has to eat, winter, summer … tourists or no. And for many, eating
out is routine as tucking in a toddler. At Smitty’s
Golden Steak Restaurant, it can be just as gratifying.
and Jana Smith know this as well as anyone. Jana hears
the murmurs when a regular coffee drinker is a no-show
one morning. One of his or her counter buddies is sure
to call and find out why. They are family.
“We have three different kinds of coffee cups because people have their
favorites,” Jana says. “We know who wants which cup.”
This is small town intimacy.
The Smith’s have owned this restaurant since February 1998 and
carry on a 40-year tradition of serving breakfast, lunch and dinner
year-round. Business may slow down a bit during the winter months,
but the Smiths still employ 24 staff, growing to about 35 in the spring.
The restaurant is family owned and operated, with all three of the
Smith siblings taking their turn in helping out.
of the whole history of the restaurant is the counter and the coffee
drinkers,” Jana says. On an average day Jana addresses most
of her customers by first name, and their children, too. She probably
knows their parents.
Both John and Jana grew up in Moab – lifelong residents whose
adult children still live in town as well. They got into the restaurant
business when Jana worked as an employee of Smitty’s Golden Steak
and was offered a management position. From there came eventual ownership
of the restaurant.
“ It just sort of happened,” Jana said.
Smitty’s Restaurant is famous for two things: the best steaks
available, breakfast lunch or dinner, and mouth-watering cinnamon rolls.
And while regular customers may know these well, Jana said the restaurant
gets a lion’s share of repeat tourist trade for the same reasons.
“Tourists come year after year just to get our cinnamon rolls,” Jana
says. “And we have the best coffee in town.”
and lengthy hours of operation probably account for much of the restaurant’s
success. Open at 6 a.m. every morning, early bird visitors and locals
can enjoy any staple café breakfast, including an omelet, steak
and eggs, or the very popular country fried steak and eggs. Lunches
offer traditional American fare, and every night there is a dinner
“ Our steak special nights, Wednesday and Friday, are very popular,” Jana
said. “And we have prime rib on the weekend.”
The Smiths have focused on good food and a simple décor to offer
a comfortable and satisfying dining experience. They solicited historical
photographs from the Dan O’Laurie Museum and the Essie White
and Ray Tibbetts collections to give the restaurant a realistic flavor
of the Moab area. Again catering to a wide-ranging clientele, locals
have the comfort of familiarity – and even a little notoriety – and
tourists have their interests piqued and satisfied at the same time.
Smitty’s Golden Steak offers high-quality catering services
as well. Located at 540 S. Main, the restaurant is open 6 a.m. to
during the winter months, and until 10 p.m. spring, summer and fall.
All menu items are available to take out. They can be reached at 259-4848.
“Local customers have been very good to us,” Jana concedes. And their
“Good food and friendly smiles.”