Mesquite Smoked BBQ Ribs. Canyon Star Restaurant and Saloon. Grand Canyon Village, AZ.
After a quick lunch at Taco Bell in Las Vegas, a pit stop at the Hoover Dam, and a four hour plus drive, we arrived at our Grand Canyon Hotel with quite the appetite. Fortunately, the Canyon Star was attached to our hotel and boasted without shame about their BBQ prowess. Claiming something along the lines of the “only true mesquite smoked ribs” in bold type on the literature in the room, my carnivore instincts took over and I had no choice but to head down and get my rib on.
The decor is perfect for a Grand Canyon tourist hotel. A gigantic elk head on the wall in the lobby as you walk through gorgeous wood beams and lovely masonry. Rustic and clean, it screamed that everything was going to be excellent.
The Sunday night game was on, and despite the bar being in the restaurant, they did not serve food in the bar so we had to opt for a table. As they walked us to the furthest table from the bar, a lone old cowboy sang with his acoustic guitar from the stage to the three families of tourists from Europe scattered throughout the sparsely populated dining area.
Listening to the gentleman sing James Taylor’s “Sweet Baby James,” the rib order was placed confidently with a side of streak fries and a cold Horseshoe Bend Pale Ale from the Grand Canyon Brewing Company. LIfe was good!
But when the food came out, the mood changed drastically. Despite a quarter of the plate allocated to vegetables that I’ve never seen before, the first thing I noticed was the gigantic strip of cartilage running through the slab. Buzzkill! Nothing worse than a poorly prepared slab of ribs and leaving on the chewy, nasty, cartilage tubes is a cardinal sin!
The dining experience was tedious, constantly pulling out the disgusting cartilage parts with every mouthful and piling them up on the plate. The rib meat was pretty good, but ruined by the poorly prepared meat. Oh, and the mystery veggies? No idea. Still. No clue. They were ok though, for vegetables.
Great decor. The Grand Canyon a few miles away. An old cowboy Westerning up some classic tunes. It’s too bad the ribs were so fucking terrible because it could’ve been fun. Oh well. You live. You learn. And you never, EVER, order ribs at the Canyon Star Restaurant and Saloon!