Best of the West

My family recently went on a parks tour of southwestern states spanning 1,800 miles. We took the train to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico and drove a rental car back home, stopping at numerous sites along the way. Highlights include White Sands National Monument, Three Rivers Petroglyphs, Valley of Fire Lava Beds, Petrified Forest, Meteor Crater, South Rim Grand Canyon, Red Rock State Park in Sedona, and Joshua Tree.

We dined at many restaurants during our travels and one in particular stood out as the best during the two weeks we were on the road: El Tovar Hotel at South Rim Grand Canyon. The food and service was so outstanding we decided to have every meal there during our two day visit. In particular I enjoyed the Seared Sea Scallops (5 U-10 scallops, coconut lemon cream sauce, sweet potato-carrot-ginger puree, chef’s choice vegetable, $38.95), Braised Lamb Shank (braised lamb shank, southwestern tomato-pepper sauce, brown butter mashed potatoes, chef’s choice vegetable, $36.95), and Eggs Benedict (toasted English muffin, traditional hollandaise, poached eggs, honey smoked salmon, $15). If you are aware of any local restaurants that offers this style of scallops please let me know. It’s a great combination.

This celebrated historic hotel located directly on the rim of the Grand Canyon first opened its doors in 1905. El Tovar was one of a chain of hotels and restaurants owned and operated by the Fred Harvey Company in conjunction with the Santa Fe Railway. The menu is traditional, integrating both international and local Southwest influences. The Service Staff for the El Tovar Dining Room are consummate professionals; many have been with the restaurant for over 20 years. The El Tovar Dining Room is considered the premier dining establishment at the Grand Canyon and is recognized internationally.

The El Tovar Hotel Dining Room at South Rim Grand Canyon was the best restaurant my family encountered during a recent tour of southwestern states. Photos by The Restaurant Guy

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