Roadkill on menu at desert cafe

SELIGMAN, Arizona (Reuters Life!) - The Roadkill Cafe proudly proclaims “You kill it, we grill it!” - but the closest you’ll actually get to animals mown down on the road is dish names on the menu.

This eclectic eatery on the main street of Seligman, Arizona - just about the only street in this small town of just over 500 - is one of a number of establishments geared for tourists either visiting the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas or traveling along old Route 66.

Apart from a cluster of motels and the Rusty Bolt, a bizarre menagerie with mannequins on the roof and two remarkably well-cared for vintage cars outside, there is also Westside Lilo’s Cafe, which proclaims “Welcome Germans” on a sign outside for the growing number of German tourists.

Clearly, a gimmick is needed to attract business amid all the competition for tourist dollars. The Roadkill Cafe rises to the challenge with gusto.

The theme of the restaurant can be seen in the tablecloths covered in roaming deer, plus the nicely placed merchandising on a cart in the middle of the restaurant that includes canvas bags proclaiming in bold capital letters: “YOU KILL IT, WE GRILL IT.”

But it is the menu that really catches the eye. It promises plenty in squashed country critters. But in reality the names are merely a front for your average American diner fare.

At lunchtime you can try the “Tried-to-pass-me-bye on Rye” otherwise served as a Patty Melt in diners - or “Varmint Vittles” - a chicken wrap - or even a “No Luck Buck” - a French Dip sandwich.

When it comes to dinner there is the “Rack of Raccoon” - an 18-inch (46cm) rack of ribs - or “Long Gone Fawn” - a 6 ounce (170 gram) sirloin steak. Alternately, you can try “The Chicken that almost crossed the road” - fried chicken - or “Rigor Mortis Tortoise” - fried shrimp.

And there’s something for the kids, too. The children’s menu includes “Donald Forgot to Duck” - biscuits and gravy - or the delightfully named “Poached Bambi Burger” - which is a plain old hamburger.

Roadkill Cafe, Route 66, Seligman, Arizona. Tel: 928-422-3554.