“Friendly people, good service, and hearty food at a fair price. Worth the short drive off the highway.” So wrote a Yelper about Cattleman’s Café at the Marana Stockyard. I cannot disagree.
Breakfast & Lunch only: 6 AM to 2 PM. I met Ms. Toby, Marana’s Tourism & Marketing Manager, for lunch on a Wednesday. Why Wednesday? ‘Cause that is the day of the week when the Marana Stockyard holds its lively cattle auction.
Cattleman’s specializes in cowboy comfort food. Beef and carbs. I know about this menu. When I was a teenager, I worked on my father’s cattle ranches in Eastern Oregon and Washington alongside the wranglers. Hard physical work. Long, hot hours. And huge quantities of beef & carbs in “Cookie’s” kitchen next to the bunkhouse to keep us fueled-up. I worked my butt off. 56 years later, I can no longer eat like that and not gain a lot of weight.
Once a week, we would have to transport our cattle to the auction house for sale. That’s when I learned, slowly, to understand the auctioneer’s rapid-fire auction-speak, known as the auctioneer’s chant. If you have not experienced this rhythmic chant, scoop up the young ‘uns and head for Marana. It’s an experience they will never forget and remember fondly in their old age.
Ms. Toby ordered a tuna melt with fries that she pronounce "very good". I had a hamburger steak with potato salad and corn. Also, very good!. Neither meal requires elaboration or clever wordsmithing. Just plain ol' fashioned, down home cookin'.
Breakfast at Cattleman’s is served from opening to closing. Looking around the café, I’d say their chicken-fried steak with two eggs, potatoes, fresh biscuits and gravy ($8.99) was a roaring favorite with this crowd. But quite a few customers were relishing their blueberry pancakes as well.
Western ambiance. Excellent (I mean really fast) service! Cattleman’s Café is the real deal. Do we recommend Cattleman’s to our friends & family? Indeed we do. If you’re not a cowpoke when you walk in, you will be when you walk out.
14075 W. Kirby Hughes Rd.
Call for hours: 520-682-4319