Mesquite locals and those who frequent the area in search of a quiet respite from Las Vegas know the town for its verdant golf courses that appear strikingly green against the desert. For most travelers, however, Mesquite is simply the place on I-15 that’s marked by faded billboards for $30 hotel rooms. It often appears as a navigation point on the way to Zion or Bryce Canyon National Park and not much else.
However, Mesquite is more than just a retiree community and tourist stopover. Located along the Virgin River on the state line of Arizona as sort of a last chance for gambling, Mesquite offers a striking variety of dining options, along with spas, entertainment, skydiving and even safaris by camel. The official town slogan is “Escape, momentarily” and the casinos, restaurants and resorts in Mesquite are a place to do just that.
This summer, curious travelers on I-15 can stop can get a taste of Mesquite at these five restaurants.
Craft brews and golf course views
It’s a fact that cold beer just tastes better with a view. At the 1800 Grille, that cold beer is the private label red ale, 1800 Ale, and those views are of the Conestoga Golf Club. In addition to the specially made beer, 1800 Grille’s menu features a southwest chicken salad with queso fresco and signature entrees like the po’boy wrap, served with buttermilk breaded shrimp and mesquite remoulade.
1800 Grille, 1499 Falcon Ridge Pkwy.; 702-346-4292
Vintage fine dining
For those who claim that Mesquite is like an older version of Las Vegas, the proof can be found at Katherine’s, a vintage steakhouse featuring dry aged beef and stone crab flown in from Florida. Located inside the CasaBlanca Resort & Casino, the upscale menu has a timeless feel. Guests can start with escargot served in mushroom caps, move on to Colorado lamb chops with cabernet plum sauce and finish with table-side prepared cherries jubilee.
Katherine's Steakhouse, 950 W. Mesquite Blvd; 702-346-7529
Travelers lured to Mesquite by roadside billboards advertising wildly cheap buffets often find themselves at Sierra’s Buffet — and rightfully so. The buffet, located inside the famously inexpensive Virgin River Hotel & Casino features a wealth of affordable yet appetizing options like all-you-can-eat steak every Tuesday and endless prime rib and crab every Saturday. It’s the epitome of a casino buffet.
Sierra’s Buffet, 100 E. Pioneer Blvd.; 877-438-2929
Located beside a gas station, this little taco shop packs major flavor and an impressive array of authentic choices. From pork stomach to beef tripe tacos served on warm corn tortillas, the menu rewards adventurous diners. But for those in search of more familiar food, the carne asada french fries served with cheese, guacamole and pico de gallo aren’t to be missed.
El Coyote Charro, 325 N. Sandhill Blvd.; 702-346-2858
Classic road trip fare
The great American road trip often calls for diner food served at a place with cozy booths and easy access to a jukebox. In Mesquite, that diner is Peggy Sue’s Diner, a 1950’s style restaurant known for comfort food favorites like chicken fried steak, open-faced roast beef sandwiches and old fashioned strawberry milkshakes. Whether it’s a Rita Hayworth cheese omelet for breakfast or a Marlon Brando mushroom cheeseburger for lunch, Peggy Sue’s Diner serves nostalgia any time of day.
Peggy Sue's Diner, 380 N. Sandhill Blvd.; 702-345-6747