Southwest Road Trip 2012 Day 9: Sorrel River Ranch, Canyonlands and dust storms oh my!

Misadventures-with-Andi-Road-Trip-ReportHaving arrived in Moab to stay at Sorrel River Ranch the day before to much needed rest, we woke up feeling a little more refreshed.

We had breakfast in our little kitchen and prepared for the day. We had a choice between Arches and Canyonlands and went with the later because we hoped it would be less crowded. When we left Sorrel it was a bit windy but we didn’t pay much attention to it as we headed up the road. We passed a huge line of cars going into Arches and congratulated ourselves that we had chosen not to go there.

As we approcahed the park and only paid $10 to enter (score!) the wind was becoming more and more an issue. There was a lot of dust in the air and every time we got out of the car we were eating it! Mr. Misadvenutures didn’t want dust on his camera or mine, so I sacrificed my iPhone to take this photo….nothing but dust!

Dust storm over Canyonlands

Dust storm over Canyonlands

What I can say is that Canyonlands looks like a smaller, less crowded version of the Grand Canyon so it is definitely a spot worth checking out once the spring sand storms settle down. The park ranger we spoke too said May was late for the type of storm we were seeing.

We ate a picnic lunch in our car watching other people attempt to visit outside. It just wasn’t a cool day and we packed it up and headed back to the ranch where we hung out, watched a movie and I took a nap in the afternoon in preparation for our dinner in the resort’s restaurant.

I had been looking forward to this meal the entire trip. It was literally the only opportunity in ten days to eat something that wasn’t brought by us as part the groceries we purchased Day 1 in Las Vegas or some sort of fast food or sandwich. The stakes were high, too high. There was just too much pressure on that poor little restaurant and the meal was disappointing.

The ranch advertises itself as a farm-to-table property, and they do, in fact, have a farm, but it is rather small and at the time we visited pretty sparse. Having just had a world-class farm-to-table meal at The Willows Inn on Lummi Island, Sorrel just suffered the comparison.

We started with the craft beer braised American elk sausage with chipotle, cheddar, and Heirloom tomato ragout. It was the only starter that seemed to be somewhat local in terms of the elk. The tomato ragout did not come from the garden but the Swiss chard served with it did. The dish tasted fine, I liked the sausage, I’d only had elk as a steak before, so it was something new.

American Elk Sausage at the Sorrel River Ranch Restaurant

American Elk Sausage at the Sorrel River Ranch Restaurant

When our appetizers arrived we asked our waiter if he could reduce the volume of the self-playing piano that was close to our table, Mr. Misadventures and I were shouting to have a conversation and it wasn’t cool. The staff couldn’t figure out how to do it at first, but after several tries and several minutes they got it ever so slightly lowered.

Then the group of women having a bachelorette party at the resort arrived for their meal which added to the noise level, we were already annoyed so this wasn’t getting better. I don’t have anything against pianos or wedding parties, it just wasn’t our night, or the restaurant’s night with us.

For my main course, since I had eaten their steak the evening before, I decided on the spaghetti with garden vegetables so that I could try more of their farm product. The dish was good, but not more than that. My hubby had the salmon (from Alaska) which was pretty much the same.

Spaghetti with garden vegetables at Sorrel River Ranch Restaurant

Spaghetti with garden vegetables at Sorrel River Ranch Restaurant

We passed on dessert and headed back to our beautiful room for the evening to prepare for our departure the next day.

Comments

  1. I want some of that spaghetti!!!!!

  2. I think I’m spoiled seeing fabulous dishes in photographs on your blog. That food doesn’t look so hot to me. I’m sorry, restaurant. They like their clovers, huh? Is that weird? It seems weird. I like garnishes, but they’re both the same for the appetizer and main course.

    FIVE MINUTES LATER:

    I just went back and read the post again and the food looks worse to me. I’ve had elk twice in Oklahoma – both times were horrible experiences. I would be highly annoyed going to a restaurant that billed itself farm-to-table and not even get a real farm tomato in my ragout. Also, when I think of farm-to-table restaurants, I think quiet, calm and laid-back. I don’t think player piano or bachelorette party.

    I think you’re generous, Andi. I would have probably not been as gracious in my review. =/

  3. @Jen, well you know, we come from a generation that taught us if you don’t have anything nice to say…when I have bad experiences I usually don’t blog about it rather than tear a place apart, I don’t want to be that person. But companies can learn from other’s experiences, and this one was just such a disappointment after Lummi Island.

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