southwestern foods

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Mar 6th, 2005, 05:35 PM
  #1
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southwestern foods

hello! we re going to az for the first time.. going as hikers.. to see apache trail..sedona and grand canyon. can anyone recommend great places to eat-not too expensive for maybe something like cactus to eat? we d like to try good southwestern meals? we are budget-minded but seek great foods too thanks!
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Mar 7th, 2005, 04:39 AM
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We loved Sam's Cafe near the Phoenix Convention Center. I understand that it is associated with some other restaurants. They make their own tortilla chips and sweet potato chips and offer two different salsas to enjoy while you order. There were mixed drinks flavored with Prickly Pear syrup. Although I don't recall cactus on the menu, the food, even the meatloaf and mashed potatoes, were cooked with a southwest flair. In Sedona there was a nice shop with southwest products (found the prickly pear syrup there) and free samples.
Sometimes on travels I explore the local supermarket. You might be surprised at what you find and it ought to be great for the budget. (We discovered fresh peach juice in Nova Scotia, of all places.)
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Mar 8th, 2005, 04:48 PM
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I would suggest Carlsbad Tavern in Scottsdale, on Hayden and Osborn Roads...outside eating,very good southwest food. You might also try Mexican food at any of the local restaurants...Macayo, Manuels, Garcias...there are also several restaurants in Carefree/CaveCreek that might fill the bill.
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Mar 9th, 2005, 05:02 PM
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Try a tacquaria located on corner lots in the the larger cities. They should have a health dept. certificate. We had Indian fry bread tacos at the San Xavier Shrine in Tucson from street vendors after Sunday mass that were outstanding.
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Mar 14th, 2005, 04:23 AM
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Second vote for Sam's cafe in Phoenix, interesting dishes and some nice happy hour deals if I remember rightly.

Have a great trip, Greybeard
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Mar 14th, 2005, 05:06 AM
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Eating cactus is more Mexican and is on many menus in Mexico. But I don't think I've ever seen it on a southwestern menu. I wouldn't doubt that it might be on a new cuisine SW menu. There is a Mexican restaurant in Tampa called Angustino's that serves a cactus salad side dish. You're not missing much. Think boiled green pepper.
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Mar 14th, 2005, 12:55 PM
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cactus would be on the menu as a salad called Nopalitos. You might see it around, but frankly, it's not worth a special trip. There are much better things for SW foods. As a local, and a foodie who is interested in ethnic, good and reasonable meals, I'd recommend Los Sombreros as your first choice. No better place in town for SW food. Other alternatives that are also good are Carlsbad Tavern, Richardson's (if you can stand the smoke and noise), and Sam's Cafe (good, though not at all authentic). Also Barrio Cafe is not authentic, but is outstanding for it's ingenuity and originality.

Pass on Macayo's etc -- it's the same everything-covered-in-orange-cheese-mexican-food that you can get anywhere. If you must hit a chain, make it Arriba.

But, better yet, go to Ranch Market for lunch. It's actually a huge hispanic grocery store that has taken one complete aisle and turned it into a food hall. Not to be missed-- great food, and it's like visiting Mexico for the day. There are three locations in Phoenix.

Carolina's in a dive in the downtown area where they have delicious food. You'll eat outside on benches, but this is some of the best 'real' mexican food you'll ever have. (note there is a difference between SW food and Mexican food.)

If you wander into the East Valley, there's Blue Adobe Cafe in Mesa, and Mangoe's in Mesa. The former is more SW, while the latter is Mexican and very casual. Rosa's Mexican in Mesa is very good also.
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