Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dinner with Black Bart

Black Bart's -Arizona
There were not that many RV parks in Flagstaff, Arizona, and after our Travel Planner researched the available choices, we chose a place called "Black Barts". It wasn't perfect, with reviews of 7, 2, and 6, with a number of questionable areas, but we decided it was the best available.

We noted in the advertisements and in the reviews, that it had a steakhouse restaurant, but the places attached to campgrounds are not usually that good. The reviews on the steakhouse, like the campground were mixed, but after some discussion it was decided to give Black Bart at chance; it was convenient, and we have not had such good luck finding good "local" eateries.

We made a reservation (it was recommended - usually a good sign) for 6:00, and as the girls liked the looks of the attached "saloon", decided to go there to get their "fancy drinks with lots of ice" before dinner.

Checking out the Drink Menu
We arrived at about 5:30 MST, to an empty restaurant. Staff were just setting things up. This was not a good sign. That was when we discovered that Arizona does not follow daylight savings time, so although the state is in the "mountain" time zone, it was actually only 4:30 here. We were greeted nicely and told they would be ready in a few minutes, and the bartender in the saloon was just getting set up. They had no objections to us waiting there.

The girl behind the counter apologized for not being ready, even though it was our fault, and she chatted about local food, weather, and the Grand Canyon as she polished glasses, and filled ice bins. When she was ready (prior to official opening time) she gave advice on drinks, local "craft" beer, and wine. We spent a very pleasant 30 minutes talking to her over our drinks and got more useful information about the area from her than the grin at the Arizona Welcome centre.

In the actual restaurant (we changed our reservation), we were greeted by friendly hostesses and servers, singing as they prepared the tables. We were seated in front of the stage - did I mention there was entertainment? The menu was simple, but there was something there for everyone, and our server said it was no problem to leave the onions off my salad - usually a sign it is freshly made.

Four waiter/singers
As we waited for our meal, the wait staff went up to the stage one at a time and sang to piano accompaniment. The songs were mostly show tunes, and Sharon's singing along told us they were pretty good at this. It really was very entertaining; all the waiters and waitresses, took a turn, and they were all quite talented.

Talented Bartender
I asked one of the young girls waiting on us if singing was part of the job interview, or if they were hired based on ability as a waiter and then told "Oh, did we mention you have to sing every night?". She explained that singing was part of the interview, and many of the staff were from the fine arts programs at the local university.

We noticed that although all the wait staff took part in the entertainment, the bartender we had gotten to know earlier, did not, so we commented on this to our server. Five minutes later out she came, went up to the stage, and sang a song. She stopped on the way back to the saloon, and thanked us for asking for her.

Oh, by the way, our meals were excellent!


  1. I've been busy building a retaining wall (imagine me undertaking a project without your help)and have gotten behind in my "vacation". (This "wall" will look distinctly "Jim's" when completed! HA!!!)
    It's been great fun catching up with you since Hershey. The heat must be incredible. I'd be with the girls (fancy, icy drinks ... if you call Rum&Coke fancy) trying to keep cool and Joyce says she'd probably try a local "light" beer.
    Sounds like you're having a fantastic time.