Whilst traveling this past week for work in Arizona, I came up with a new idea, trying to find unique places to eat, and then give you my thoughts about them. Let’s get started :

Flagstaff : This town has a historic downtown district that you can walk around and find all kinds of great restaurants, bars, and cafes. Free parking lots are conveniently located everywhere, and  so after parking, I walked only a couple of blocks before settling on Altitudes bar and grill.
It was a perfect day to sit outside and enjoy the spring weather. The place was super cool and relaxing, with friendly service. People were outside with their dogs enjoying a shot and a beer, or reading and sipping whiskey. I ordered a tasty vegetarian wrap, filled with broccoli, peppers and other good stuff, with a side of macaroni salad, and washed it down with a tasty iced tea. Some of the tables outside are made of old ski’s, and even more outdoor memorabilia is scattered throughout the interior.
This place is awesome, and recommend it to anyone.
The next day, I found my self in Camp Verde. This town always conjuring up images of whitewater rafting to the distant sounds of banjo music and the haunting words of “Squeal like a pig!”. (Deliverance anyone?)
I never have high expectations in Camp Verde. I had heard good things about the restaurant next to their local casino, The Gathering, so I gave it a try.

As soon as I walked in, I remembered that I had been here before, over eight years ago. I must have blocked out the memory. The people are friendly enough, but the decor is horrible, tacky, and boring all rolled into one. I tried a Verde Beef sandwich, which had green chiles with cream cheese and roast beef. I did like the taste of the chiles, but the sandwich was too greasy for me. The cottage cheese wasn’t too bad though, I’ll give them that.

I will still be on the lookout for a good place the eat in this town. I don’t recommend The Gathering.

That evening, I found myself on the other side of the mountain in a town called Prescott.
Prescott has a great area in the downtown area called Whiskey Row. I meandered along the Row until I found a little place The Palace.
Around since the 1870’s, the history of this place is what drew my inside. Well, that and I can’t not go into a place with an entrance like this….
As I seated at the huge, beautiful wooden bar they have, the western ambience of this place was palpable. Cowboys in full gear, and the Old West was strewn throughout.
They have a great menu, but I wasn’t really hungry. Their wine selection was small, but what they did have was fairly good. They do have a great selection of spirits though, if that is your thing. After enjoying a nice Pinot Noir, I decided on the prawns wrapped in fresh basil. A great appetizer, but the historicness of this place is truly what makes it a great find. If you like that sort of thing, this is your place in Prescott.
The next day I was in Cottonwood. We went into Old Town to a place I’ve been to a couple of times before, and have been a huge fan since my first bite, Thai Palace.
This time, I ordered the Panang Curry with Chicken, and it was so good that I gobbled it all up before I realized I’d forgotten to take a picture. I love how they separate the rice from the main dish, and the peanut dressing they make for their side salad has a great flavour to it.
The staff here has always been nothing but extremely friendly and helpful, as they want to make sure that you get just the right amount of spice and flavour to enjoy your meal. If you ever find yourself in Cottonwood, do not miss checking this place out.
For my last night, I found myself back in Phoenix. It was late at night, and the end of a long week of travel, so I wanted to just relax. The perfect place to do this is at a great new hotel super close to the airport, the Holiday Inn hotel and suites. Besides comfortable new rooms with great bedding, this place has a wonderful little hotel bar. They have a great selection of wines, beers, and spirits, super friendly bartenders, and you can enjoy your drink outside in the Arizona sun by the pool, or just put your feet up in big comfy lounge chairs or even a couch while watching whatever you want on three large screen TV’s. My favourite meal is a fresh, crisp Ceasar salad and bacon wrapped shrimp and chipotle dressing. Delicious!
 I’m back this upcoming week to new cities, and we shall see what I will find.

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?

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