From Our Saint David B&B Explore Bisbee’s Wonders
Only a 45 minute drive separates you from our Saint David B&B from the delights of Bisbee. Every now and then we have some spare time to go to a place that is fascinating and fun to explore. Bisbee has many small eclectic shops, a coffee roaster, tasting olive oil, balsamic vinegar or wine, the mine tours and museum, antique stores and some fantastic places to eat.
We particularly like to go into the antique stores to see if there is something that we can find that will fit into the decor of our Saint David B&B. It is always fun to explore this town that grew up around the mine and view the old buildings from street level or from atop one of the overlooks in the town. But the one thing we do like to do in Bisbee is to sample the culinary offerings of the restaurants.
We have found many places to eat in Bisbee and have heard of some others to try. But we were introduced to Café Roka in Bisbee about 7 years ago by our neighbors. Now one or two times a year we head to Café Roka and savor a dish that Chef Rod has prepared. When our Saint David B&B guests ask us where to go for that special celebration dinner we tell them about Café Roka and give them the reservation line. They have never come back dissatisfied and neither have we when we have eaten there.
We walked around Bisbee after we had arrived and searched our usual haunts and then at 5:30 we made our way to the door of Café Roka. This time we were seated on the mezzanine overlooking the main floor of the Café. There is a third floor above that which was being used for a large party that night. We have eaten up on the third floor and if you get there ask for a window seat overlooking the street.
After being seated we were brought the menu, and we were told about the 3 specials for the night. The main menu varies slightly but everything on it is good. Angie and I decided to try something a little different this time. We wanted something that we had never had before so we picked our items from the menu. I had the roasted stuffed quail and Angie had the roasted chicken with brandy cream sauce. Then we selected our wine. I found that the wine list is very good with a wide variety of wines. I also found that Café Roka now serves some Arizona wines from Pillsbury, Keeling Schaefer, Dos Cabezas, Arizona Stronghold and Page Springs. These are all wines that we know and love so we chose one of them. To start we had an appetizer and chose the sampler plate with stuffed dates, prosciutto wrapped artichoke hearts and pequillo peppers stuffed with goat cheese. This is a must try!
After our appetizer the dinner is served in 4 courses. You start off with the soup du jour, a salad, a sorbet to cleanse the palate and then the entrée. Bread is waiting on the table for you prior to seating. After dinner you can have a wonderful dessert and an after dinner drink or coffee. Be prepared to spend some time enjoying the meal. This is not your normal dine and dash roadhouse diner and you will enjoy the time you spent here. In our case, we enjoyed the restaurant for an hour and a half. Depending upon what you order, you can have a tab of less than $100 and be able to say you ate at one of the best restaurant in Bisbee and one of the best in Arizona and the Southwest.
After we finished, we bundled up and headed out the door to falling snow. That put Angie in the mood to sing Winter Wonderland and all the way back to the car I was serenaded. As we drove we saw that snow was sticking to cars that had been parked for a while but nothing stayed long on the road. By the time we went through the tunnel the snow had pretty much quit and the little enclave of Bisbee was left to a chance for a blanket of winter white.
The restaurant is only open Wednesday through Saturday, 5 to 9 PM, during the winter and usually just Friday and Saturday during the summer, and on Friday nights there is typically a small musical group playing jazz. Reservations are needed to make sure you will be served but sometimes a few of our Saint David B&B guests have walked in and been able to get seated. Café Roka has been operating for 25 years in Bisbee and is located at 35 Main St. phone 520-432-5153. As a further service, if you wish us to make reservations for you during your stay at Down By The River and give us a date and time frame, we will do our best to get you the time and day you want but please give us enough lead time to do so.