Travel Tips & Adventures

Real People. Real Travel.

Friday Favorites: Buster’s Restaurant – won’t bust your budget

After a hard day hiking at Walnut Canyon (see August 20) we headed back to Flagstaff, Arizona, the nearest city, to eat. Since it was only 4:00 PM, not every dinner place was open. We were pleasantly surprised to find Buster’s Restaurant & Bar open and thronging.

Once inside Buster’s, we were immediately seated and our waiter, Patrick, quickly greeted us. Taking our drink order while we reviewed the menu, we looked around.


Carpet and wood muffled what could have been a noisy place. Soothing greens, green plants and light wood paneling provided a comfortable backdrop for a relaxing meal. Seated in a booth with thick cushions – not the 30-minute type where you don’t want to stay long – we settled in to look at the menu.

Menu options

Although Buster’s features seafood, the menu also listed beef, chicken, sandwich, burgers and salad options – something for everyone. The dinner came with a salad (three choices- green, spinach or caesar) or soup, plus vegetables and potatoes/rice, etc.


Since I am on a diet that is low- carb with other restrictions, I ordered a filet mignon, but asked for the béarnaise sauce on the side.


My husband had a skewer of broiled shrimp with all of the trimmings, loaded baked potato, mixed vegetables (fresh broccoli, carrots and cauliflower), and salad. His shrimp sat on a bed of rice, so he had a very full dinner.


Since we were dining before 6:00 PM on a Saturday, we were able to take advantage of the “Sunset Dinner” specials, which discounted the 12 dinners about 25%. My complete filet mignon dinner was $21.95; My husband’s complete grilled shrimp dinner was $17.95. Sunset Dinners are offered from Monday to Saturday from 4:00-6:00 PM and Sundays from 11:30 AM to 6:00 PM.

Patrick brought a basket of warm, crusty bread and muffins, which he told us were baked on the premises. I watched, jealously, as my husband enjoyed his bread and butter (the real stuff), but kept to my diet.

When he brought our main courses, Patrick had made sure all of my high maintenance requests were fulfilled, my water glass was regularly refilled and all of the toppings were on the side. He never made me feel like I was being a pain like some waiters do when asking for all of my persnickety special food requirements.

The food was flavorful, cooked to specifications, and attractive on the plate. It was definitely not “nouvelle” cuisine, as the portions were generous without being outrageous in quantity (neither microscopic nor gigantic).

My husband remarked that the dressing on his spinach salad was great and different from anything he’d ever had.

For dessert, we tried the cheesecake, also baked on the premises. My one bite, which I truly savored, had a rich, thick cheese filling with a hint of lemon and a thick, cinnamon graham cracker crust. Tempted though I was to eat more, I watched my husband polish off every morsel of the cake. He declared it one of the best he’d ever eaten.

One significant thing was that Patrick did not wait to ask us if everything was “tasting good” – the new “nice phrase” of restaurants – when our mouths were full. We appreciated his attentiveness without his being annoying, as we’ve found lately in many restaurants. Water was refilled appropriately and courses were served at timely intervals.

Since we’d had such a great experience, we asked to talk with the manager, who also turned out to be owner Jon Schulman. Schulman has been in the restaurant business for 27 years. We asked if there were any other Buster’s or if he had plans to expand.

“No,” he replied, “”This is the only one.”

He’s happy to run the one restaurant. Also, he sees no point, as some restaurants do, of closing between lunch and dinner. “Why send your wait staff home?” is his logic.

“Starters & Snacks,” priced ranging from $6.50 to $10.95, run the usual potato skins and chicken fingers, but also include Lahvosh crackers with a dozen choices for toppings.

Buster’s seafood options include oysters, clams, smoked salmon, blackened mahi-mahi, Maryland crab cakes, fish & chips, scallops and more. Schulman says one of his patrons’ favorites is the “Chicken Sonoma,” a chicken breast sautéed with artichoke hearts, tomatoes, mushroom and wine. Dinners on the regular menu range from $9.95 to $28.95.

As we looked around, other diners seemed very content.

Buster’s also has a bar, separate from the restaurant with tables and bar service. Beer and specialty ales are on tap.

Where to find Buster’s - Buster’s is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week. Located off Milton at University (across from the Target), the restaurant has free parking. For more information, see

For a restaurant to be in business since 1983 and do everything “right” seems to be unusual in this day and age. Good food, reasonable prices, comfortable atmosphere – That’s why we’ve designated Buster’s a “favorite.” We’ll be back!

Tags: , , ,

2 Responses to “Friday Favorites: Buster’s Restaurant – won’t bust your budget”

  1. sandraraven15 Says:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

  2. admin Says:

    Glad you like! Any locations you’d like to have us review?

Leave a Reply