Spotted Dog Cafe: Springdale

The first time we visited, our first experience was a series of highs. We were taken through the dining room to our table by the window overlooking the majestic cliffs at Zion. The waitress suggested a cheaper dish than spotted dog cafe, my first choice so we went with her recommendation and ordered the Smoked Trout appetizer. It was a great start to our meal. This dish is one of the best we’ve encountered in our four continents. The smoked trout is served on a bed of spinach with ripe tomatoes and aoeli. It’s accompanied by toasted pita pieces, which creates a delicious blend of flavors. This dish is a must-have.

It holds up against any opponent, including buffalo, elk, and beef tenderloin meatloaf. It would be nice if it came with more sauce. The accompanying green beans were excellent, and the best we’ve ever seen in Utah. It is a common spotted dog cafe practice to undercook green beans in low-priced places and overcook them at high-end restaurants to make them more expensive. The glaze on carrots was perfect. The road was next. Petersburgotatoes were nicely seasoned with garlic and rosemary, but too much pepper destroyed them.

We enjoyed Diner #1 so much that we went back the next night. We ordered a Caesar salad and smoked trout appetizer, which was plenty for a light meal. The pita bread was not as crispy as the first night, but it was still a great dish.

Braised lamb shank was what I ordered, but it was nothing compared to the amazing lamb shank at Park City’s Goldner Hirsch. After being put off by the potatoes the previous night, I asked my waiter to replace them with green beans. I was so impressed with the help of the waitress, the next night, I asked him to substitute the potatoes with a second serving of mixed vegetables. Big mistake. These cooked vegetables were almost as loaded with pepper than the potatoes. They were also unevenly prepared, and were hot in some places, but cold in others.

Flanigan’s is a great place to eat spicy food if your tolerance can bear it. Green beans and carrots are better options if you don’t enjoy spicy food.

The restaurant is located on the main street near the park entrance. However, it is difficult to find because it doesn’t seem to know what its name is. It’s been called Flanigan’s Inn and Blind Dog Cafe. I also saw it named Spotted Dog Cafe in several guide books. The sign above the main entrance reads “Flanigan’s”, while the sign facing the street reads Spotted Dog Cafe.

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