Ranch to tableWilliams, AZ

Route 66 sketch by Chandler O'Leary

This post is part of an ongoing series called 66 Fridays, which explores the wonders of old Route 66. Click on the preceding “66 Fridays” link to view all posts in the series, or visit the initial overview post here.

When it comes to road food along Route 66, sometimes a hot dog just doesn’t cut the mustard. When you’re traversing the Wild West, sometimes you just want a darn steak already. If a slab o’ steer is your cuppa tea, there’s no better place than Rod’s Steakhouse in Williams, Arizona.

We stayed three nights in a motel kitty-corner from Rod’s, so I ended up spending a lot of time staring at that neon sign—no complaints here, it’s a real beauty. What you couldn’t see from the motel was that the steer sign was just the tip of the fluorescent iceberg:

Route 66 sketch by Chandler O'Leary

A whole block of gorgeous neon! They had me at hello.

Route 66 sketch by Chandler O'Leary

So on our last night in Williams, we sat down for a steak dinner. Between the neon signs and the juxtaposition of cowboy decor and scores of Italian and French tourists, I was already in heaven. But you should have seen the rapture when I saw what was waiting at the table:

Route 66 sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Die-cut menus and vintage custom china pattern? Swoon.

I mean, yeah. The steak was great, too—actually, my rib eye was downright perfect. But no matter how unforgettable the meal, it’s the visual details I’ll always remember.

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