At the West end of the town of Torrey in the wilds of south-central Utah, the Capitol Reef Inn and Café is an oasis of good food and elevated cultural consciousness. It is not only a restaurant; it is an inviting (and inexpensive) motel with hand-hewn furniture in the rooms; it is a bookstore featuring practical and meditative volumes about the West; and it is a trading post with some intriguing Native-American jewelry and rugs.
The restaurant serves three meals a day and appears to be as informal as any Western motel dining room, except for the fact that you are likely to hear the gurgle of an espresso machine in the background and Bach played to set the mood. The house motto is Local, Natural, Healthy; and while you can have a fine breakfast of bacon and eggs, you can also choose to have those eggs accompanied by smoked local trout, or you can have an omelet made with local cheeses … with fresh-squeezed juice to drink.
At lunch and dinner as well as breakfast, the Capitol Reef dining room is a blessing for traveling vegetarians. A few notable meatless menu items include spaghetti with marinara sauce (also available with meat), fettuccine primavera, and plates of steamed, stir-fried, or shishkebobbed vegetables. Beef, chicken, and seafood are always available for vegetable-frowners (that trout, broiled with rosemary, is what we recommend); and desserts include a hot fudge sundae and boysenberry pie.