So let’s just say, in theory, that you’re exploring the Grand Canyon State, soaking up the sunshine and staring, inspired, into the depths of said chasm, when hunger strikes.
Sure, there are rim-side restaurant seats traditional 1930’s foods and regional fare top the menu - think roast chicken, steaming biscuits, slow cooked beef brisket, buffalo steaks, beef stew and chili but is that really going to be enough? Well maybe. Probably. But you can’t hang out over a North Rim sunset indefinitely, sooner or later it will be time to call it a night and drive off into the Arizona sunset. Which begs the question - where to eat next?
Should you find yourself plowing on to the Phoenix area there’s comparable variety when it comes to chow. Explore Native American dishes, made with foods from local farms, at the Wild Horse Pass Resort’s Kai Restaurant, or, keep it simple with a Navajo taco (the unofficial state dish) or cornbread and mutton stew. Mix it up with lunch and a margarita at one of the many Southwestern-style Mexican restaurants that dot the state, where chips and fresh salsa pave the way for a selection of Sonora inspired plates, from red chile beef and green chile pork to tamales and enchiladas.
There’s also a fine assortment of locally produced foods to consider, from pecans, persimmons, dates and citrus to specialty condiments like mesquite honey, peach-habanero jam and pineapple-mango salsa. For something a little different try an extra virgin tour of the state’s only operational olive mill, Queen Creek, an easy trip out of downtown Phoenix before setting your sights on a beer (or three) at top-rated Four Peaks Brewing Company located in Tempe. For those who have their hopes pinned on grapes, not hops, the destination of choice is Arizona’s “Wine Country”, the Sonoita-Elgin region southeast of Phoenix and roughly an hour from Tucson, home to more than a dozen established vineries, most of which are open for tastings.