a gem in the high desert. After road trip foods such as fast food and gas station snacks on our way to Capital Reef National Park it was a wonderful surprise to enjoy real made-from-scratch fresh food at Cafe Diablo. Don't let the jeans/T-shirt exterior fool you, the dishes are worthy of being photographed for a gourmet magazine! We ordered the ribs and the black bean empanadas- a tower (no exaggeration) of meaty juicy ribs for my husband and a plate of lovely empanadas for me arrived. We split our entrees to each get to try both dishes - we both thoroughly enjoyed both of the meals. Before we ordered a couple at the table next to us had told us to leave plenty of room for dessert. After our generous entrees we almost were too full... almost. Luckily, we are professional eaters who know how to make room when it counts. ;) Their Bombe flourless chocolate cake was like a giant truffle of rich chocolate heaven! Make sure to have it with a cup of specialty coffee. At the end of our meal, we took a moment to just relax and take in the lovely vistas of the surrounding scenery. We highly recommend making a stop here to treat yourself to a unique juxtaposition of casual festive ambiance and food that would be at home in the most elite NYC restaurant. Also, make sure to note the garden - we found out that they grow a lot of their own ingredients right on site!
If this is the best place to eat in southern UT, pretty low standards there.
Concur with recent reviews. We tried this based on a local's recommendation and read that this was worth every minute of the drive from Salt Lake City.
On the outside, looked like a nice, casual dining atmosphere. But the service and menu revealed otherwise. Brusque treatment by wait staff. Nothing on menu <$25, While the one page menu and prices weren't expected from the reviews and outward appearance....I'm from KC, and used to spending $25-30 for a great tasting meal, occasionally without a lot of atmosphere.
If you value food presentation, maybe this is the place for you. Pretty puddles of purees, beautiful curls of radish and beets. Crunchy wafers of plantains, grated potatoes. Ribs were wound in a pretty crown arrangment, with piped sweet potato, but were tasteless, tough, grist-ly. Tenderloin was a circle of small medallions (maybe 4 ounces) of chewy, cool steak around a tower of potatoes. Salmon was ok, but barely a 4 ounce serving, and side dishes wanting. Left hungry and $96 lighter for a threesome, no wine, no dessert.
Can't say I really found a great place to eat in 5 days between Moab and Richfield, But Cafe Diablo wasn't good...at any price.
Innovative Entrees with a Southwestern Flair. This may be the most interesting and innovative restaurant in Utah outside of Salt Lake City and is worth a special trip if you?re anywhere in the neighborhood. Though the menu hasn?t changed much since we first ate there four or five years ago, there are enough creative dishes, all with a southwestern flair, to keep one coming back on a regular basis, and each is accompanied by wonderful and often surprising sides that beautifully complement the entree. Presentations are the kind that draw "ahhs" from first-time diners and almost make you reluctant to lift a fork. End your meal with a selection of their cooling, velvety homemade ice creams in a changing variety of unexpected flavors. Our only complaint: we often pass through the region outside of the cafe?s limited season and must settle for an ordinary meal.
Not all it's hyped to be.. We tried this based on a guidebook recommendation while on vacation in Oct.2007. Definitely the worst meal of the whole 2 weeks. When asked to leave peppers out of menu item due to a severe allergy, the staff pretty much told me "sorry, that's how he makes it." So I had to pick a "shrimp kabob" as the least deadly item from a very limited menu. And it was dry,flavorless and way too rubbery. My husband chose a "steak" item. Being from Texas, we have certain expectations of steak. This turned out to be six half dollar sized slices of meat in a puddle of sauce with some sort of Easter bonnet looking veggie decoration (unedible) on top. For $29. Staff seemed to base service on customer's designer label. And in addition to an incredible noise level in general, we were seated next to the guitarist, making any conversation impossible. We ate in silence, which -considering the quality of the food- took 5 minutes, paid our $65 tab (for 2) and left. I tossed the guide book in the nearest trash bin. Save your money, there is better food under the heating lamps at the local convenience store.
Overrated - Overpriced for Average Food. This is probably the most over-hyped restaurant I have attended. There is no way a Mexican meal should cost a family of (4) $100. The entres are $20-25 each. In Torrey, Utah, not NYC. If you don't care what a meal cost, then go for it but it is average food.
A taste of fine dining in Southern Utah..
The three-hour drive from Salt Lake City to Torrey's Cafe Diablo is worth every mile. Located just past the "Welcome to Torrey" sign, heading south toward Capitol Reef National Park, the setting is magnificent.
As you zero in on the well-kept herb and flower gardens and unassuming building that houses Jane and Gary Pankow's modest-looking restaurant, it becomes clear that this rural dining spot offers more than an unforgettable setting.
The menu and ambience at Cafe Diablo (named after nearby Diablo Creek) combine a rare sense of no-holds-barred fun with a professional's discerning palate and sense of balance.
The menu has veered upscale, adding smoked duck confit with empanadas, seared vegetables and sun-dried cranberry salsa ($18.95). They've replaced nachos with a crawfish quesadilla, complete with mild, melted queso blanco and a black-bean and corn salsa ($6.95), and the stuffed poblano pepper ($6.95) sports an inspired roasted red pepper and honey sauce. They did keep their novel appetizer of "free range" rattlesnake cakes ($6.95).
It's tough to make a decision among the 11 regular menu entrees, but if you love ribs, there's no questionyou've got to try Pankow's version ($17.95). He serves a lip-smacking, trencherman's portion of both baby-back and country-style pork ribs on one big plate with sweet potato fries and a mound of beans.
Pankow's fresh trout ($16.95) is outstanding. He gives it a crunchy pumpkin-seed crust and drizzles it with a lively cilantro and lime sauce. The accompanying rice pancakes are a supremely savory twist on potato pancakes. Vegetarians, and indeed anyone who loves polenta, will flip for the polenta lasagna ($13.95). Rich, creamy with ricotta cheese, and layered with perfectly grilled vegetables, it's a winner. Painted chicken ($15.95
Cafe Diablo. We drive hundreds of miles out of our way or even make a special trip to Utah from S. California for just one meal at this unique little cafe. The food is fresh and wonderful. Nothing in L.A. or Palm Springs can compare.