Don Senneville and Jim White

The Wagon Wheel Cafe! Expecting a cross between the Bonanza/Ponderosa and Ted Nugent, we were relieved to find the Wheel inviting and historically interesting. (The real Cartwrights did live in Cave Creek, by the way.) Sitting in an almost screened in porch with no flies, surrounded by locals in Wranglers and flag t-shirts, we felt at home. There are even screen doors. Jim felt secure in his Indian Village Cave Creek t-shirt. Don’s man-bag was conspicuous, but nobody commented on it.

John Wayne photos looked down on us from the many rodeo and cowperson pictures on the walls. And there are carved wooden cars that must have been there when we were here in 1988 when it opened…where is our picture?

We knew it would be good because when entering, we met Abby, a 10 year old friend of Jordan’s, who raved about the pancakes. Grandchildren’s level reviews are enlightening. Then Bill Waters and family exited with satisfied smiles. Ok. Teacher Alley has its perks.

Our server fixed us up with the kind of breakfast we came for: grits, biscuits & gravy, sausage and eggs OE! We thought this was a substantial order until the guy at the table next to us ordered 3 eggs OE, white toast, corned beef hash and a side of bacon! Then he looked at us. Wow. Don had pancakes like his mom used to make – two is all you need. The owners are the cooks and run a tasty little spot!

Fun to sit and watch Cave Creek Road and remember when it was 2 lanes and Jackie’s was just around the corner. So now the Wagon Wheel Cafe has required us to extend the boundaries of our Coffee Rodeo Drive, our Caffeinated Cave Creek Road (See our map from an earlier The Cup article.) Maybe the Wagon Wheel was the first!

The Wagon Wheel now becomes the western border of Coffee Row, with the Seed Cafe defining the eastern edge, 2.3 miles away. That means that there are now 13 Coffee Spots – still less than the number of “Retablos” stores (!) – in the same stretch of Cave Creek Road. The Seed would be on the left and the Wheel on the right. We will continue to check this out for deeper meaning.

If there are any “Retablo” shops with coffee, please notify us ASAP.

Our “Black Lion Cafe” article elicited several inquiries regarding our coffee questions. Such as the reference to “melange” from Dune – see below*. Do Dutch Bros also own paint stores?- No.

My Army buddies responded with “Dude, the Officers’ clubs have espresso now, Sir”. Wow. Should Carefree town meetings require decaf only?- Yes. Is “Jitter” real?- No. Sorry, Elon.

Use your social media to contact Don and Jim at The CUP at Thanks to Randy Rogers of Scottsdale for the heads-up on The French Pastry in Santa Fe!!

*The Spice Melange, commonly referred to simply as ‘the spice’, was a naturally produced awareness spectrum narcotic that formed a fundamental block of commerce and technological development in the known universe for millennia. Coffee=Melange? Yikes!