Restaurant in Apache Junction

About Dirtwater Springs

By Peter Sterling, for 'Gateway To The East Valley' Magazine (Sept - Oct 2010):

With a name like Dirtwater Springs and a rustic old western saloon looking building, you have to wonder what you are getting into when you arrive at this establishment. But this is a must-stop at the Gateway to Superstition Mountains. We were greeted by Dick Parks, restaurant owner since 1987. Over lunch, he told us history of the Superstition Mountain gas station turned Dirtwater Springs Restaurant.

Early in September 1947, a young boy by the name of Rocky wanted a racehorse. After figuring out that he needed $400 to purchase it, he decided to rob the Superstition Mountain Shell Station and shoot the owner, Katherine Gohn. Rocky was eventually tried, found guilty and sentenced to death. To this day, waitresses and staff say they can occasionally hear the ringing of the old service station bell that sounded as customers drove up. Some even say they have seen the ghost of Katherine Gohn around the restaurant after closing time.

Nowadays, the restaurant is home of the 72 ounce U.S. Prime sirloin coined as "The Gambler's Choice' for $59.95. Eat it up and all the fixins' in one hour and you've won; they will pick up the tab. We mentioned that this is a prime candidate for a segment on the Food Network's Man vs. Food.

Our group wasn't brave or hungry enough to tackle a 72 ounce steak, but we did indulge in a little bit of everything including the homemade chili (red and green), taco salad, burger and pulled pork sandwich. The entree that really got our attention was the Alaskan fried cod - an all-you-can-eat entree on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. This is a quality filet and we can see why Dick Parks is so proud of it.

Last but not least you must taste one of the homemade pies, made in house by owner's wife. Selections vary but include apple, caramel apple nut, cherry, millionaire, chocolate cream, coconut meringue, lemon meringue and ala mode. Simply put, everything we tried was delicious.