We had a family trip to Flagstaff, Arizona over the holidays and not only had a wonderful, adventure-packed trip, but our tummy’s were very pleasantly surprised and thankful for the amazing South Western flavors we got to experience in Flagstaff.
Below are the four restaurants we got to check out in Flagstaff. They are all delicious, reasonable AND great for kids, too!
1. Salsa Breva on Route 66. This was a fantastic family-friendly Mexican food restaurant. They have a kids menu which has a delicious two-mini-burger dish which S housed, and she never (I mean never) eats hamburgers. Their ribs and shrimp combo was phenomenal, so much so that O had half of my ribs. The tortilla chips are crispy and light and the fun part? Each person gets their own salsa dish so you can go up to the Salsa Bar and choose your own salsa!
2. Tinderbox Kitchen on South San Francisco. This restaurant is a PHENOMENAL find here in Flagstaff. What got us is their tagline: “American Comfort Food…Redefined”. Who can say not to comfort food with a twist? Owner/Chef, Scott Heinomen creates a daily menu based off of local and available ingredients, so everything is fresh. fresh. fresh. Michael had the Venison which he said was the “best meal he’s had — ever” and I had the Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, and Tempura Acorn Squash which I ate every single bite. Our server was so in-tune to the fact that we had kids that she even whispered if we wanted dessert. That’s what I call family-friendly. Tip: They don’t have a kids menu, but the super nice servers will rattle off a list of meals that the kitchen could make for the kids: hamburgers, grilled cheese, gnocchi, and pasta with red sauce or butter. Just ask.
3. Brandy’s Restaurant. Don’t let the strip mall location frighten you (it kinda frightened us!) Brandy’s has amazing Yelp reviews and it was featured in Guy Fieri’s Diner’s, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network, so it is definite destination. Brandy’s has a local, diner feel which my family and I love. The menu has the normal diner dishes, but has surprises like what I had, the Southwest Chutney Melt (the tomato poblano chutney made the sandwich) and even the kids menu had a fun twist on their fave pancake dish: the Koala Bear Pancake. Tip: Make sure to save some room for their homemade pastries up front.
4. Criollo Latin Kitchen – We went here for dinner after a full day of skiing so we were starving. Criollo didn’t disappoint. We ordered the Criollo Tamale (I’m obsessed with tamales) and I wish it came as an entree because I could’ve eaten more. For the entree, the Fish Taco was way amazing because of its not-so-secret ingredient, the jalapeno glaze. Truly magic in my mouth. Tip: It looked fancy, but we went in wearing our ski pants and fleece tops, so don’t worry. They, too don’t have an official kids menu, but just ask your waiter what meals the kitchen can cook that night.
Like I said, we went to Flagstaff to see the the Grand Canyon and do some winter sports activities. Great food wasn’t on the radar, but BOY were we so amazed at the local, flavorful dishes we had. Flagstaff will most certainly be a destination when we go back to Arizona.