In September my husband and I began planning an idyllic week long trip to Hawaii. As we grew more realistic, our trip quickly evolved to a 3 day trip through northern Arizona. Not as cool as Hawaii.
None the less, I was still very excited to have time away from home. We started our trip in Flagstaff, AZ, which is a college/mountain/ski resort town between Phoenix-Metro and The Grand Canyon, our final destination. I booked a room at La Quinta because we had rewards points to cover most of the cost. We frequent La Quinta because dogs stay free (even though Sunny did not accompany us on this trip) and the morning breakfast has a decent selection for gluten-free needs (hard boiled egg, yogurt, apple, perfect). I then planned a simple itinerary that allowed us to taste local, yet semi-famous, foods, and explore the historic downtown.
I found Brandy’s Restaurant by doing a search for gluten-free friendly restaurants in Flagstaff. We decided to check it out because Guy Fieri featured it on his show, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. One of our favorites. The food was fresh and tasty and the restaurant had a great small town vibe. We shared a Cafe Aloha, which is espresso with coconut milk and whipped cream. It was delicious and momentarily satisfied our appetite for Hawaii. After lunch we shared our adventure plans with some locals and they filled us in on a short-cut to The Grand Canyon. Good food, good directions.
With full bellies we drove into downtown Flagstaff to walk off our lunch and explore local shops. As we walked the streets I marveled at the unique architecture of the historic building. We strolled through a gourmet kitchen store and a well stocked sporting good store, but my favorite stop was at Winter Sun Trading Company. It was a funky shop filled with safe beauty products, herbal remedies and local art. I snatched up truly all-natural lip balm, sun screen and a cocunut face wash (my second attempt to bring a taste of HI to our Flagstaff trip) and Adam picked up yerba mate tea, his new addiction. With our local treasured collected, we headed to the hotel to rest before dinner. Our dinner plans were set for Beaver Street Brewery. They featured a full gf menu for me and local beer for my WI husband. The evening air was cool and crisp as we walked into the brewpub. We grabbed a seat at the bar and watched the Green Bay Packers dominate the Houston Texans. The evening coddled us with many comforts of our midwest home.
The bartender informed me that they worked with the local Celiac Support Group to create their gf menu. The food selection was abundant and I appreciated their sincere efforts to make safe food for Celiacs. We devoured beer, pizza, burgers, and chicken pot pie (not gf). Perfect food for a Sunday Night Football game on a chilly night.
We ended the evening in our cozy room with a nightcap of whisky in plastic hotel cups. Our Grand Canyon adventure was to begin bright and early and we both needed a good night’s sleep. I drifted off, satisfied with the day’s tastes, sights, and treasures.