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49er Cafe: Good & Basic
Gourmet food is not served here but you are certain to find good, basic food and generous portions at reasonable prices. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The restaurants and hotels are run by Xanterra who service some of the National Parks. The food was good and consistent with the restaurants at Yellowstone.
- Road Trip
- National/State Park
Furnace Creek Inn: More upscale
A bit more upscale than the Forty-Niner Cafe with excellent food and higher prices. Great views of the desert if you have a window table. Prices are comparable to the Steakhouse at the Ranch across the road.
They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.
There is a dress code at dinner until 8:30 - no jeans allowed. But we did notice a number of people wearing khaki hiking pants with sneakers. And why not, it's a National Park.
Favorite Dish: I only like to mention food if it's something unique, otherwise who cares if I had a hamburger, etc.
I did try cranberry bread french toast which was very good and not too sweet.
- Road Trip
- National/State Park
Restaurant is located and overlooking the Furance Creek Golf course. There is table seating but if you wish, you don't even have to leave your golf cart. A ramp was constructed for golf carts only where you can place and receive your order.
- National/State Park
Furnace Creek restaurant: Wrangler Steakhouse and "Fine Dining"
This place is Furnace Creek Ranch's answer to the fine dining available at the Inn's dining room. Here you won't find tuexdoed waiters or fine china. Instead, you'll find food which is only slightly less expensive than the Inn and considerably less palatable.
Dinner began with rolls straight out of a Pillsbury container. These were followed by a chicken barbequed to perfect dryness and served with a side of rice made by someone's father's brother who goes by the name of Ben. After those delicacies, coffee is served courtesy of the residence of a guy named Maxwell, cake made not by a French pastry chef, but by an American woman named Ms. Betty Crocker, who teamed up with two guys named Ben and Jerry, who provided the finishing touch of some ice cream.
Its not that the food was really bad, just that it was fairly overpriced. The above collection of American heat n serve and instant favorites, the meal cost nearly $40 with tip. For that price, you can enjoy steak and/or seafood at the Inn.
Favorite Dish: Picking a favorite out of the above is just too hard for me to do. I'll have to go with the dessert as it wasn't tasteless or overcooked.
Furnace Creek Wrangler restaurant: Fish and chips in the desert?
Typical diner with a great menu, considering its in the middle of the desert. Fish and chips was really good and the burger would have fed two! It says its a steakhouse and they do do good steaks as well as ribs, chicken , seafood and soups.
Favorite Dish: Now I live in Spain and am very fond of the ice cold Gazpacho soup in the summer, so when I saw it on the menu and it was 120F outside, I had to go for it! Big mistake!! Evidently gazpacho in California is made the mexican way and this dish of thick tomato squidge nearly blew my brains out it was so chilli hot!! So lesson learnt...when in California...do it the mexican way!
Furnace Creek restaurant: Furnace Creek buffet and coffee shop
The buffet is open for breakfast and lunch and the coffee shop serves all three meals. It is the more casual dining alternative to the "fine dining" listed above.
The buffet opens at 6 a.m., which is a good thing if you're trying to head out early and catch some good photographs in the favorable a.m. light. At $9, it costs about as much as the average Vegas buffet, but with obviously far less selection. I'd call it standard fare with an NPS flare. If you've ever eaten breakfast at an NPS hotel, you were either really hungry or had a really bad meal. Or both. Cold eggs and cheez whiz, cold bacon, funny tasting sausage, stale pancakes (or overly microwaved) and Log Cabin syrup. It was a typical NPS quality meal, but at least reasonably priced, given that its administered by the park service.
Favorite Dish: Once again, I can't decide. I'll have to go with the banana and milk.
Furnace Creek restaurant: Furnace Creek Inn & Ranch
The restaurant at the Furnace Creek Inn is certainly the best restaurant in Death Valley, not that there are many choices. In fact, almost all of the very few restaurants in Death Valley are at the Furnace Creek Inn and its less expensive cousin, Furnace Creek Ranch, which has a 49er Cafe and a Steakhouse. The Inn is much more upscale, and more expensive, but the setting and food are superior. The Inn food is not great for the price, but is good and is the best of the three. It is much better than the Ranch 49er Cafe. All of them are expensive for what you get and I prefer to pay a little more for the better experience at the Inn, especially for breakfast. I also will choose the seakhouse over the cafe and for dinner it will do almost as well as the Inn. At the cafe, the pancakes and bacon are pretty good, but the eggs are simply terrible and other things are uneven. The fried chicken and mashed potatoes at dinner also are not good.
I prefer to stay at the Ranch, because they are run together and are right next to each other but the Ranch is much cheaper and the accommodations are fine. But, since they are more or less together, one can eat at the Inn on the same bill, and the restaurant here really is far superior to what one gets at the Ranch.
Favorite Dish: Varies. At the 49er Cafe, I recommend the pancakes and bacon. I cannot vouch for anything else and the eggs are essentially inedible.
Furnace Creek Inn: Fine Dining
The Furnace Creek Inn, located in the Furnace Creek Village, is open from mid-October to mid-May, and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is the most elegant fine dining experience in the park. With beamed ceilings and an outstanding view across the desert, the atmosphere adds to the enjoyment of the meal. This restaurant has a varied menu and wine list, along with a full bar. You will find unusual dishes and gourmet fare, as well as more common offerings. Such items as rattlesnake and cactus are some of the more unusual items, with shrimp, lamb, and steaks as the more familiar foods. You will be asked to dress in a casual elegant style for dinner. Before 8:30 P.M. no jeans are allowed, however casual cotton slack are accepted. Reservations are usually required, and I recommended that you reserve early, possibly even the day before. We asked about eating in the restaurant in the early afternoon, and the only table available was at 5:00.
Furnace Creek restaurant: Bake an egg on your car's motorhood!
The Furnace Creek Ranch offers a restaurant, but outside is little shop where you can buy the only grown local fruit: dades. The dried ones are deliscious and very refreshing along the road. The dades are grown on the palmtrees that one can see around.
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