Sedona is about 120 miles north of Phoenix, or roughly a fairly uneventful two hour drive. The spectacular red rocks come into view soon after leaving the Freeway (I-17), and meandering along the highway (SR 179) toward the red rock vistas. This part of the trip is always a thrill, no matter how many times we have been here. The main thing for me, is that it feels so different than Scottsdale.
Sedona is well know as a new age and spiritual mecca. Among other things, this could be a rather unique part of Sedona. “Sedona is famous as the home of five New Age vortices, areas where the Earth’s magnetism is said to have special properties. Vortexes are located at Bell Rock, Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock, Boynton Canyon, and Schnebly Hill. You can take a vortex tour from one of many local guides, or hike to the sites yourself. Look for cairns marking the vortex sites.”
The other big draw here is the food, led by the famous Elote’ Cafe. The food is called the cuisine of Mexico culled from over 15 years of travels through Mexico by Chef Jeff Stedstad. If you have not been here, it is a Sedona “must do”. But that is easier said than done, as they do not take reservations. The line for dinner starts at least by 4pm, with the first seatings around 5pm. We arrived at 5pm last year and endured a two hour wait!!!
But they have an outdoor seating area with portable gas heaters, and Native American blankets. Generally, we met other travelers, much like ourselves, who travel both domestically, and world wide. It seems Elote attracts people from all over, regardless of the reason they visit Sedona. Chef and owner Jeff Smedstad comes out to greet people all evening!!
See if there is something on this menu that attracts you:
BOTANAS Y PLATOS CHICOS
Guacamole – Mashed avocado with cilantro, roasted chiles and lime garnished with spicy almonds and crispy corn 7.50
Beef Barbacoa Quesadilla – Homemade flour tortilla with braised Niman Ranch short rib, cheese, guacamole and crema 12.00
Green Corn Tamal – Fresh corn cheese and poblano chile tamal with salsa verde and crema 7.50
Chicken and Chorizo Flautas – Smoked chicken and homemade chorizo served with guacamole and crema 10.00
Grilled Ahi Tacos – (2) Grilled fresh Ahi Tuna tacos with spicy greens, pico de gallo, Avocado and crema 13.00
Tomato and Oaxaca Cheese Salad – with apple cider vinaigrette 8.50
Jicama-Orange Salad – With red chile dressing 8.00
Ensalada Verde – organic and local greens with cranberries, nuts and seeds served with honey lime dressing 7.50
Hongos en Chipotle – pan seared crimini mushrooms with chipotle crema 9.00
Sopa de Elote – Fresh corn and poblano chile chowder with tortilla strips, pico de gallo and queso fresco 8.00
Elote – Fire roasted corn with spicy mayo, lime and cotija cheese 7.50
All dinners served with Rice and Refried Black Beans
Lamb Adobo – Braised Colorado Lamb shank, sweet & spicy ancho chile sauce 25.00
Carne Asada – Grilled all natural skirt steak with Guajillo chile sauce, rajas and shafts blue cheese 22.00
Shrimp con Espinacas – Grilled Wild Shrimp with creamy Chipotle Spinach and roasted corn salsa 24.00
Corn Crusted Scallops – Crispy fried Sea Scallops served with tomato jam, truffle crema and roasted poblanos 28.00
Carnitas – Slow-roasted all natural Pork shoulder with arbol-tomatillo salsa and guacamole 18.50
Smoked Pork Cheeks – Served with cascabel chile sauce, grandma’s corn cake and buttermilk cumin drizzle 18.50
Pollo en Mole Poblano – House smoked chicken in a puebla style mole 18.50
Smoked Chicken Enchiladas – All natural house-smoked Chicken with salsa verde and chipotle crema 18.50
Relleno de Pollo – Fire roasted poblano chile, smoked Chicken, vegetables and Tillamook cheddar cheese served with pipian rojo and pepita crema 19.00
Vegetable Relleno – Vegetable picadillo and nut stuffed poblano chile with oaxaca cheese, salsa verde, crema and pumpkinseed crusted goat cheese balls 18.50
During our visit last year, I can tell you the corn chowder is the best in the world!!! And the Mexican chocolate desserts scream for a nice Port to top off the evening. In between, try not to eat too much! The pork cheeks are the best pork dish I have ever had.
Side bar: Make sure you see the red rock sculpture just east of downtown of Lucy and Snoopy of Peanuts fame. If you cannot make it out, ask a local, or just ask me!