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Culinary Scottsdale: Regional Influences

The colorful cultures that shaped the Southwest have left an indelible mark on Scottsdale’s more than 600 restaurants. Here, Native American, Latin and Western roots combine to create a mouth-watering indigenous cuisine sprinkled with international tastes and flavors. From prickly-pear margaritas and authentic homemade salsa to blue corn tortillas and smoky adobe chilies, Scottsdale’s regional roots have a strong impact on its culinary landscape.

Embracing Mexican and Soutwestern Heritage
Scottsdale’s proximity to the border of Mexico, coupled with a strong Mexican-American population in the region, lends a spicy influence to the cuisine. Diners need not look far for a taste of Mexican-inspired flavor, whether it be comfort-food favorites or high-end fare they seek.
At Los Sombreros, Chef Jeffrey Smedstad brings the regional tastes of Mexico to life with dishes including Mole Poblano, Pepita Crusted Snapper and Carne Asada a la Tampiquena. Family-owned and operated Los Olivos features such regional favorites as Machaca, and Chorizo con huevos, and nearby Old Town Tortilla Factory serves two dozen different flavored homemade tortillas, a new one offered each night with their house-made herbed butter.
Other restaurants taking regional cuisine to new heights include celebrated Cowboy Ciao in downtown Scottsdale, which features an Italian-influenced Southwestern menu, with standout specialties including the limited-time Mexican Chocolate Pot de Crème. La Hacienda at The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess showcases seafood specialties such as Caldo de Marisco, a chile-infused seafood broth with lobster, grilled snapper, shrimp and crab.

All Things Western
Scottsdale’s Western heritage colors many of its culinary offerings, creating a vibrant range of flavors and tastes harking back to the days when the West truly was wild. But even the West would be won over by the Old West-inspired cuisine in Scottsdale, which draws on the hearty flavors and robust tastes made to fortify a cowboy or cowgirl, but tasty enough for city slickers to enjoy.
For a no-frills prime cowboy steak mesquite broiled over an open flame, visitors flock to Pinnacle Peak Patio. And there’s no better place for a cowboy or cowgirl to hang their hat than the Rusty Spur in downtown Scottsdale. The registered historic landmark, formerly Farmers Bank of Scottsdale, is the perfect place to sip a libation of the long-necked variety and enjoy hearty cowboy vittles. For those with adventurous palates looking for unique Western fare, Roaring Fork is the place to dine. Chef Rober t McGrath’s inventive creations range from downhome Frito pie to Chile & Sugar-Cured Duck Breast and Salmon Cooked ‘Campfire-Style’ with Chipotle Vinaigrette.

Native American Influences
The Sonoran Desert’s first inhabitants utilized the fruits of the desert for survival. They learned which native ingredients added spice to dishes and which type of cactus had edible pads and bore fruit tasting flavorful and lush. From their early discoveries, a rich cuisine was born, relying on staples such as corn, beans, squash and other indigenous ingredients to create a tasty mélange of flavors.

At the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort at Gainey Ranch, Native American fare is spotlighted in the resort’s special “First Nation’s Cuisine”.

For groups and special engagements, the resort will host a culinary gathering where Native American ingredients play a starring role. Amaranth is used to flavor black bean cakes, quinoa is paired with cucumbers and tomatoes, corn features prominently in side salads and yams are reinvented in a surprisingly sweet cheesecake.

Cowboy Cookout at Pinnacle Peak Patio
Cowboy Cookout at Pinnacle Peak Patio



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Source: Scottsdale CVB
Last modified: 20060326
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