Sunday, September 1, 2013

Gotta have Fry Bread at Goulding's.

Goulding’s Stagecoach Dining Room

1000 Main St
Oljato-Monument Valley, UT 84536

(435) 727-3231


Recently I was in Monument Valley, on a group tour, and it included Goulding's (dining room, lodge, museum, supermarket, RV park, campgrounds, and much, much more); I'm going to concentrate on the Dining Room.  The guide explained that the building first started out as a movie prop when John Ford began making movies down in Monument Valley.  It then became the mess hall for the movie crews; the cook would prepare the food, ring the bell (still displayed out front) and everyone would come in and eat family style.  When tourists began staying at the Lodge, they would eat there; but the Health Department visited one day and stated it was unsafe.  The Gouldings tore down the old building and rebuilt a more modern structure with windows that look out upon Monument Valley.  Current management of the Dining Room is Scott and Alexa Laws who have years of restaurant experience under their belts; no wonder the place is clean, the servers and greeters polite and knowledgeable, and the food is great.

After being seated at a booth or table, you'll notice that each table includes a beautiful Native American jug for the water.  There are menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner; we were there to enjoy lunch and, most especially, fry bread.  Fry Bread is an unleavened bread that is slightly crispy on the outside and pillow soft on the inside.  Alone, as a side, or with toppings, it is a "cannot miss out on this" item when visiting the Southwest.

My husband had the Patty Melt which he stated was almost...almost, as good as mine.  The marbled bread was toasted nicely, the burger was thick and perfectly cooked, melted cheese and onions.  The only difference is that it had less cheese and onions than I put on, and he could live with that.  The fries were crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside with the usual Utah fry sauce served on the side.

Now Goulding's best seller is the Navajo Taco and I could see why from the platters served to other nearby diners. However, when I spied the Rez Bah' on the menu, I knew I had to try it out; it is huge by the way.  A choice of roast beef, ham, grilled chicken breast or 2 hamburger patties on fry bread with roasted green chilies, tomato, lettuce and onion; extra fry sauce for a condiment.  This had to be one of the best sandwiches I've ever experienced; the fry bread was perfect, absolutely perfect (it's still on my mind!).  The heat of the chilies, sweet of the tomato and crunch of the lettuce enhanced the flavor of the chicken.  The fry sauce was unnecessary, and I took out the raw onion as it detracted from the other flavors.  My hubby though enjoyed the onion on it; he ate the other half of it later on and hid the empty box, so I wouldn't know...I knew.

Whether you're staying at the Goulding's Lodge, touring Monument Valley or just passing through; when you're hungry, satisfy that hunger at the Stagecoach Dining Room.

Mary Cokenour

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