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Old 01-24-2016, 11:43 AM
 
88 posts, read 86,061 times
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Know of any Native American restaurants within an hour or so of Tucson? Thanks!
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Old 01-24-2016, 02:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laststoptucson View Post
Know of any Native American restaurants within an hour or so of Tucson? Thanks!

If you are looking for restaurants operated by the two local tribal groups, you could always head down to one of the three casinos in the Tucson/Sahuarita area as they ARE Native American owned.

In Sells, AZ, which is about 50 miles west of Tucson is the Desert Rain Cafe which bills itself as serving "contemporary Tohono O'odham cuisine." It was set up as an effort to facilitate a return to the traditional indigenous cuisine and features dishes that include traditional ingredients as cholla buds, tepary beans and agave syrup. What they are trying to do is to lower the incidence of diabetes within the population.

I have wanted to try that restaurant for two years. However, it is never open on weekends and is not always open during the posted 6:30 am - 3 pm open times. So I would call in advance as the food opportunities from Tucson - Sells is almost nil.

HOME


In Barrio Hollywood, there is a restaurant Indian Frybread - Manna from Heaven that I have heard good things about. I am NOT going to address the "authenticity" of the food other than to say that the menu is extremely similar to the food stands at the Tohono O'odham Nation Rodeo and Fair in Sells and the various food stands at the San Xavier del Bac Mission south of Tucson.

Indian Frybread-Manna From Heaven - 32 Photos - American (Traditional) - Barrio Hollywood - Tucson, AZ - Reviews - Yelp


You also could head down to the San Xavier del Bac Mission as they have a lot of food stands and a snack bar that serves food.

================================

Editorial comments:

1) If you head to the western section of South Tucson, it is pretty hard to differentiate which food is "Native American" and which is Sonoran as many people eat a lot of both foods. I doubt that you will find radical differences.

2) If you are expecting to get a nice listing of traditional dishes, you generally will not find them in the casinos and other restaurants. I know that when I have eaten at tribal casinos in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota, I have seen at least a few traditional entrees among the others. You do NOT see that here.

3) If you are expecting to see a restaurant like the Pueblo Harvest Cafe at the Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, you will not find one in Tucson.

THE PUEBLO HARVEST CAFE AT THE INDIAN PUEBLO CULTURAL CENTER

I hope that helps.
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Old 01-24-2016, 10:16 PM
 
Location: Tucson, AZ
613 posts, read 773,259 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
If you are looking for restaurants operated by the two local tribal groups, you could always head down to one of the three casinos in the Tucson/Sahuarita area as they ARE Native American owned.
What? No. Native American owned and traditional in Native American offerings are obviously two different things.

To start, go to the Tohono O'odham Swap Meet and peruse the various options there. Very good stuff on hand, and a nice, low-key way to familiarize yourself with the food.

La Indita, on 4th Avenue, offers up Native American style dishes, and they can be excellent. Many people think it's Mexican food, and the styles are inseparable, but it's a particular style of Mexican food and it's pretty different from other Mexican offerings in town.

Desert Rain is very good and worth a visit.

Barrio Cuisine, in downtown Tucson, closed and for good reason: the food was expensive and mediocre at best.
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:31 AM
 
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Thank you both so much, I appreciate the guidance! We'll check some of these things out. My parents are in town, and are looking forward to exploring.
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Old 01-25-2016, 11:35 AM
 
Location: AriZona
5,230 posts, read 3,128,635 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beTucsonan View Post
What? No. Native American owned and traditional in Native American offerings are obviously two different things.

To start, go to the Tohono O'odham Swap Meet and peruse the various options there. Very good stuff on hand, and a nice, low-key way to familiarize yourself with the food.

La Indita, on 4th Avenue, offers up Native American style dishes, and they can be excellent. Many people think it's Mexican food, and the styles are inseparable, but it's a particular style of Mexican food and it's pretty different from other Mexican offerings in town.

Desert Rain is very good and worth a visit.

Barrio Cuisine, in downtown Tucson, closed and for good reason: the food was expensive and mediocre at best.
Excellent suggestions, beT!
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Old 01-26-2016, 03:37 PM
 
88 posts, read 86,061 times
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Thank you both, again, for the suggestions! We had lunch today at La Indita. It's not exactly what they were hoping for, but they did get to have nopalitos, which they enjoyed. I think they're refried beans are the best I've ever had.

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