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Mon, Dec. 16

Foodie Review: Iron Springs Café will make you forget Prescott is landlocked

Want to have dinner in an old railroad depot? Then come aboard the Iron Springs Café at 1501 Iron Springs Road. Originally the Hillside Depot, it was established in 1894 by the Santa Fe, Prescott and Phoenix Railway. The building was moved to its present location in 1974 and converted to a restaurant.

This quaint little establishment on the west side of town specializes in Southern, Southwestern and Mexican favorites along with burgers, steaks and other mouth-watering delights. They have a decent size menu with appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches and specials. The specials are changed every day. Appetizers range from $3.50 to $13.50. Dinner entrees range from $8.75 to $21.50. Specials can be higher or lower depending on what they are.

Two of the appetizer specials were Crawfish Bisque and Mississippi Mud Mussels. We chose the mussels and what a treat they were! This is an appetizer and there were at least two dozen of them. Small, sweet and tender in a spicy tomato-based sauce served in a huge bowl. They were absolutely delicious and very fresh. They made you forget that Prescott is land locked. We also had a "café" sized Caesar Salad. The café size is supposed to be smaller but this salad was enough for two with just a touch of spice in the dressing, very good.

Our entrees were Green Chili Jack Steak and Southern Fried Tuna Steak. The tuna steak was cooked like a chicken fried steak with Jalapeno Cream Gravy. The tuna was cooked perfectly and the coating provided a nice crunch. The cream gravy was not heavy and had a subtle jalapeno spice to it giving the entire dish great depth of flavor. It was served with slaw and mashed potatoes. A good-sized portion that would not over fill but leave you satisfied. The Green Chili Jack Steak was a 10-ounce tenderloin covered with green chilies and caramelized balsamic onions. The steak was perfectly cooked and very tender, the green chilies giving it great balance.

Some of the other tantalizing specials on the night we were there were Blackened Cat Fish, Grilled Salmon and Halibut Cheeks. You don't see Halibut Cheeks very often, but they are delicious and the most tender meat you'll find on a fish.

There were a few dessert selections: Peach Cobbler, Blueberry Cobbler and Key Lime Cheesecake. We chose the cheesecake and it was excellent. The base was a graham cracker crust with the key lime flavored cheesecake on top and covered with fresh strawberries. The perfect size and a beautiful presentation. We experienced excellent service with an attentive and knowledgeable server.

They have cocktail specials and a nice wine list. Wine prices range from $7.50 to $9 per glass and $30-$36 per bottle, a small but good selection. They have a nice choice of sodas and lemonade, coffee and tea. They are open Wednesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner and Sunday brunch from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Give the Iron Springs Café a try; there is something for everyone and I promise you'll be pleased.

- Archie

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