Cattleman’s Café in Marana has expanded into Oro Valley with Cattleman’s Café 2 on Oracle Road where Down Home Delights used to be, next to the Fairfield Inn & Suites. (El Molinito will soon occupy the building on the other side of the hotel. Click here to see the post) We had never been to the original Cattleman’s, so off we went on a Friday evening with absolutely no expectations whatsoever. We could not locate a menu online anywhere, so here is one for you.
We did call right before we left to ensure they were open for dinner and were told that it was their fried catfish night. YUM, that is all they needed me to hear- I was in the car in a flash. When we arrived it looked very much like Down Home Delights did- a few tweaks here and there. I ordered that catfish, mashed potatoes with white gravy and sliced tomatoes, while my husband opted for the burger and fries. Cattleman’s does not have a license to sell alcohol, so instead of wine or a beer we just had water and diet coke, respectively. When the food arrived on the plastic plates I was reminded of the old diners I went to in the Ozarks as a kid. It was fair southern style cooking but with a few changes it could be really , really good. The mashed potatoes and gravy were great- I actually could have just had a plate of that- and the catfish was pretty good too (maybe need a bit more spice). The sliced tomatoes were definitely on their way out and my husband’s fries were frozen crinkle fries from a bag. Honestly, if the tomatoes would have been super fresh and they would have served homemade fries it would have made a world of difference. The service was super- our server was attentive and friendly. I really would like to give this place another shot for breakfast though- biscuits and gravy, anyone?? I have to say though- dinner was less expensive than the movie and concessions after.
I do think that having Cattlemans and El Molinito will help the hotel, and vice versa. Hopefully they can all get together and come up with some creative marketing ideas to help sustain one another.