Can you really call yourself a foodie if you haven’t gone to the ends of the Earth for a memorable gastronomical experience? For dedicated gourmands, there’s the Grand Canyon Lodge Dining Room, a restaurant perched on the remote North Rim. We’re not being hyperbolic when we say “ends of the Earth.” Highway AZ-67 dead-ends at the lodge, the immense maw of the canyon plunging behind.
Designed in 1928 by Gilbert Stanley Underwood, who also designed The Ahwahnee hotel in Yosemite, the Grand Canyon Lodge reflects the landscape with its Kaibab limestone walls and ponderosa beams bolstering the sloped roof, and stands in deference to it with a rustic, modest aesthetic. The structure embodies Underwood’s design ethos: Let the building serve as a vehicle for the spectacle of scenery.
And it’s in the dining room where the panorama really astounds. The floor-to-ceiling windows face south and southwest, and every white-linen-clad table is primed for sunset views. Chef Treyvon Brack’s Grand Canyon-inspired menu shows off hyperlocal delicacies, such as Lees Ferry trout, and Arizona breakfast staples like huevos rancheros and burritos. But it’s the 16-hour smoked brisket that’s a must-order. The meat is juicy and tender and sided with fresh grilled corn and a warm, flaky biscuit.
As the sun sinks, shadows ripple over the canyon, revealing its striated colors, then hides them just as quickly. You’ll be tempted to gape. Go for it. Just don’t let your food get cold.
— Jessica Dunham
Before You Drive Six Hours… a few tips:
• The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
• Reservations are required for dinner.
• You don’t have to be an overnight lodge guest to dine at the restaurant, but you should treat yourself and book a room (from $171/night), anyway.
• Grand Canyon Lodge closes for the season on October 15.
• 866-499-2574, grandcanyonnorth.com