Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Skull Valley Cafe is back!

Glad tidings -- the Skull Valley Cafe reopened five weeks ago. All dolled up western style, which is a hair on the hokey side; after all, it was a plain pipe racks operation all those years under Helen and Dick when my LH and I breakfasted there almost everyday.

But, hey! I can certainly live with such details as painted cracks and hasps just to have this welcome little out-of-the-way restaurant open again!

There's still a counter plus the small tables. And a side order of B&G for only 99 cents, as well as a much more expansive menu than in the G.O.D. (Good Old Days).

A real innovation is this patio, already occupied on a warm February day.

The decor includes pictures of Skull Valley in older days; the paintings of the store and the pre-upgraded gas station are by one of my favorite local artists, Linne Thomas, who chronicles the remains of an earlier time hereabouts.

The cafe's bulletin board continues to be news central for the countryside.

The real theme, however, is the Santa Fe railroad which still passes through Skull Valley on its run between Phoenix and the main line up north. And, yes, trains still park on the siding so that engineers and other railroaders can grab a bite to eat. Just as I remember from the 80s.

Sunday's customers looked as though they came from all over. In the old days, local cowboys and ranchers, scruffy miners from the Copper Basin, and bikers riding the back roads up from the Valley of Death were the primary customers. When an out-of-the-area Rancher entered, Helen always made a point of introducing him to any other Baron who might be present. And the mid-morning and after-lunch gossip was great! Hope it still is. I'll be back next time I get a ride down Iron Springs Road.

Words & Graffiti: If wordplay is your thing, have a look at Urban Dictionary, DoubleTongued and/or Wordlust. New Scientist, of all places, was where I discovered these sites that deal with the latest slang, lingo -- and made-up words. And if your normally staid exterior hides an inner biker, go over to Hoarded Ordinaries for pictures of a long block in Cambridge MA where street artists and graffiti types own the wall.

19 comments:

worldphotos2 said...

Look like a good place for some eats. I like the name.

Warren said...

Great pics! I'll have to check out this place sometime when I'm in the area. Thanks for the word links.

Anonymous said...

Yea! Another option for breakfast! When we drive up from Wickenburg to visit family in PV, we've stopped in Yarnell for morning eats. (Great little cafe there; forget the name.)

Glad the Skull Valley Cafe hasn't been chi-chi-fied. Luv the "Waitress Crossing" sign! ~Anon in AV.

TomboCheck said...

I remember going there as a wee little kid with my dad! I'll have to pop over there one of these weekends and check it out. :)

quilteddogs said...

Biscuits & Gravy for $.99. I'm there!

I have a couple of Linne Thomas' prints that I bought at the Co-op. I like her work.

Granny J said...

steve -- I always said that if I were going to sell anything western by mail order, I'd make a point of getting a postal address in Skull Valley.

warren -- so -- do you play Scrabble, too?

anon AV -- Are you talking about the Ranch House in Yarnell? Or is the Buzzard's Roost open again?

Hey, Tombo -- do stop by; I'm doing what I can to keep the place open so that all's well in my world.

QD -- and it was a female person's helping -- not a steak plateful like they serve up in Chino at the Iron Horse (good, tho).

sheoflittlebrain said...

Great to know that little piece of history will be around awhile longer!
I wasn't familiar with Linne Thomas, but am already adding a couple of her prints to my wish list:)

Granny J said...

brain -- I love Linne's work, esp those showing the evenly spaced junipers out Perkinsville way. She's always got a display up at the Prescott Arts Coop on Whisky Row.

Anonymous said...

In Yarnell, it's the little cafe in the old Cavalry building. It's on the driver's side of the road when driving toward Peeple's Valley. The owner is a retired ad agency exec from Newport Beach, CA. You order on the left side, and dine on the right side. It's one story, and there are small rental apartments on the left side of the building. ~Anon in AV.

Ray Smith said...

I've eaten a lot of meals with my Grandfather at that place. Grew up in Bagdad and he had a place out in the middle of the -U- Ranch that we'd go up to. Fond memories there.

Ray

Granny J said...

anon av -- I'm not familiar with that place. When the LH & I were going on daily outings, the place to eat in Yarnell was the Ranch House.

Ray -- which reminds me that Sissy Walker and the various Christofersons were regulars at the cafe...

Avus said...

You will have to explain what a "B & G" side order is, please Granny

Avus said...

Ah! Just seen it in another reply - "Biscuits and Gravy" - that's a new one on me. Not available here in England.

Granny J said...

avus -- it's a countrified breakfast item for folks that work hard in the outdoors. A white gravy made from sausage fat, with chunks of breakfast sausage crumbled up in it. Served on baking powder biscuits. The B&G belt starts about 150 miles outside of Chicago and extends west, ending, I would presume, just before one enters the Left Coast. Funny -- I worked for years on the premier restaurant/foodservice trade magazine and in all those years, NEVER ONCE heard of biscuits & gravy, tho the sson and all his army buddies knew where the best B&G could be found.

Anonymous said...

We loved your coments about the little Skull valley cafe, and decided to check it out, on our way out from Sandiego. You are right, it was full of character, and a hoot to visit. The food was excellent too.

Jimbo Riley

Granny J said...

jimbo -- glad to hear that the cafe is 1)still in business and 2) serving up good chow.

molly said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! What a wonderful blog you have done for my adorable cafe in the middle of nowhere! My name is Molly and I own the Skull Valley Cafe. I opened in January and am having a glorious time! One small correction: the side of biscuit and gravy (b&g) is actually $1.99...still worth it!
GrannyJ, please introduce yourself next time you're in...I'd love to meet you! Thanks, again, for the wonderful advertising. I can't tell you how much I appreciate the kind words and the beautiful photos.

Granny J said...

Thank you, Molly, for dropping by! I'll certainly take you up on the invitation!

NoBrakes said...

Great Avocado Omelet!

 
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