What’s remarkable about the Mining Camp Restaurant? Just about everything. The first thing that strikes you will be the spectacular view of the Superstitions to the east and the fine view of Mesa and Apache Junction, especially at night.
Notice the old wagons and mining equipment in the front, which makes a good backdrop for family pictures. Also an old wood water tank. One time there was a prospector lady who showed us how to pan for gold in front of the tank!
Then when you go into the door look around the gift shop because it has treasures like frog noisemakers, scorpion paper weights, and all kinds of unique desert gifts and books.
The restaurant website says kids 4 & under get to eat free. And yes, this place is very kid friendly.
Get your meal tickets at the gift shop. If you are lucky you can sometimes find discount coupons in the Arizona Republic.
You will then be escorted to a long picnic style table made out of heavy pine planks with all sorts of memorabilia embedded into the wood finish. Seating is on benches and you eat on tin plates and cups just like the miners.
Don’t go to the restaurant unless you are very hungry. They serve monster trays of camp food and keep on bringing them out until you say “whoa!”
They have one menu and it’s all you can eat. You'll love the barbecue beef ribs and roast chicken with stuffing and gravy, roast beef or ham depending on the day.
The bread (fluffy white bread and raisin bread) comes with lots of butter and cactus jelly. The red cactus jelly sort of tastes like strawberries and is worth a try.
Add a hot steaming iron kettle of the best baked beans you ever tasted!
Last year we tried out one of the dinner shows. You get the same great food with various music artists. The best part is how close you get to sit in front of them.
If you want to check out the coming artists and prices, here's their schedule: http://www.miningcamprestaurant.com/ourshows/
Then if you want to try something else besides the mining camp style feeds, go to the Dutchman's Hideout Mesquite Steakhouse. It's in the same building just a different room. Here's the website for prices, hours and menu: http://www.miningcamprestaurant.com/home/
Go east on the Superstition Fwy (the 60) and get off at the only exit named after a state. Get off on “Idaho” also known as SR-88. You’ll be going in the general direction of the Superstition Mountains.
Be sure to cross the first main street named “E Old West Highway” and keep going to the next big street named “N Apache Trail.” Here’s where you turn right and head about 2.5 miles up a winding two lane highway.
This is the "sticks."
So after a while you will see mostly desert scenery and mountains.
The road winds around so watch out for a sign on the right for the Mining Camp Restaurant and turn right on Nodak Rd.
Head up the hill and you’ll see the big log cabin.
Just check the map below and you’ll figure it out. It's easy. Best time to eat is sunset so you can enjoy the rosy Superstitions. And when you come out feeling stuffed you can admire the twinkling city lights.
Phone (480) 982-3181. Call ahead to make sure they are open because this is a seasonal restaurant and may be closed for the summer. And the menu and prices can change too. Last I checked the summer hours are posted on the sign above. For the rest of the year they are open November through April from 11am to 9pm.