(Edit: Various online sources confirm that Dot’s Diner closed in 2011. Hopefully they’ll reopen at some point)
I’ve always had a fascination for old diners. And small restaurants with very small seating areas. So when I happen across a gem like Dot’s Diner in Bisbee, Arizona, it’s obligatory that I stop in and check it out.
Dot’s is an authentic Valentine Diner care, originally built in Kansas bu the Valentine Manufacturing Company in Wichita. According to the literature they’ve got as a diner, Dot’s started life as a burger diner in Los Angeles before being purchased in the mid-90s and moved to it’s current location in the Shady Dell RV Park in Bisbee in 1997, with Dot at the grill.
While Dot has since retired, Dot’s Diner still serves up to 10 people at a time at it’s interior counter, with typical diner fare. Myself, I opted for the biscuits and gravy (shown here), while the rest of my party either got pancakes (buttermilk and buckwheat), and my brother Dan got the Mexican Omelette.
The big attraction to my biscuits and gravy was the fact that it was made to-order. The moment I placed the order, the cook started frying up chopped onions and sausage. Similarly, my home fries started as raw potatoes thrown into the fry pan right as I ordered. The result was crisp fries and a wonderful gravy. The biscuit itself was a little sub-par, but the rest of it made up for it.
As far as everyone else’s food? The pancakes were above average, and Dan’s Mexican omelette was made with fresh peppers. Overall, everyone was satisfied, although we were all envious of the hashbrowns ordered by the family down the counter. I’ll have to try those next time.
Dot’s is also a regular stop for all of the colorful regulars of Bisbee, and is nicely nestled inside the Shady Dell RV Park, which is basically a motel where you can rent one of several vintage RV trailers (or a Tiki-motif bus) instead of a hotel room.
Overall, it’s quite a good breakfast at a very novel location.
Shady Dell RV Park