Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
My wife and I went to the old Arizona mining town of Bisbee for her birthday last week. After our debacle at Agua Prieta, she suggested we go out for a nice dinner to get our little vacation back on track. Cafe Roka is the most revered restaurant in Bisbee, but they require reservations, so we went with option #2–The Bisbee Grille.
The interior of the restaurant is very attractive. They’ve used dark woods, brick, and copper as well as intimate lighting to create a warm setting that reflects Bisbee’s past. The two dining rooms are creatively divided with huge tempered glass plates that have etched photos of old Bisbee.
After we ordered, we were served a freshly baked loaf of wheat bread, which was a nice start to the meal. Shortly thereafter, they brought out my wife’s salad and my vegetable beef soup. The salad looked great. All the vegetables were crisp and had good color. My soup was awesome. It was hearty and so rich in flavor that it could only be enjoyed in small quantities. The small cup they gave me was the perfect amount. It was probably the best vegetable beef soup I’ve ever eaten.
Next came the main event. My wife ordered the Cowboy Steak ($20) which was a 10 oz. cut of ribeye served with garlic mashed potatoes and vegetables. She really enjoyed the steak. She prefers this type of steak because it has more marbling, which gives it more flavor. I tried a bite and it was a little fatty for me, but I always prefer the leanest of cuts. It chewed quite easily though; it wasn’t tough. The vegetables were very good. They had been steamed and then lightly sauteed in butter. They were soft, but not soggy, and had a slightly sweet flavor.
I love creamy pasta dishes, so I had to try the Diablo Chipotle Pasta ($15). It was bowtie pasta with chicken breast, red and green sweet peppers, and onion, all smothered in a heavy chipotle cream sauce and topped generously with fresh romano cheese. It was oh so good, and oh so hot! It was one of those dishes that’s so good that you get lost in it and forget about everything else. It’s just you and the food. It turned out to be too hot for me though. I had gone through about 32 oz. of water and I was only halfway done with the dish. I started getting a tingling sensation in the back of my throat and I thought I was going to start coughing, so I threw in the towel; I had been defeated by the Diablo!
The service had been very good up to this point, but after the entrees were served our waiter went AWOL on us. It got to be a little frustrating. When we finally flagged him down, we ordered a Creme Brulee ($4) to cap things off. The presentation was straightforward, but it was very good. We probably should have ordered two, because we ended up fighting with our spoons for the last bit of custard.
Aside from the lack of service toward the end of the evening, it was a very good experience at The Bisbee Grille. I’ve read several other accounts of bad service here, so that seems to be their biggest downfall. Regardless, I look forward to visiting them again someday.
2 Copper Queen Plaza
Bisbee, AZ 85603
phone: (520) 432-6788
fax: (520) 432-7930
hours: 11-9 (closed Tuesdays)
View photos and read more Phoenix restaurant reviews at: www.chowdownphoenix.com