The size of Maddox Ranch House restaurant makes no sense in a small town like Perry, Utah, until you realize how many people travel to eat there. Our family is among that number.
Maddox Ranch House first opened in a small log cabin in 1949 and has since grown into a large, two-story restaurant flanked by a drive-in hamburger restaurant on one side and another large two-story facility built for weddings and other large events. It would be hard to find a restaurant with more square footage in the state of Utah, yet the city of Perry has fewer than 5,000 residents.
Maddox has been serving high-quality, locally sourced meals since long before it was trendy. There is a shed near the parking lot where Maddox cattle were once housed, and the peaches in our peach pie came from Maddox family orchards. Don't expect any snobbishness, though. Maddox specializes in homestyle entrees such as fried chicken and steak. Maddox also serves bison, a lean alternative to beef. Fresh beef and bison meats are sold from a refrigerator in the lobby, so bring a cooler and ice if you might like to take some home.
You get a lot for your money at Maddox. Every meal is served with warm homemade rolls and cornbread with whipped butter and raspberry honey butter, salad or soup or shrimp cocktail, fresh steamed vegetable and choice of potato. Maddox has its own “ice cold well water” as well as homemade root beer, sasparilla and familiar soft drinks.
The casual atmosphere at Maddox is family-friendly and the restaurant has a children's menu with familiar items such as hamburgers, chicken strips and pasta. Children's entrees are served on a paper-lined frisbee, which is a fun alternative to the usual prizes we get with our kids meals. The layout of the restaurant is well suited for large family groups.
The last time we ate at Maddox, I ordered the top sirloin and my husband ordered the sauteed bison. I have enjoyed Maddox steak in the past, but was not as impressed this time. My steak tasted like something I might have cooked in a frying pan at home. My husband and children enjoyed their entrees. Next time, I will choose the chicken fried steak, or one of the other homestyle specialities. We finished our meal with a slice of fresh peach pie and it was delicious.
Good to know
Where: Maddox Ranch House is located at 1900 South Highway 89 in Perry, Utah, near the mouth of Sardine Canyon. To get there from Salt Lake City, take I-15 northbound for about 45 miles. Take the first Brigham City exit and head east for a couple of miles. Turn south on Highway 89 and look for it on the right.
When: Maddox is closed on Sundays and Mondays, which was disappointing when we drove all the way up there one year on Labor Day. Maddox takes reservations and I would be sure to make them for a weekend lunch or dinner.
How much: You can spend as much as $27.95 for a bison ribeye steak, but a good selection of entrees can be had for under $15 each. Most children's meals are $5-7 each.