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January 27, 2004
The restaurant has a prime location with a great view. It sits on top of South Mountain (more like a really big hill than a mountain, though). Despite the location, though, I found it difficult to find. Don't expect the local gas stations to be of much help if you get lost and are willing to stop. We stopped three times before we found anyone who could help us. I'd either call ahead or visit the website, to get directions. Once you know where it's located, it should be easy to find. In fact, it's really close to Arizona Mills -- just go under I-10 on Baseline Road -- for those of you who wish to combine dinner and shopping.
After you've found the restaurant, you'll discover it has a great view overlooking the Phoenix area. The theme of the restaurant is based upon the story that some cattle rustlers would steal cattle from the local ranchers and sell them to restaurants. They lived in a small cabin hidden in the foothills of South Mountain. After a while, they got a little wiser and rather than selling the cattle, decided to convert their hideout into a restaurant.
When you enter Rustler's Rooste, you'll kind of wind your way up a cave-like path. At the top of the path, you'll enter a large waiting area. There are plenty of seats and the large windows provide a nice view. You can get a drink at the bar or just take a closer look at the animal heads mounted on the walls. When you're finally called for to be seated for dinner, you get the opportunity to go down to the main level. You have two options. For the mundane, take the stairs. For the more adventurous, try the giant slide. (Now you can see why this place made such an impression on me when I was younger.)
The menu includes steaks, BBQ ribs, chicken and fish. For those who want to stretch their tastebuds, start out with an appetizer of rattlesnake. The food is really good and I would recommend the restaurant if you have a chance to visit.
Live bands do play some evenings, so call the restaurant if you want to find out more about the entertainment schedule.
From journal The Phoenix Desert
September 5, 2002
Located on top of a hill behind the resort (I don't recommend walking there unless you're looking to work up a sweat prior to dinner...the resort provides a shuttle), the Rooste is just that, as it provides outstanding views of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe and the valley. We had an early dinner and were able to sit and watch the planes take off and land at Sky Harbor airport thoughout our meal (which was an added bonus for our 3-year old).
The food is good, but not overpriced. Mostly steaks, some chicken, and a little seafood (mostly in the surf & turf combos). I was a little surprised that they had some of their extras in an a la carte format. Especially the baked potato, which in my mind, is standard fare when you're eating at a steak restaurant, but what do I know.
Very casual atmosphere with live music and dancing as well. We're not exactly into country music, so we didn't partake, but that didn't stop our 3-year old daughter from grabbing another little boy and showing us their moves on the dance floor.
Also, one of the main attractions (for the kids at least) is the slide that goes from the main lobby/entrance area down to the majority of the tables. The whole time we were there, there was a line of kids waiting to come down that slide. Our daughter loved it as well.
All in all, great food, good atmosphere for adults and kids, and not horribly damaging to the finances. A good combo.
From journal Pointe South Mtn Resort
August 8, 2002
From journal Favorite Restaurants in and around Mesa, Arizona