Posts Tagged ‘Dining’

The Blue Belly Grill

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Blue Belly Grill Restaurant – On Site Dining for Breakfast and Dinner


Nothing adds to a vacation like good food, and as a recent visitor to Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, I can tell you, their food was good. After our first day of  hiking and playing in the great outdoors, my family was ravenous, so we hit the Blue Belly Grill for dinner.

Blue Belly Grill Restaurant

Zion Ponderosa’s Blue Belly Grill.

I ordered the Spicy Vegetarian Pasta, on the mild side. I’m not a spicy lover, but this dish was filling and delicious, so much so, I saved some for lunch the next day. My husband ordered their Bleu Bacon Cheeseburger served on a whole wheat bun. After a few bites he said, “This may be the best Bleu Bacon Cheeseburger I’ve ever had.” Pretty high praise from my burger loving man.

The Blue Belly Grill Restaurant

The Blue Belly Grill Restaurant

Now, I know I’m the lady every waiter hates, because when it comes to food for my four-year-old son, I’m very picky.  His severe allergies to wheat, eggs and nuts make most restaurants visits stressful. Wait staff often have to double check  ingredient lists and recipes, but at Blue Belly Grill, Chef Frances P. Van der Stappen’s commitment to providing gluten free and allergy free foods made it easy. In addition to using no peanut oil, all meals are made fresh and grown locally. Ethan was pleased and so was I.

When I asked Chef Frances about her menu she said, “It’s designed after the welcoming mentality of the Neeleman family [Owners of Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort]. We try for true western hospitality – honest cooking made from scratch.”

Chef Francesca P. van der Stappen

I think she nailed it. Everything from the Bleu Bacon Cheeseburger, Buffalo Chicken Wings, Top Sirloin, Spicy Vegetarian Pasta and Margerita Pizza was tasty and done well. We enjoyed our food so much, we made a point to come back the next night.

In addition to a great dinner menu, their breakfast offerings of french toast, biscuits and gravy, omelettes and fruit and yogurt are sure to start anybody’s day of adventure off right. Also this year, their annual Thanksgiving dinner is sure to tempt everyone’s tastebuds.

Bon Appetit!

Fall Getaway

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Fall Getaway by Susan Strayer

Zion National Park in Autumn

Zion National Park in Autumn


My husband’s brithday is in October and this year we decided to celebrate with a two night stay at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort. We’d been there earlier in the summer, but I was excited to see Zion National Park with fall colors. James was excited to ride the trails on the Ranch’s UTV.

Staying in a Comfortable Cabin Suite.

Fall Getaway at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort

When we arrived at our cabin suite, I could already feel my muscles relax in anticipation of our vacation. The rustic style of the cabin suites, combined with the kitchenette and separate seating area made me feel right at home. We could’ve stayed in any of Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort’s six lodging options, but the cabin suite was the perfect choice.


We started our stay with dinner at the Blue Belly Grill. James had “the tastiest Bleu Bacon Cheesburger he’s ever had” and I had delicious Spicy Vegetarian Pasta. We enjoyed the food so much, we made a point to eat there again the next night.

Dinner at the Blue Belly Grill was delicious.

Dinner at the Blue Belly Grill was delicious.


In the morning we played mini golf before heading out on the trail. The Utility Vehicle we rented could seat six and easily handled the bumps of the numerous off road trails surounding the Ranch. We made our way to Jolley Gulch and Pine Knoll Observation point where we could see Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park and way in the distance the north rim of the Grand Canyon. James loved it so much, I’m sure owning a UTV will be in our future.


Riding the trails in a UTV at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort

Riding the trails in a UTV at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort

We loved the UTV ride, but could’ve also gone horseback riding, ATVing or Rock Climbing thanks to all the activities Zion Ponderosa ranch offers. The weather in October was perfect, unlike the sweltering heat of the summer, the air was warm with a cool breeze.

Zion National Park in Autumn

Zion National Park in Autumn


The rest of our time was spent exploring the area’s National parks. Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort is located on the eastern border of Zion National Park, so of course we went there to see the fall colors. In October, the summer crowds have all disappeared so the park was relaxing and beautiful. The next day we decided to drive just over an hour to Bryce Canyon National Park to see the hoo doos there. Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort’s unique location between the two made it a great place to stay, and the beautiful fall weather made it the perfect time to visit.


New Chef & Dining Services – Rave Reviews

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Our new Chef Francesca P. Van der Stappen has been receiving rave reviews from our guests.   Frances has great experience in preparing dining experiences that meet the unique needs or desires of any guest.  Here’s one comment from a guest this spring at Zion Ponderosa.

Zion National Park Restaurant

Great dining options at our Zion National Park restaurants

“We arrived at the Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort expecting beautiful scenery and a quiet clean cabin.  Much to our surprise and delight we also found a world class chef, Francesca P. van der Stappen.  On our first trip to the dining room she greeted and listened attentively as I described a list of food allergies that I must contend with.  She immediately assured me that my palette would be well taken care of and she was right!   We were at the Resort for 3 meals and the cuisine was exceptional.  Anyone who enjoys a culinary experience as well as an escape to the outdoors will find the Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort a memorable experience.”

Our restaurant options are divers for the Zion National Park area and we expect that you’ll join with our other guests in expressing your great satisfaction with the dining at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort.

Season is filling up fast: Just a note of reminder that if you are planning on visiting Zion Ponderosa this year, we encourage you to make reservations today, since the season is selling out.