After sliding into a booth, you’ll barely have time to add cream to your coffee before the food comes flying out of the kitchen. I’m not sure if Jim, the short order cook, has become fast by repetition or if he was trying to keep up with the reverberating beat of the Who song wafting from the kitchen’s boom box.
First up was the The Flyer’s Breakfast ($5.75-$7.50). The well-worn china overflows with two eggs, a slightly charred thick-cut slice of country ham and a fluffy house made biscuit smothered in rib-sticking sausage gravy. When one thinks of truck stops, hash comes to mind. Classically, hash is a dish of leftovers that is simply cooked together. Corned beef hash is one of those "thrown together" dishes that at its best, rises to a level that a meager beef brisket only dreams of. Even though they use canned coned beef, the kitchen does it right. Two poached eggs rest comfortably atop a mound of moist, roughly chopped pink meat, crisp and tender potatoes, all spiked with onion and herbs ($7.25).
Lunch is passable with a decent selection of burgers and sandwiches with a few daily specials thrown in. Grilled cow on either a plate or a bun seems to rule the day. Besides the fair to average burgers ($4.75-$7.50), decent hot sandwiches of roast beef ($5.95), meat loaf ($5.95) and an 8oz center-cut New York Strip ($9.95) are just the beginning of this restaurants love affair with beef. The 16oz Charbroiled T-Bone ($16.50) or the equally massive Top Sirloin Steak ($15.50) with a heaping round scoop of freshly made mashed potatoes will make you loosen your belt and move the seat back for the flight home.
The plot twist of this adventure was the baby beef liver with caramelized onions and crisp bacon ($9.50). Baby beef liver is stronger and more flavorful than its calf cousin. Nancy knows her audience. Just as many vitamin and nutrient packed delicacies were wrappedup to go to the surrounding airpark homes as eagerly landed on adjacent tables. The perfect accompaniment, especially if visiting on an atypical chilly Friday, is a cup of Jim’s creamy, vegetable spiked New England style clam chowder ($3.75).
Even with a few homeruns, the kitchen could use a quick refresher course on cooking techniques along with an introduction to the art of seasoning. Surprisingly, it didn’t hurt the experience. The friendly patrons and residents, the extremely welcoming staff and the rural quaintness certainly compensates for any culinary shortcomings. By the time you leave, everyone will know more than just your name. Besides, where else will a desert iguana escort you to the tie-down area?
Kidwell Airport (1L4)
Elevation: 2,605 ft / 794 m (estimated)
Time zone: UTC -7 (UTC -8 Standard Time)
Zip code: 89039
Sectional chart: Phoenix
Control tower: No
ARTCC: Los Angeles Center
FSS: Reno FSS
Pattern altitude: 3,405 ft MSL with standard left hand traffic
Runways: 15/33 4,140 ft x 65 ft – dirt in fair condition
Wind indicator: unlit
Lights: Dusk till Dawn
WX AWOS-3 at Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport (KIFP 18 nm SE): 119.825 (928-754-4462)
Note: There are no instrument approach procedures and no aviation services on the field. Additionally, watch for automobile traffic around the runway and taxiways.
Cal-Nev-Ari Casino and Restaurant
1 Piute Valley Drive
Cal-Nev-Ari, NV 89039-9800
Phone: (702) 297-1118
Everyday, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.
24 hours / 7 days a week
The above airport information is not for navigational purposes. Please obtain up-to-date airport information from the FAA before flight.