Is Bobby Flay a Liar?
My boyfriend and I traveled around Arizona for the last few days. We were invited for a wedding (Hi Mrs. Gaul!) in Rio Verde, but decided to take spend extra time in the state, mostly to delay that almost-five-hour flight back. We first ate dinner in Scottsdale (yes to Buffalo Carpaccio at Cowboy Ciao) and then stayed at a hotel/casino in Fort McDowell, which is built on tribal land. We then drove north to Sedona to visit my cousins and then north again and hiked about a mile into the Grand Canyon.
As this is a food blog, I won’t bore you with the beauty of the red rocks in Sedona and the pure fucking insanity that is the Grand Canyon (I think I said “What the fuck?!” every few steps.) I will, however, let you know my limited dining choices. I say choices because the options were not limited. We just chose the same thing over and over again.
In the Southwest, we thought, we would enjoy Southwestern fare. We weren’t sure what that meant, but we were sure we would find out. Ends up, we ate bagels. We found a great bagel place near the hotel. We were hungover and needed something we could count on. Something familiar. The next morning, we were again in need of something carby. Something to settle our stomachs. We returned to bagels.
Once we got to Sedona my cousins asked us what we wanted for dinner and we said “Southwestern.” After living in Arizona for 40-plus years she told us she doesn’t know what that meant. “Do you want spicy? Do you want steaks?” As a health coach, she turned the questions back on us. I just kept thinking about Bobby Flay. Did he make this whole thing up? We ended up going out for Mexican.
But back to bagels. On our two-and-a-half hour drive to the Grand Canyon we stopped again at a bagel shop. Our third breakfast in a row of bagels. Packed with both salt (a necessary ingredient for hikes) and protein, I enjoyed whitefish salad on pumpernickel.
We never really learned what Arizonanians eat for breakfast. Or maybe we learned Southwestern food doesn’t exist.
Top photo by mccun934 / Arizona photos—Sedona; Interstate 17; Grand Canyon—by gansie via iPhone