you ate breakfast at the Jailhouse one hundred or so years
ago, you would probably have chowed down on cornbread and
beans or biscuits and gravy shoved through the bars of
your cell. If the Sheriff’s wife was in a good mood,
you might get bacon and eggs.
Times have changed.
Today, the Jailhouse Café is Moab’s premier breakfast
eatery. Each dish is developed and approved by Will Petty,
the owner of the café. Will has passed on to the staff
his special flair for preparation and presentation. Every effort
is directed toward making the Jailhouse Café not just
another breakfast joint.
When Will bought the café in 1992, he saved one of Moab’s
oldest buildings from wrack and ruin. Built as a residence
1885, in 1892 the county purchased the building and made it
into a courthouse and jail until a new courthouse and jail
were built in 1903. In the following years, it served again
as a house, then a post office, a retail shop, business offices,
and an art gallery.
building sat empty during the 1980s and was falling apart
until Will’s loving renovation in 1992. A small room
off what is now the kitchen has two-foot thick adobe walls
and was the jail cell. In those days, Moab needed only
one cell. The adobe construction was common in Moab’s
early days and is reasonably cool in the heat of the summer.
Will’s vision for the café was to do one thing
and do it very well. That concept translated into a breakfast
OF THE MONTH
Blueberry Sour Cream Crepes
Bring to a boil: You will need
3 cups Blueberries 3 crepes
½ cup Sugar
1 Tsp Cinnamon
½ cup Orange Juice
Take two (2) tablespoons of cornstarch and mix with ¼ - ½ cup
cold water. You want the cornstarch mixture not to
be too thin.
After the above ingredients comes to a boil, mix
in cornstarch mixture and cook for approximately
five minutes on low heat until thickened. Cool.
Mix together: ¾ cup Sour Cream
½ cup Powdered Sugar
Heat (3) crepes in skillet until warmed. Place blueberry
mixture in the middle of each crepe and top with
one tablespoon of sour cream mixture then roll up
and place on plate. You can garnish with fresh blueberries
if you wish.
*Note: not on Jailhouse Café menu -
available on specials only.
restaurant that has no equal in
Southeastern Utah. Each recipe goes through a rigorous
review before it is offered to customers. Once a recipe
is developed, it is again vetted for presentation – is
it as good to look at as it is to eat? The answer to that
must be “yes” because customers come back year
after year and tell their friends to come to the Jailhouse.
The food is consistently imaginative and extremely tasty.
And what food it is! Bacon and eggs, of course, for those
who prefer a traditional breakfast. Omelets to die for. Heart-healthy
Organic Wild Blueberry Granola, plain or topped with yogurt
The specialties are unique: Old-fashioned Ginger Pancakes
served with Dutch apple butter; the Jailhouse Chorizo Scramble
of 3 eggs, seasoned potatoes, and chorizo topped with sour
cream and fresh salsa. Southwestern Eggs Florentine is a
vegetarian version of Eggs Benedict that drops the Canadian
bacon, and adds spicy chipotle chiles. All food is freshly-prepared
from only the finest ingredients.
What is breakfast without a good cup of coffee? The Jailhouse
serves their own specially roasted blend of beans that will
open your eyes and make you glad to see the morning.
The ambiance is also unparalleled. You may sit inside the
historic building at cozy nicely-appointed tables, or enjoy
the coolness of morning in the high desert relaxing on the
covered terrace, taking in the beauty of the gardens and
flowers. In cool weather, the terrace is heated, enticing
you to stay for just one more cup of coffee.
Loretta Adkison is the dynamo who ensures that Will Petty’s
vision stays on track. That vision includes not only excellent
food, but excellent service as well. Their target is 8 minutes
from order to table. Very likely you will wait longer for
a table than for your food to arrive once you place your
order. The café doesn’t take reservations, but
your wait will seldom be longer than 20 minutes (and it’s
in most restaurants’ staff is notorious, but Loretta’s
management style creates an atmosphere that also has staff
coming back year after year. Staff continuity ensures that
the quality carries over from one year to another. Attention
is given to treating the staff with respect, making sure
they are aware how important they are to the total restaurant
At the Jailhouse Café, you’re treated as a valued
customer whose dining experience deserves the best food and
service possible. Once you’ve had breakfast there,
you’ll be glad that Will Petty’s vision has come
to life at the Jailhouse Café.
The Jailhouse Café is located
on the corner of Main and 100 South and is open from 7:00am
to noon every day.