We are a quite adventurous family when it comes to both traveling and food. While getting older, I have noticed that I can’t be talked into so many silly things anymore as when I was younger, but I’m usually happy to try new foods and especially local delicacies. This time we happened to be in a place which I would categorise straight into that silliness category, and we tried something that is definitely not offered in every average burger joint.
This time we were in Utah in a tiny town called Hurricane which was close to Zion National Park. After driving over there, we quickly realised that the whole town was mostly closed. Utah is a very religious state, and most businesses are closed on Sundays. And it just happened to be an Easter Sunday too, so we ran into the problem of finding a dinner place. After some quick research, our options were: a fast food place, a bad Mexican restaurant or a restaurant a little further away with great reviews. We decided to drive over to the last one, it was called Fort Zion.
When driving to the parking lot of Fort Zion, we figured we had arrived in a real tourist attraction. But since it was off season, there were only a couple of people other than us. Fort Zion is not only a restaurant, but they also have a big souvenir shop, a western town for photo ops, and a petting zoo. The fee for the petting zoo and the western town was only $1 but we skipped it this time. Their restaurant is especially known for homemade ice cream.
The actual menu came to us as a surprise. Among the regular hamburgers and such, they also had some Buffalo Burgers, Elk Burgers, Wild Boar Burgers and Venison Burgers. But what on earth is in a Jackalope Burger? A Jackalope is a mythical creature in the U.S. with the body of rabbit and horns of an antelope. Maybe we should have tried that. And yes, then there also was the Rattlesnake Burger that my husband decided to try this time.
The restaurant itself is decorated as a saloon, and there were many fun details. One of them was a giant playing card with your table number on it which was then placed on your table so that the waiters could bring you the order. Also, when ordering the food we were asked to spin a wheel of fortune. The luckiest ones would get an ice cream cone for free. We did not get the ice cream cones, but we were just happy to get some food before heading back to the hotel.
So my husband went ahead an ordered a Rattlesnake Burger, which I tried as well from his plate. The meat was white, dry and close to the taste of chicken. I would recommend to order it as medium rare rather than well done, since the meat is very dense and dry. I had tasted some snake before, but not sure if it was a rattler. When I studied in hotel and restaurant school, we made all kinds of exotic foods, and we also prepared something out of snake also. Well, now we have tried that too, but I think we both agreed that the regular burger was more to our taste.
Fort Zion was a fun place to visit and for sure is a popular stopping place when visiting Zion National Park. The food was a little bit disappointing in the sense that they only offered burgers and we didn’t know the menu before getting there. The burgers tasted ok, but there was nothing we could order for our toddler for example. I’m not quite sure why this place had such great reviews online. Maybe they got extra points from the activities they had, or that the ice cream must have been super delicious! But one thing for sure was magnificent… and that was the view!
After visiting Zion, we headed over to Kanab to see some hoodoos and mushroom rocks, and from there to Page and Antelope Canyon. But more about those cool places little later!