“ Address: US-160 & US-163 / Kayenta / Arizona 86033 / USA „
The Blue Coffee Pot ,Kayenta
We were passing through Kayenta from San Juan on our way to the Grand Canyon having visited the Four Corner's Monument the day before so we were in the heart of Navaho Nation and in Navaho county. The Navaho name for the town is "Tó Dinéeshzhee".This is the area written about by Hillerman in his books, specifically 'The Skinwalkers' which I read and reviewed recently. There is very little around in the area and the towns are few and far between so when we arrived in Kayenta we knew this is where we would be stopping for our coffee break as there wouldn't be another town for some time.
Kayenta is a smallish town but has a population of about 5,000 however they are quite widely spread out. The town is on a Highway and split by the road running through it. The highway isn't one of the a huge multi lane jobs one but you still have to pull off and onto a sort of side road to access the shops and food places along the side.
There is really not a lot in this town, you could drive through without actually being attracted by anything but as we wanted a coffee we looked pretty carefully to find somewhere that looked okay for a coffee. The main eateries were in a block on the corner of Highway 160 and 163. There were a couple of the fast food places like McDonalds but truthfully there was not much to choose from and this looked at least slightly more interesting than the fast food option and a bit better than a trucker's stop off so in we went.
I was quite interested in the name and asked the waitress about the name. She brought us a menu and it had a little note about the fact that Navaho ladies were given a coffee pot on their wedding day and it was kept warm so they had coffee to offer to any visitors or something like that. Blue is one of the traditional Navaho colours representing the sky. I asked why there were no coffee pots in the restaurant and she pointed me towards the entrance where indeed there was a lovely display of Navaho coffee pots which I had missed on my way in, being so intent of my coffee.
The majority of the customers were eating breakfast type food and the majority were Navaho so obviously this was a popular local eating spot. The sight of so many people eating combined with the fact that we had only had muesli bars for our breakfast meant that we were tempted to try a couple of local specialities as well as our coffee.
We had to try Navaho Fry bread and also deep fried pickle neither of which any of us had sampled before. The fry bread was sort of like a naan shape but fried rather than griddled but surprisingly not too greasy but we did share one between the four of us. The deep fried pickles were sliced gerkins deep fired in batter and also quite tasty but you wouldn't want a plateful - a cake plate full between the four of us was about right.
I have read quite a few reviews on the internet and some are very scathing about the place, they comment on the slow service and poor food. Others say that the food is good and some have had great service. Our experience was okay. The service was far from speedy and certainly not the usual America ' Hi I'm ... I'm your server for the day etc'. She gave us the menu, took our order and returned with the food in a reasonable time, not hugely friendly or smiley but answered our questions. I wouldn't rush back for the food or necessarily recommend the service. You have to remember you are in the middle of nowhere and not expect the kind o service that you come to expect in most places in the USA. Think of an out of the way country cafe or pub in a small town in the UK and the kind of service you might get there and that is about the level.
If you are passing through Kayenta you can't miss this as there are few other options. Would I recommend ? Well yes, it is certainly more interesting that McD's or the like next door. The food was interesting to try. They did serve a cooked breakfast and do serve other meals too but i can't say anything about those as we didn't try them. The place appeared to be clean and it was nice and light with lots of windows. My husband always likes to be able to see the car from where ever we stop when it if full of all our stuff and that was easy to do so he was happy.
The toilets were okay. They were clean and there was a hand dryer and paper towels and I didn't feel the need to do extra hand cleansing with the steriliser stuff when I left. The restaurant and toilets were all on one level so not problem with any disabled access which is a big plus.
The choices are limited in Kayenta and this was certainly an interesting stop as we got to try Navaho specialities and it was nice to hear Navaho speaking to each other in their language too. It was like being in another country in the middle of the USA. We thought this was a great place to stop for a coffee and to try local specialities in the middle of the Navaho nation.
Thanks for reading. This review may be posted on other sites under my same user name.