I would say Rustler's Rooste is about as kid-friendly as a restaurant gets. With a live steer greeting you at the door, a slide to take instead of the stairs, and video games close enough for adults to see where their kids are, but far away enough not to hear the noise, this was a good stop for us during our time in Tempe.
As stated in other reviews, the rolls and salad to start is a nice plus. The kid's menu orders are HUGE. My daughter had an entire dinner plate of mac n' cheese! I ended up not even ordering an entree (not being a beef eater there wasn't a whole lot for me), but ended up rolling out of the restaurant anyway stuffed to the gills by just eating off the other 3 family member's plates. And don't even get me started on the beer! I ordered a "large" draft thinking it was a pint and it came our in a mason jar so big that I had to hold it with BOTH hands.
The view was lovely and we got there in time to watch the sunset. And after my kids finished, it was nice to be able to send them off to the games and enjoy a little alone time with the husband.
We were not offered the cotton candy like some other reviewers have stated but I know my kids would have been thrilled. It was hard enough trying to get them to leave when they were continuously going up and down the slide. The live band was a nice touch as well.
Rustlers Rooste is the kind of restaurant I would have taken my folks when they'd come to visit me at college. I'd get a lot of food (that they would pay for), some lively fun, and a little show-off to where they were sending me. This restaurant has all that.
Come for the Atmosphere, Stay for the Food
Rustler’s Rooste is built into the foothills of South Mountain, providing guest with spectacular views of the valley. They have a fun, cowboy vibe and great steaks. Dining here with my family of 7 (kids ages 9 years-8 months) felt like a trip back to the old west.
The atmosphere was just fun. Horney, a large bull and the restaurant mascot, sits outside the entrance to Rustler’s Rooste greeting guests before they make their way through a mining tunnel into an old-fashioned saloon. A country-western band performs on a stage. There is a tin slide into the dining room. Pieces of straw cover the floor. My kids split their time here between eating, sliding, and dancing.
I like to try what is unique at a restaurant, and here, that meant trying their Authentic Rattlesnake appetizer served with Prickly Pear Cactus fries. This is REAL rattlesnake, breaded and fried. My 9-year-old only tried it after the 6-year-old gave it rave reviews. It really just tasted like popcorn chicken. I was more impressed with the cactus fries. They had a unique flavor with a hint of spiciness. The best part of this appetizer is it comes with a piece of rattlesnake vertebrate you get to keep as a souvenir.
Rustler’s Rooste is a steakhouse, so beef is their specialty. My husband usually orders the largest cut of steak on the menu but even he was overwhelmed at their 2-lb Porterhouse. He loved his 20 ounce rib-eye, though. I ordered the “Vaquero” (steak and enchiladas) but wasn’t too impressed with the enchiladas. The steak, on the other hand, was excellent. Our entrees were served with a green salad with ranch dressing (delicious), corn on the cob (overcooked), and cowboy beans (spicy for me but hubby liked them). The kids menu was typical with the exception of a child-sized steak (prices around $6). Of course, none of my children ordered that, but I do love that it is offered. My son loved the chicken fingers, but my daughter was disappointed with her macaroni and cheese. I tried some and it did taste pretty plain. The meal was ended with a fun treat: green apple cotton candy. Price are fair, what you would expect from a steakhouse.
The service was quick. Our drinks were always filled and empty plates cleared. I made a mistake and ordered the wrong kids meal for my daughter and the server said, “I can switch that for you, no problem.” All the staff was friendly and helpful.
Bottomline-The food was fine but the atmosphere was superb. Rustler’s Rooste is a fun taste of the old west that I would recommend for families of all ages.
This review is based on a complimentary visit to Rustler’s Rooste. I received no other compensation and these opinions are entirely my own.
I have to admit that I struggled with what sort of rating to give this restaurant. Our friends who are locals took us the Rustlers Rooste because they always had such a fun time at this extremely kid friendly steakhouse. Unfortunately, I ran into problems when I broke the cardinal rule of steakhouses and ordered something that wasn't red meat. I think that as long as you don't break that rule, you will have a great experience.
Rustler's Rooste is actually on the property of the Arizona Grand Resort but it is perched high on a hill and doesn't really have that resort restaurant feel at all. Actually, the atmosphere is all western and all fun. There is a steer out front, and the pathway through the restaurant winds through what feels like an old mine. the restaurant itself is quite large and the kids will be thrilled to discover the tin slide. Musicians play country music while patrons learn line dances in between courses if they so choose. Kids eat free during the summer months (aka: the low season) and have choices such as steak, chicken fingers, hamburgers, and hot dogs. All come with fries but you can ask for them to substitute corn and they restaurant is accommodating. The views from inside the restaurant are very beautiful with panoramas of the Valley of the Sun. There is a huge outdoor patio as well but it wasn't being utilized during our visit due to the 109 temps outside. A balloon artist walks from table to table and makes balloon creations for the kids which were the highlight of my son's day.
All adult entrees come with squaw bread (loved it with the cinnamon butter), a salad (which was very good), corn on the cob, and a choice of side. I ordered the salmon and it was terrible. It was basically a burnt brick of dried fish. I don't think I have ever complained to the waiter about a meal and I did this time. It was that bad. They gave us a 20% coupon for next time which I thought was pretty silly. They really should have refunded the cost of my meal. My husband ordered the fried chicken and also ran into the issue of it being overcooked and dry but it was edible. The people at our table that ordered red meat all had great steaks and were extremely satisfied. Lesson learned. Order the red meat. For dessert, they brought out green apple flavored cotton candy which was fantastic. Tip: if you go to the cotton candy station on the way out and ask for some more, they will give it to you.
So after being served the burnt brick of salmon, would I ever go back to this restaurant? Actually yes, I would. The kids had so much fun and the atmosphere was kid-friendly without having that Chuck E. Cheese vibe. All the sides were actually very good and my friends, who I trust, say that everything else they have ever had at the restaurant has been tasty. I would just be sure to order the red meat!
I like the unique features of Rustlers Roost - the live music, entertaining staff, the big slide for the kids and the view of course! The food leaves something to be desired and I don't like having to pass the large steer coming in the door but overall, a fun place for the whole family!
This restaurant, perched at the top of the Arizona Grand Resort is set up to be a fun, casual family time.
The steakhouse is loud and busy and full of live country music, dancing, an upstairs separate bar and lounge area, a real life bull out front, a gift shop, and a panoramic view of the valley of Phoenix from your table inside or out. The kids were kept entertained with coloring, dancing, a balloon artist and of course SLIDING down the slide that leads into the restaurant (you can take the stairs if you feel a bit too mature!! :)). After the meal, the kids were brought out complimentary cotton candy which certainly led them to a bit of a sugar high, but they sure had fun in the mean time!
The food was pretty good, although I would not recommend the beef ribs which were more gristle than meat. There also aren't really any dairy-free options, which is a struggle for our family.
But you can't beat the view and the fun spirit of the old west as you sing and dance while waiting for dinner.
This restaurant has been voted one of the top places to take your kids in Phoenix and there is little doubt why.
This has to be one of the best kept secrets in Phoenix. Situated on a hill overlooking the valley Rustlers Rooste is a great western themed place where you can literally slide into your meal. Yes, then have a slide that will take you from the main floor down to the dining floor. In addition they have a great bar and lounge area. The food is good, a bit pricey but worth it for the atmosphere!