(Originally Published 7 Feb 2013)
I rolled into Kanab having just spent over a month in Las Vegas. The terrain had changed from tans and browns and desert scrub to red soils and towers of red sandstone, etching clouds in the sky. The weather was still chilled, but the sun shone through the cold winds and warmed one from the inside.
I have a few tasks to do while I’m here, but very minimal so most of my time has been left to exploring the back roads in my small rental car. This is a beautiful area, with amazing cliffs of red sandstone and open fields of desert scrub and small trees. There are also the occasional herd of horses or cows meandering about.
In town, I was told I might like a small restaurant called “The Rocking V”. It’s a rustic little space in southwest decor. The walls are stucco painted vibrant colors of tan-orange, reds and purples, staples of southwest. In areas the stucco has been removed in a torn out, aged fashion revealing the old brickwork of the building behind it. The adobe fireplace uses propane now, but it still radiates heat during these cold winter months. The tables and chairs have a handmade feel to them, and there are seat cushions and upholstery done in the styles of southwestern Native American art. Above the dining area is a small art gallery with local artists work in photography, paintings, stone art, carving, metal art, jewelry and ceramics. The Pieces are interesting and show different aspects of life in the southwest and the lives of the local residents. Most of the pieces are also for sale.
For me, being sick with UC (See home page), food has always been something I both loved and feared. I had to fear certain foods that I knew would cause flare ups, and had to worry about what foods that I hadn’t tried might do. I loved the flavors of food though, and seeing it displayed on a plate with a full palette of colors and flavors was always something that I enjoyed. As time went on, though, and my sickness progressed, I found myself liking food less each passing meal. I also began to fall into habits, eating the same things day in and day out. At restaurants, the wait staff knew what I would order before coming to my table. I generally ate “the usual” at each place I frequented. When I was in a flare up it became much worse. I couldn’t eat normal food. A bland diet for me consisted of toast, crackers and baby food. Anything else would cause extreme pain and suffering for the day. So for me, a big part of these adventures will be to experience new foods and find that love of it all again. For that reason I wanted to tell you about two dished I had while eating at the Rocking V so far.
As of writing this I have eaten there twice and enjoyed it both times. The first time I had a Kanab-a-dab-a-doo burger. An silly name, but a serious burger. The ½ pound patty was perfectly cooked and seasoned. On top was avocados and tomato, beneath was thick slices of ham, flame broiled like the burger. The whole thing was juicy and delicious. For sides there was seasoned fries and one of the best home-style macaroni and cheese dishes I’ve ever had. I used to never care for much fanfare on my burgers, but I have discovered that I absolutely love avocado on my burgers and sandwiches. I wish I’d found this out earlier in life but I am glad that I know it now.
The next time, I went in for lunch and had the Pioneer Chicken. It was a chicken fried chicken breast served on top of a big slice of Texas toast. The whole thing was smothered in a cream sauce that had bacon onions and a secret blend of spices. It was just spicy enough to give it a pop and a kick, but not upset my sensitive system. On top was diced green and red pepper and corn. The chicken was perfectly cooked, and the sauce gave just enough flavor to warm it up, but not over power it. The toast soaked up the sauce and was another meal unto itself. This is an example of something that I would never have tried while I was still sick. The description on the menu is well written but it was still vague as to what made it the “pioneer” chicken, something that would have made me, before my surgery and recovery, shied away for fear of something that was too spicy or that had corn on it (As this did) which was my number one arch nemesis while I was still sick. Luckily now I can and do try to branch out when I can and in this case the limited spicy pop this sauce had was just what I needed and wasn’t enough to cause me any issues, as spice is really my only major food concern any more.
They also have an assortment of desert items, like this banana bread-pudding with a caramel and Kahlua sauce drizzled over it and a daub of whipped cream on top. It was delicious without being too rich or decadent, and would be amazing a la mode, as the hot drizzled sauce would counter well to the coldness of a big scoop of vanilla.
I thoroughly enjoyed dining at the Rocking V. The staff were friendly and helpful, the atmosphere was quiet and relaxing, and it seems like a perfect place to have a take in a quiet evening dining out.
My adventures in Southern Utah / Northern Arizona continue for another 10 days! I will be visiting a few places around the area and reporting back. Please enjoy these pictures and take care! Please feel free to contact me if you are in the area and want to meet up for coffee and talk or play music or shoot some photos! Media.rettke@Gmail.com Also please tell your friends about the website and follow me on Facebook.com/tysworldtrek and on Twitter: #VERAQURETTKE