwhile is the fabulous, fresh, healthy tasty food, all at completely reasonable prices.  I have had breakfast and lunch at this great inn, and last night I wished I had tried dinner there as well! The service was fast and efficient, and usually friendly. 

There are other restaurants cropping up in Torrey, and some smaller establishments associated with newer hotels are appearing. But for me, the Capital Reef Inn is the perfect compliment to my time in Torrey.

September 26 Blanding to Torrey, the scenic route

The rest of the photos for this day are linked here>

Blanding to Torrey (8) After gassing up in Blanding, to the tune of 3.09 per gallon, our route led us across one of the most scenic roads in America.  Highway 95 crosses the great canyons of the Colorado River dropping to Lake Powell at Hite Crossing, and rising again on the east side of the Henry Mountains to Hanksville, Utah.  We took our time, stopping along the way for photos, and I cooked breakfast for us while we parked in a wide spot at a canyon trailhead.  Again, one of my favorite parts of MoHo travel, the ability to stop and rest, or cook, or eat, just about anywhere we want to do so.

I first drove this road on a wintry February day after traveling to Santa Fe in 1991 alone in my little red Ranger.  I fell in love with Canyon Country then and have loved it ever since.  In 1993 I spent six days in a small paddleboat with five other women and two river guides rafting Cataract Canyon of the Colorado River. 

Blanding to Torrey (29)Today we crossed Hite Bridge at Lake Powell and I remembered how it felt to see that bridge rise up into view after so many days in the canyons. It was where we put out and then flew back to Moab in less than 30 minutes.  It was a trip of a lifetime.  I stood above Hite today, and thought again with amazement about John Wesley Powell, who adventured through these wild unknown canyons in a wooden dory, all the way to the Gulf of California.

Blanding to Torrey (48)It was a perfect day and a gorgeous drive, and after leaving Hanksville on route 24 we stopped along the Fremont River in Capital Reef National Park so that Abby could go for a swim.  The park was busy with fall visitors, and we decided to bypass the visitor center altogether and go directly to our campsite at the Sand Creek RV Campground. 

Sand Creek is an unassuming little place, a bit tattered, but the proprietress is a sweetheart and had saved number 11 for us.  We are at the end of the park, with nothing to obstruct our view of the red mountains north of us except a bit of debris and some old ramshackle outbuildings.  Twenty bucks with full hookups and the quiet and privacy make this a better choice for us than the fancy and more crowded Ten Thousand Lakes RV Resort just half a mile down the road.

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