Horny Toad: A tried, true, delish diner

horny toad logoCAVE CREEK – Sometimes, residents can take those tried-and-true area "institutions" for granted. As we know, they're always there. Since 1976, in the case of the Horny Toad. It's always open, save three days a year. It has a perpetual family-feel, which makes sense, as not only has it always been under ownership by the same Price family (originally Glenn, Marian, Jeffrey), many of the employees have long-time tenure as well. Some of those familiar faces include Chef Don Dantine, 27 years and of whom Jeff Price considers his right arm; night managers Pamela Hurst and Jim Leonard (both since 1983); Samantha Barker, Billie Jean Pugh, and of course, Jeff's son, Tom Price.

"I'm really proud of my staff," the senior Price offered. "They're a good team, and I couldn't do it without them.”

And while tourist dollars are appreciated in a tenuous economy, Price has a special gratitude for the locals. The feeling is mutual as recently, with viewer nominations, the Horny Toad surpassed many hurdles to be chosen as a featured eatery on PBS' new Check, Please.
There's lots to be championed at the Horny Toad. How about Monday all-you-can-eat ribs? Or Friday all-you-can-eat deep fried Icelandic cod? The fried chicken is in demand seven days a week. Don't forget to end the meal with the famed Strawberry shortcake! Price added, "We're one of the few places that still do a daily blackboard special, too."

There's a reason the Horny Toad thrives after 35 years in business. Yet its reputation doesn't hinge on the glory days of yesterday when celebs such as Dick Van Dyke and Hugh Downs used to frequent it. It's the heart the Price family has for the restaurant; it's the dedication they pour into it and the fact they crown their neighbors as "kings" for their loyalty. Let's not take this restaurant, this family, for granted! Stop in, say hello, have a meal, bolster the economy! Everybody wins.

Check out for additional pertinent information or call 480-488-9542 for hours or reservations. In a hurry? Carry-out is available.