Travel Tips & Adventures

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Traveling in Time in Bisbee – Food and Fun

One of the best parts about Bisbee is how easy it is to visit other, earlier, times.

For instance, want to see an old 1950s style diner?Dot’s Diner and Shady Dell

Dot’s Diner is just the experience you’ll want to have. The red and white exterior nestled next to the Shady Dell Trailer Park is a real step back in time!

Dots Diner - a real original

Dot's Diner - a real original

Admittedly, the prices are not circa 1950, but the menu is a short, but evocative, diner menu.  Hot dogs, hamburgers, grilled cheese and shakes, malteds, and floats are your lunch fare.

Breakfast, with options that had patrons chowing down at lunchtime, had pancakes and egg offerings.  Want the “good stuff” – real maple syrup?  That’s extra, but authentic.  The menu listings had fun names like, “Two chicks on a raft” (eggs on English muffins) and “Allison on a Raft.”  What’s Allison on a raft? – We just had to ask.  It seems that a local celebrity is vegetarian and the tofu scramble is named after her.

Dots Diner - small, but fun

Dot's Diner - small, but fun

The patrons in the 10-seat diner (all seats are at the counter) were really enjoying themselves.  The small place is also conducive to conversations.  We asked about Bisbee and another customer, as well as Charlene, our waitress, was glad to provide information.

Dot retired a few years back, but the diner is in good hands, as Charlene is a welcoming, friendly presence.  The diner was originally located in Los Angeles, but, in 1996, was trucked to its current location next door to the Shady Dell Trailer Park, another retro experience.

Shady Dell offers visitors the chance to stay in an authentic 1940s-1950s trailer, like a 1949 Airstream with décor reflecting that era.  Possibly like stepping back into an old “I Love Lucy” episode, you almost expect someone to show up in a poodle skirt.

Shady Dell Trailer Park - an old-fashioned experience

Shady Dell Trailer Park - an old-fashioned experience - see the old trailer to the left

Since all of the 11 vintage trailers were occupied, we had to console ourselves with just seeing the office, with its vintage Coca Cola machine and other collector’s items.

Shady Dell office and some of the memorabilia

Shady Dell office and some of the memorabilia

Dot’s Diner is open for breakfast and lunch only on Fridays through Tuesdays.

Bisbee Breakfast Club

Renovated from an old Rexall Drug Store and a Waters Department Store, the Bisbee Breakfast Club is located in a small commercial area just past the mine and around the bend.  Not exclusive, since anyone can eat there, but definitely a foodie experience worth having since the atmosphere is focused on good food.  No one should leave hungry!

With a very large menu, but also only open for breakfast and lunch, the Bisbee Breakfast Club is another great choice in Bisbee.  Prices are very reasonable and the food is served in voluminous quantities.

Bisbee Breakfast Club

Bisbee Breakfast Club

The place was hopping on a Sunday at noon. Since it was so busy, we did have to wait a few minutes to be seated and to receive our food, but the five or so staffers who provided the food to the wait staff were amazing to watch.  So, finally we were seated at the counter and got great entertainment value. We watched the orchestration of the grill’s speedy service.

I kept eyeing my neighbors’ plates, which included the lunch special of a steak with onion sauce and other fixings.  I ordered the Sonoran burger (burger with guacamole, chilis, and melted Swiss) with fries  – lots and lots of fries.  It was messy, but I finished every mouthful!  My husband had another burger version.  We traded onion rings – really good and crispy onion rings – and thought about how we would need to walk off the calories – but oh, so good!  Prices were very reasonable, too.  I don’t think anything was over $8 on the menu.

They also are closed in the middle of the week, but open Monday 7-3 for breakfast and lunch, Thursday-Sunday 7-2 for breakfast with lunch starting at 11 AM.

Join the Club!

Come back later this week for our stay in the Copper Queen Hotel – is it haunted?

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