Iron Springs Cafe, Prescott
Prescott's Iron Springs Cafe is housed in the historic Hillside Depot / ©John Totten
November/December 2016

South by Southwest Fusion

Historic Iron Springs Cafe offers unique flavors in Prescott

BYSuzanne Wright
Downtown Prescott is chock-full of popular places for visitors to eat and drink, but just a few miles away is one of the locals’ favorite places to nosh. Iron Springs Cafe has been doling out stick-to-your-ribs grub since it was founded in 1974. It is housed in the Hillside Depot that was established by the Santa Fe, Prescott, and Phoenix Railway in 1894. 
 
Current owner Judy May makes everyone feel welcome. Eating here is a casual, warm experience. It almost feels like eating with friends, if your friends had a kitchen in which everything was made from scratch. You also can kick back on the intimate open-air patio to take advantage of Prescott’s fine climate.
 
The owners originally hail from Buffalo, New York, and spent years in the hospitality industry in Phoenix before moving to Prescott in 2002. The menu is one of those rarities where everything really does sound mouthwatering, so you forgive the server for suggesting “it’s all good.” 
 
The Iron Springs Cafe features an intriguing and tasty marriage of South (Cajun) by Southwest (Mexican) dishes. Imaginative mash-ups tweak traditional favorites. Standouts include the Green Chile Jack Steak atop mashed potatoes with caramelized balsamic onions, and the toothsome Southern Fried Tuna Steak topped with jalapeño cream gravy that sports just a hint of heat. Big Easy purists will enjoy the N’Awlins Muffaletta stuffed with salami, ham, mortadella, and cheese, and olive salad or gumbo studded with andouille sausage and chicken.
 
If your taste buds prefer south of the border dishes, sample the huevos rancheros or daily enchilada stacked with rice and beans. Portions are hearty and, whether by design or happenstance, leftovers reheat well. And don’t skip the bread pudding, a sinfully indulgent finish to any meal. 
 
 
Try It at Home
Click here to get Iron Springs Cafe’s Mississippi Mud Mussels recipe!
 
SUZANNE WRIGHT is a Tucson-based writer who has written for American Way, National Geographic Traveler, and USA Today.
If You Go
Iron Springs Cafe
1501 Iron Springs Road, Prescott
928-443-8848
 
Around town: Mile-high Prescott offers a lot of ways to work off your calories. You can hike or bike the famous Granite Dells or paddle Goldwater and Watson lakes. Fittingly, the home of the world’s oldest rodeo also is home to the excellent Phippen Museum, with its extensive collection of Western art.
 
 
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