Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sunset Crater, Cafe Daily Fare, & Criollo Latin Kitchen

Today was a short travel day. We've decided to stay 3 nights in Flagstaff. I had work to do in the morning so Dave went out look for a UV filter for our camera.

He was back in time for lunch. I'd read about Cafe Daily Fare on Yelp. What drew me in was the mention of Blackberry Duck Tacos. Owner Nancy McCulla has been a caterer for 30 years. Three years ago her friends and clients finally convinced her to open a restaurant.

The duck tacos consist of blackberry marinated duck, with habanero aioli, goat cheese, arugula, jicama, and toasted pumpkin seeds.

Dave had a poblano chili stuffed with pumpkin, corn, zucchini, red peppers, and a queso type cheese.

Both items came with a house spring green salad with apples, smoked gouda, and toasted pine nuts in a curried cider vinaigrette. Mine also had a corn and black bean salad.

We were so happy to have found this small cafe.

We headed up Hwy 89 to visit the Sunset Crater. This volcano erupted 1000 years ago.

The red is lava that had iron in it. The iron has oxidized, like rust.

But there is plenty of black lava flow to see alongside the road.

The appearance of green lichen is a good sign.

Lichen that is green is healthy lichen and it helps to break down the rock... although progress is slow.

This part of the lava flow trail didn't seem too inviting. We opted to take the shorter version.

The shorter trail had sidewalk. Note how the lava flow stopped right at the edge of the sidewalk... 1000 years ago.

Leaving the volcanic area, we entered an adjacent area with ruins of dwelling built by native people who lived there 800 years ago. There are several ruins to visit. This is the Wukoki site.

They clearly used local materials in building this three-story dwelling. It is built right on top of a rock outcropping. The view was panoramic. Unfortunately we got there too late to visit the other ruins.

For dinner I checked Yelp again looking for another organic seasonal restaurant. Criollo Latin Kitchen looked good. It was. The local food standards in Flagstaff are high. The waitress told us they'd changed one of the menu items because they had been unable to get a sustainably caught fish of that variety.

We chose two appetizers and a main course.

The main course was Mojo Marinated Pork Tenderloin with grilled potato cactus cakes on a bed of Spanish lentils in a red chili sauce. Incredibly tender pork sourced from Heritage Foods. For appetizers we had Diver Scallops with quinoa mixed with finely chopped vegetables and sliced almonds. The other appetizer was their Criollo tamale filled with roasted corn, green chili, and served with Tajo cheese.

Much as I would have liked to have tasted the Tres Leches Cake with homemade pineapple ice cream, I just couldn't eat any more. Perhaps another visit.

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