The Road Kill cafe and bar in Seligman, Arizona on Route 66

After my post about Ole’s Big Game Steakhouse in Paxton, Nebraska, off of I-80, one of my friends on Facebook said that if was doing Route 66 on my return trip, I should check out the Road Kill Cafe and bar in Seligman, Arizona, that I’d love it. But I’m afraid that after Ole’s it was HIGHLY unimpressive.

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Located half way (1 hour in either direction) between the larger towns of Kingman and Flagstaff, Seligman Arizona takes its place on route 66 VERY seriously… it sort of has to, it’s really got not much else going for it. (even if you needed gas, odd are you filled up Kingman or Flagstaff). It’s initial claim to fame was as a stop on Beale’s Wagon Road, a trade route from Fort SmithArkansas to Los AngelesCalifornia … and then as a stage-coach stop. When the railroads replaced the stage coaches, it was lucky enough to be chosen to be a railroad town, complete with a Harvey House (closed in 1955, demolished 2008), but in 1984 passenger trains discontinued service to the town entirely, and now just pass it by. Cars don’t really stop there much either, as while it had been on route 66 (obviously), when I-40 came through in 1978, it by-passed the town by a few miles — and like I said, most I-40 travelers are far more likely to pit stop at Flagstaff or Kingman, than they are Seligman. As such, all traffic in the town virtually disappeared on that day, according to Angel Delgadillo, a local businessman. To its credit however (you’ve got to work with what you’ve got) the town earned itself the name of “Birthplace of Historic Route 66” ten years later, when through their successful lobbying efforts they managed to convince the State of Arizona to make 66 a “Historic Highway” — and hence spend money on creating the signs that line the 66, and the big printed out 66 symbols in the middle of it.

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From the outside, the Roadkill Cafe (above) is way more about shtick than Ole’s was.

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While on the inside, the road kill cafe (above) comes in a sad second to the festival of death that could be found in Ole’s (below)…  because Pretty much everything in the photos from Road Kill is in the gift store section of the restaurant, with the eating area looking just like your average diner — it was SO mundane looking that I didn’t even bother to photograph it …. while at Ole’s there’s way more of it and it is in every spare nook and cranny the restaurant had to offer

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Ole’s Big Game Steakhouse & Lounge: Paxton, Nebraska

Located just off of Interstate-80, Ole’s big Game Steakhouse and Lounge,  is a taxidermist’s heaven with over 200 big game trophies that has been Paxton, Nebraska institution since 1933, and one that almost gives Cabela’s a run for its money (in its attempt to be a monument to death).  It is the endeavor of a local guy, Rosser “Ole” Herstedt, and stands as both a restaurant and a showroom for 35 years worth of his hunting expeditions to every continent. Any spot on its walls not taken up by a dead animals is covered with photographs and mementos brought home from his world-wide safaris.  Ole is now retired, and the resturant is now under the ownership of some guy called Tim Holzfaster (according to their brochure); that said, the food is… meh.

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The moment you walk into the restaurant the first thing you see is the Polar bear, which is posed as though it just killed a seal pup. And every one of the pieces comes with a little plaque telling you where and when it was killed (and what it is).

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Along the right wall of the place (from where you enter) there’s a full bar, with a little gift shop selling branded itemsIMG_4045

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Note the Rocky Mountain Oysters: otherwise known as testicalsIMG_2412

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I ordered the chopped buffalo steak, a sweet potato and cowboy beans (which I was told are like baked beans but with barbecue sauce)….and a sarsaparilla

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Based on taste, chopped buffalo steak was mixed with beef, and had way more beef than bison…. and, on top of that it had the fat ground into it…  so it was really really fatty (under the steak was actually a POOL of the crap)… thus utterly defeating the health benefit let alone the flavor value of Buffalo, so I don’t suggest it.  The baked beans were tasty as was the roll… However, my server – who admittedly was towards the end of his first week of working there and as of yet hadn’t tasted most anything that was on the menu (which is kind of part of the job, but is on the heads of the ownership to make sure he was given the chance). When I tried to talk to them about that they clearly didn’t give a shit… so ‘customer service’ isn’t their priority.

All said and done, go for the circuses, but unless you’re getting food that really basic, and your expectations of that food aren’t very high… you might be disappointed if you eat there.