August 3, 2008

Bright Angel Restaurant

By Angele Sionna

Grand Canyon Village, AZ
In the Bright Angel Lodge at the Grand Canyon’s South Rim
Menu online at:

The Food (taste/flavor/quality of food & drinks)
>>>>= a favorite, can count on it being good every time

The Atmosphere (environment, wait staff, comfortableness)
xxxx= comfortable

Price (what to generally expect to pay per person per entree)
$$ = $10

Value (what you get for your money)
**** = worth it - you won’t be disappointed with what you get for your money

Most people go to the Grand Canyon to enjoy the view or hike the trails. But here’s another reason to make the trek: the Bright Angel Restaurant. It is part of the Bright Angel Lodge at the Grand Canyon’s South Rim. When walking along the rim trail enjoying the popular overlooks, you’ll find the entrance to this delicious restaurant tucked behind the ice cream shop and souvenir store at the Bright Angel Lodge. The décor is distinctively southwestern and rustic with wooden beam ceilings and large windows along the side of the restaurant that borders the canyon. The food reflects these qualities.
This was my first visit to the Bright Angel, but I have had lunch and dinner at other eateries along the rim, including the neighboring Arizona Room and the upscale restaurant at the El Tovar hotel about a quarter mile up the rim trail. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as we sat down. My family had taken the two hour-plus train ride from Williams to the Grand Canyon and we were hungry. The last time I was in this area, we ate at the Arizona Room, which I enjoyed, but no one else in my party remembered being very good. (I had the Caesar salad and corn chowder there, which I would recommend.)

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="258" caption="Bright Angel's Sana Fe Lettuce Wraps"]Bright Angels Sana Fe Lettuce Wraps[/caption]

The menu had several items I debated between when ordering. Luckily everyone I was with ordered something different, so I got to sample several dishes. The best item on the menu are the Santa Fe Lettuce Wraps ($8.75), enough for an appetizer to share or an entree for one. These are not your ordinary lettuce wraps. The chicken breast is sweetly marinated and shredded then mixed with pistachios and chipotle seasonings. It is served with an interesting twist on a standard dipping sauce –a lemon lime sour crème. Together it tasted woodsy and smoky with a backbite of a mellow but spicy flame on your tongue. It was fantastic. I still can’t believe how well these flavors blended and left us wanting more. They are not to be missed.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="221" caption="Bright Angel's Taco Salad"]Bright Angels Taco Salad[/caption]

I also tried the South of the Border Salad ($9.85). It’s a basic taco salad with grilled chicken breast strips. It’s served with guacamole, sour crème and salsa. I added some of the lemon lime sour crème from the lettuce wraps and it was good. The chicken strips were severely overcooked. Otherwise, it was tasty, though not original.
The Hermit Veggie Burger ($9.25) was next up. It too has a southwestern flavor with a black bean base. It was served on an oat bun with pepperjack cheese and I’m glad to report is not dry like some veggie burgers. It comes with cole slaw, onion rings or fries. I would recommend this even if you’re not a vegetarian for its southwestern flavor without being spicy.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="269" caption="Bright Angel's Spinach Wrap"]Bright Angels Spinach Wrap[/caption]

We also tried the Indian Garden’s Spinach Wrap ($9). It has layers of spinach, avocado, roasted peppers, tomato, black olives, and black beans all wrapped together in a spinach tortilla spread with a roasted pepper crème cheese. I really liked this one and would most definitely order it on another visit. It comes with either a salad of the day, root veggie chips, fries, or onion rings.
My husband ordered the Cheeseburger ($8.80), which is the Bright Angel Burger ($8.15) with your choice of cheese. He selected Swiss. It was average at best and nothing to really write home about. It comes with fries, onion rings, or cole slaw, of which he selected onion rings. They were a little greasy but sweet and crispy. The Canyon Grill ($9.35) is basically a club sandwich. It was satisfying yet nothing special.
Worthy of trying is the fair-trade organic coffee by Green Mountain. You can order it hot or iced for $1.85 with refills. It is very smooth and refreshing. Good as a beverage with your meal or as desert. It was so good, I’m going to be looking for it tonight online to order some for my house. We didn’t see any in the gift shop outside.
Next time I’m at the Grand Canyon I’ll definitely stop at the Bright Angel Restaurant again, even if it’s just for a quick snack of the Santa Fe Lettuce Wraps and an Iced Coffee. It’s a great place to relax in the air-conditioning as you enjoy the views of the Canyon any time of day. They have a separate breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu. From our experience, I’d recommend opting for the more specialty items on the menu. They are interesting and unique, much like the views out the window.

For more photos of Bright Angel Restaurant click HERE.


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