Mesa Grill in Sedona, AZ: Food with a View

About 6 years ago when we vacationed in Sedona, AZ (snow in late April, anyone?) my husband Mike and I took our two kids for lunch at the snack-type restaurant at the very top of Airport Rd in Sedona, AZ. The food at the time, fried and lots of it, was okay, but the view was superb: Our family enjoyed watching the small planes take off and land while we ate.

Talk about an airport with a view! Sedona's airport is all that and with a great restaurant too!

Fast forward to October 2010: My sister Cindy visited Sedona and remembered what I said about the airport restaurant and its views. She and her party drove up, up Airport Rd but were disappointed to find the restaurant closed for renovations. No lunch with a side of plane watching for her that day.

Huge plate glass windows mean you can easily see the airplanes coming and going from almost any seat in the Mesa Grill..

This year, together in Sedona we drove up Airport Rd to see if the restaurant had reopened. We found the old building gone and a new restaurant in its place, the Mesa Grill. We dragged our husbands inside for lunch with a view. Our waitress Eden was funny, attentive and offered great recommendations when we asked about the various offerings on the menu.

We had a really pleasant surprise: new building, new restaurant, same great view!

The new restaurant is lovely in an industrial-ceiling-meets-Sedona décor way. And the view of the busy small airport is still lots of fun. What has changed – significantly and definitely for the better– is the menu. It’s terrific!

Fresh ingredients imagined into wonderful food. Side 1 of the menu.

My husband Mike ordered the daily special fish and chips:

Mike said the fish, crusted in panko bread crumbs, was flakey and light; he said the cole slaw was crunchy and dressed with more vinegar than sweet, just like my Mom makes.

My bro-in-law Bid ordered a roast beef pannini:

Bid said the rare roast beef was melt-in-your-mouth. The sandwich included carmelized onions, fresh raw spinach, garlic and swiss cheese dressed with a horseradish aoli sauce. Bid wolfed down the sandwich and the crunchy crispy fries. At our waitress Eden's recco, Bid ordered a Four Peaks pale ale that he liked a lot! Uh. Eden also gave him a sample of a dark beer -- Kilt Lifter -- that he loved!

My sister Cindy ordered the “Over the Ocean” wrap:

Bay scallops, chopped shrimp, lettuce, cucumber, tomato, scallion and slivers of fresh lemon tumbled artfully out of the tortilla wrap. Cindy said the flavor was bright, crisp and refreshing; she recommends splitting it with a friend then each of you order a cup of the butternut squash ginger soup for a completely yummy combination!

I ordered the vegetarian burger. Please note that I am not a vegetarian. When I read the description of the burger, though, I was intrigued by the “burger” ingredients enough to want to taste it!

The veggie burger, hand-made fresh at Mesa Grill using wild rice, onion, celery, mushrooms, black beans, garlic and other spices I couldn't pin down, was "meaty" and flavorful. It was dressed with thinly sliced raw carrots and red and yellow peppers. If this is what vegetarians eat often I could definitely convert! YUM!

While we were eating a rainstorm blew in. It poured rain, then it poured hail! When we walked outside the weather had cleared and we saw a rainbow!

Perfect ending to a perfect meal!


Note: I was not compensated in any way for writing about the Mesa Grill. We had a great meal and I wanted to spread the word about a terrific new restaurant in the Sedona AZ area.

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