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Restaurant Happenings - December 2005

The Stagecoach Grill
2728 South Highway 191
Moab, Utah 84532
(435) 259-6315

Welcome Home Again: The Stagecoach Grill
By Deirdre O. Keating

“Making your way in the world today takes everything you got, taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot. Sometimes you wanna go, where everybody knows your name...”

No, it’s not Cheers; it’s The Stagecoach Grill on the south end of Highway 191. How does a restaurant that’s only a year old foster such loyalty from its patrons and such a sense of community? Perhaps it stems from its very creation, as the entire enterprise seems to have been built from the bottom up by family and friends. Perhaps it stems from the goals of the owners, Jim and Cheryl Nyland, who wanted to create a place where families would be at ease and enjoy themselves. Perhaps it stems from the menu that offers down-home food at good prices, and which just happens to read like a “who’s who” of Moab!

There’s the obvious: a nod to owner and Grand County Sheriff Jim Nyland with the Big Jim breakfast, consisting of three eggs, three bacon slices, three sausage links, a side of hash browns and the choice of either toast or English muffin. Could Cheryl’s petite stature be the reasoning for “Cheryl’s Short Stack”?

Nation Nachos will remind even tourists who don’t know Jesse of Nations Towing. And Mike’s Munchie Plate, a loosen-your-belt combination of cheese sticks, stuffed Jalapenos, onion rings, fried mushrooms, steak fingers, chicken strips, and fries, was named after Moab’s own chief of police, Mike Navarre.

Get the impression The Stagecoach Grill wants to fill you up? Well, they certainly aren’t shy about portion sizes. And tourists and locals alike seem to be lining up for it. The prime rib specials on Friday and Saturday nights always sell out. Truck radios tell of the good cooking, friendly service, and a truck-friendly pull around parking lot. Having stopped by during Elk season, hunters have then returned with their families. With so many patrons becoming regulars, it’s more about the generous spirit than the generous portion sizes. Manager Gayle Stevenson aims to offer it all: price, quality and service.

Stagecoach Grill manager Gayle Stevenson and owner Cheryl Nyland

Gayle recalls being told by a supplier when they first opened that they would have to choose from those three, that no restaurant could offer all of them and succeed. “We’ve chosen to prove them wrong,” says Gayle confidently. “We want people to come in and have a good time. We’ll take care of you with food that is fast, hot and good.”

When was the last time you were greeted not only by a restaurant hostess but by other tables of patrons? I witnessed easy conversation between tables and a general sense of good will. As Cheryl eloquently pointed out, things keep changing in Moab and The Stagecoach Grill aims to meet the new needs of the town while also providing a link to its history. Cheryl should know; her family first came to Moab in 1884. Cheryl and Jim’s sense of continuity and value of family touch all aspects of the business. A portrait of Cheryl’s father on horseback decorates one wall. One of Jim’s mother’s recipes is immortalized in the delicious “Lenore’s Scone with caramel butter.” Their son-in-law, Rick Burgess, is the cook and landscaper—check out his beautiful creations out front as well as in the kitchen.

Even the Bandit Burger, a lunch time favorite served with cheese and jalapenos and weighing no less than a half pound, is part of Moab history. It stems from the old Taco Bender, which Moab has sorely missed for the past 13 years or so. Former owners Michael and Anne Arehart generously shared numerous recipes with Cheryl, who worked there for years, including the burritos and taquitos. If you want to feel like a real insider, ask if Cheryl is in the kitchen and then order the enchiladas. They aren’t on the menu, but if she’s there, and she usually is, then this specialty is available.

The Stagecoach Grill celebrated its first anniversary on Labor Day. The entire enterprise has been a labor of love for Jim and Cheryl Nyland, who built the restaurant on the same site as their former feed store. They actually kept the store going as the restaurant was being built, a feat of multi-tasking. It’s hard to get Cheryl to really talk about their accomplishments. She’s too busy sharing how generous all their friends and families were with their time and energy. She’d rather brag about what a great middle school teacher Mike Arehart is, and what a wonderful friend his wife Anne has been, than brag about her own homemade pies, which, believe me, are worth bragging about. I’m still hoping that she’ll offer a pastry class for those of us dependent on Pillsbury crusts!

Several things make the Stagecoach Grill special. It is open year round and all day, everyday but Sunday. It can be reserved for large groups, and already has several Christmas parties booked. Don’t forget the homemade soups, daily specials, and a kids menu. The different stagecoach models that were gifts from customers. A big-screen TV, as well as several TVs throughout so that there isn’t a bad seat in the house on the night of a big game. A beautiful, built-in bar that offers several kinds of beer. And then there’s that pie again.

Come and check it out. Even if they don’t know your name yet, they’ll soon remedy that!

The Stagecoach Grill
2728 South Highway 191
Moab, Utah 84532
(435) 259-6315
Monday-Thursday: 6:30 am - 8:00 pm
Friday and Saturday: 6:30 am – 9 pm
Take out available, as well as party reservations.

Recipe of the Month

From The Stagecoach Grill

Mike’s “South of the Border” Salsa

1 #10 can ¼” diced tomatoes
1 can diced green chilies (27 oz)
2 Tbsp granulated garlic
2 Tbsp black pepper
1 heaping Tbsp chili powder
1 large onion, diced

Mix well and chill.


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