Heavenly Food: Adventures in Northern Arizona – Part 5


The Cameron Trading Post Restaurant near the Grand Canyon. Note the pressed tin ceiling.

This will be my last installment about Sedona, and it deals with the next best thing to the scenery: the food!

Our first morning in town, we made our way to Creekside Coffee after seeing it advertised on television. What a way to wake up! Perched on the edge of a hill on the second floor of a galleria, the café offers a stunning view along with just about any kind of coffee one would want, plus pastries and organic fare. Wine is also available.

Another great place for breakfast is the Coffeepot Restaurant (near Coffeepot Rock). I didn’t eat there, but my traveling partner did and said it was great. They offer 101 different types of omelets!

We usually ate lunches we packed ourselves. But the one time we ate a restaurant lunch was at the English Kitchen in Jerome. See my previous post about that divine and spooky BBQ experience.


The mussels and chorizo appetizer from the Mariposa.

We saved the piece de resistance of dining for after a full day of hiking near the end of our trip. We made dinner reservations at Mariposa, a Latin-inspired grill. We chose partly for the scenery — the restaurant has a wall of windows that look out to the red rock hills. The only glitch in our plan was that it was dark by dinner time! Duh.

But our view of the food more than made up for the lack of an outdoors view. And even though something went wrong with our reservation through Open Table, the hostess was able to find a spot for us.

We started off with cocktails. After hiking past juniper trees all day, I opted for a drink made from juniper berries (in the form of gin) called a juniperita. Other ingredients include St. Germain liquer, lemon juice, and agave. The lemony sweetness was the perfect refresher for my desert-worn pallet.

For an appetizer, we shared mejillones con chorizo, a mussel and sausage dish served in a white wine bouillabaisse with charred corn. O.M.G. – the sauce was divine! We dipped our bread in it, and could have been happy just with that. The sausage complemented the mussels surprising well.


The grouper.

For entrees, Linda had grouper, which was the fish of the day. It was served with Campari fire-roasted tomatoes, charred corn, white wine and herb butter, frijoles negros and quinoa pilaf. She allowed me a wonderful taste. I had skirt steak served with roasted rosemary potatoes and frijoles negros.

Have you ever had a steak that melts in your mouth? It’s a rare thing, and that’s what this was. I had a hard time eating it because I kept making noises of gustatory satisfaction.


The skirt steak.

Although tempted, we opted out of dessert because we had a plan, and we made our way back to our resort. Although it was only 43 degrees outside, a hot tub awaited steps away from our unit. We hearty Minnesotans donned our swimsuits and ran out to the hot tub with wine, chocolate truffles and mint fudge in hand.

The candy was from the Sedona Fudge Company. Life doesn’t get much better than when it’s spent in a hot tub under the Arizona stars, accompanied by chocolate and alcohol. I truly felt like I was on vacation.


The Navaho taco (front) and other fare from the Cameron Trading Post.

The last notable eating spot we had a chance to sample was the Cameron Trading Company Restaurant near the Grand Canyon. Want a Navaho taco that’s bigger than your head while viewing Navaho blankets worth thousands of dollars? This is your place then.

Established in 1916, the trading post was the place where Hopis and Navahos bartered their wool blankets and livestock in exchange for dry goods. The restaurant’s ceiling of pressed tin is flanked by walls featuring cabinetry and stained glass from years past. A huge stone fireplace decorated for Christmas warmed us while we ate.

I had a Navaho taco, which is the most popular thing on the menu. It’s composed of a large round piece of fry bread, smothered with a combination of ground beef and beans, topped with lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese and crowned with chopped green chilies. Spicy salsa is served on the side, but it was too much for my bland Minnesota taste buds.

So ends my accounting of this meander. I would go back in a heartbeat. There are more rocks to see, trails to hike, places to eat, and energy vortexes to experience. Thank you for journeying with me through words.


The Cameron Trading Post Restaurant fireplace.