As a Manhattan foodie, with husband and 10-year-old daughter, we experienced some quite good (and bad) meals in Arizona while on spring break in April. Specifically:
1) Rancho de Tia Rosa ( 3129 E McKellips Rd in Mesa) terrific, worth the 15-min drive. Delicious food, reasonably priced, in a festive atmosphere. We loved the fish tacos, carne asado, and chile relleno. Warm, above-average chips and salsa arrive when you sit down, and keep on coming, but save room for the meal!
2) Big City BBQ (5118 S. Rural Rd in Tempe) very tasty, with decent space for eat-in, though not a restaurant. Popular with AZ State University students.
Avoid at all costs the Desert Flour Bakery & Bistro on Hwy 179. The worst pizza imaginable. Picture a cold English muffin with ketchup no, worse than that. Desserts look good but are nauseating.
This is where the good eating is loved this town. All these places are walking distance from train station.
1) My daughter picked Racha Thai because it was crowded with people who looked happy and yes, we had outstanding food I have often had less authentic in NYC. Lengthy, interesting menu; not just pad thai.
2) La Bellavia is great for breakfast, especially if you like eggs benedict varieties.
3) Bun Huggers was a disappointmentthe meat had little flavor, but the fried zucchini slices were a treat.
Grand Canyon Village at South Rim:
Do not expect to eat well in any of the restaurants, even El Tovar, which I booked months in advance. Everything was soggy, microwaved, canned, pre-plated, or otherwise awful. Halfway edible stuff was covering in gooey, nasty gravy. Best bet is go to the supermarket used by the campers, stock up on basics, and use the fridge in your room. Save money, time and taste buds.
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