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Thursday, February 8, 2018
FOODIE ALERT / LODGE DINING AT ZION NATIONAL PARK
Inside and out: Red Rock Grill
The Red Rock Grill in the main Zion Lodge building in Utah’s Zion National Park is open year round for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
PillartoPost.org’s intrepid national park devotee recently stopped for lunch at the popular Red Rock Grill.While food service at the Lodge is the only game in town, she came away with an enjoyable meal.
Décor of the Zion Lodge and its main restaurant is a combination of wood and stone, much like the park itself.
The menu is ambitious, the restaurant has wonderful views; it is clean, well lighted, and a very pleasing table setting.
As is the case with most institutional dining venues (non-star hotels, museums, and stadiums) the décor, atmosphere and unique settings often overwhelm a very utilitarian kitchen.
Our writer agrees with opinions of many guests reporting via Yelp and TripAdvisor that point out the food could be better but few had a quarrel with the energetic waiters.
The common comment points out the overall experience is better than expected for a “tourist” locale.
But, let’s be fair and honest no one was expecting a four-star experience.Don’t be overly critical because we fellow tourists don’t want to overspend precious travel dollars on cuisine.
And, in such venues, it’s often a good idea to ask the waiters their opinion of a dish and/or what is fresh that particular day.They want you to be happy so don’t complain if the dish you insisted upon didn’t please you after you were steered in another direction.
The Red Rock Grill lunch menu is fine. Stick with entrees such as steaks, Alaskan Salmon, and vegetarian dishes.
Carpe diem.Sit back, enjoy a glass of wine or a large selection of Utah brewed craft beer and gaze at leisure through large windows overlooking the floor of the canyon and the soaring stone walls.This is why we travel.Exploring the wilds yet being able to quickly oasis at a rustic lodge.
Management would do well to set standards for the eye appeal of the presentation (eschew mashed potatoes via ice cream scoop).Yes, this is an institutional restaurant but it could be really terrific if it shook off some of its cafeteria appearances.
Zion Lodge, 2018
The dining room can accommodate up to 155 guests and the seasonal open-air terrace can seat up to 50.
Hours of Operation
Breakfast: 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Dinner: 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Lounge: 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Please note: Winter hours of operation do vary slightly. Reservations are required for dinner: 435-772-7760. Dress code is casual and Red Rock Grill is open year-round.
Zion Lodge was designed in 1924 by Gilbert Underwood as part of a series of similar structures for the Utah Parks Company at the north rim of the Grand Canyon and at Bryce Canyon National Park. Underwood's design was more modest in scale and detailing than those at the Grand Canyon.
Zion Lodge, 1929
A fire in 1966 destroyed the original lodge. It was rebuilt within 100 days, but the original rustic look was lost in favor of expedience in reopening the lodge. A 1990 remodel restored its original look.
In addition to the main lodge building there are a number of original buildings that remain in the lodge complex. This includes guest cabins built in 1927 and 1929, employee dormitories built in 1927 and 1937, and a few support buildings. All were designed by Underwood.
Zion Lodge is a member of Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
For more information on the Red Rock Grill visit http://www.zionlodge.com/dining/red-rock-grill/.