Grand Canyon Stories and Tips

Pizzaholism in Tusayan

· Spaghetti Western Photo,

For some strange reason, both times we ate out during our most recent Grand Canyon visit, we ate pizza in Tusayan, the small community 10 miles south of the Rim. The first time, the evening after our all-day mule ride, we ate at the Spaghetti Western place, duped by the name and the ridiculously cheap $6.95 pizza sign. We should’ve known better. We were sore from the ride, dusty and thirsty, and really in the mood for a BIG pitcher of beer, but unfortunately, they only had bottles.

Had we known, we would have gotten up and gone to that other pizza place, plainly named We Cook Pizza and Pasta, where we later found nice big pitchers. But the prospect of getting up from the soft black leather booth into which we’d sunk not only didn’t appeal to us, it could be downright painful. So we went ahead with the bottles and ordered a pepperoni. The $6.95 was for the most basic of cheese pizzas, prices increasing rapidly with toppings and sizes, so our tab came to $36, including the beers. Once we were done eating, we did have to get up anyway and it was painful, but alleviated somewhat after a couple of bottles of Bud.

Towards the end of the week, we did end up eating at We Cook Pizza and Pasta and liked it much better. Brightly lit inside and an obvious favorite of locals, the menu options were clearly spelled out on a backlit board behind the counter where we ordered. For almost exactly the same price ($36) we got so much more. Our medium "the Works" pizza was top-notch, great crust, tasty sauce, nicely loaded with pepperoni, sausage, Canadian bacon, olives, onions, bell peppers and mozzarella. A generous pitcher of Fosters went well with it. Another plus point for those so inclined is that the We Cook folks offer Veggie and Pure Vegan Pizzas and Calzones.

We almost ate at the Canyon Star at the Grand Hotel in Tusayan. After stopping by and checking it out one morning on our way to the park, both Bob and I agreed it looked like our kind of place. Fancy rustic cowboy-style decor combined with a tantalizing and not all that pricey menu was most attractive. Added to that, Native American dancers perform nightly at 7pm on the dance floor in the center of the dining room. We didn’t make it back this time, but it’s number one on our list of places to eat next time.

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