They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but I believe the adage rings true for anyone with a pulse. We all love great food. And there’s no better way to fall in love with Flagstaff than by taking a Flagstaff Food Tour.
When my editor for Flagstaff Moms Blog told me about the assignment, I was skeptical. I mean, I went to college here. There’s not a hole-in-the-wall, locals-only hidden gem in this town I don’t already know about.
Flagstaff’s culinary scene has exploded with flavor and local restauranteurs dedicated to providing a fresh experience for consumers.
While we could all dabble and try these places one at a time over the course of weeks or even months, Flagstaff Food Tours gives you an intimate experience with them in just hours – with behind-the-scenes knowledge and tips from the restaurateurs themselves. The Tour
Brad and Maria, founders of Flagstaff Food Tour, have a rich tradition in the foodservice industry. Brad, our tour guide for the day, grew up in his grandparent’s restaurant in Milwaukee and began working in the industry as a teenager. After taking a food tour in Chicago, they decided to bring the concept to Arizona – first in Tucson and now for all of us to enjoy in Flagstaff.
The tour itself is a mix of Flagstaff history and insights on the local culinary scene, including today’s hot trends. Like a richly blended wine, you get to enjoy a little bit of everything.
The walking tour starts at the pay parking lot off Phoenix, across from Toasted Owl southside, and meanders through downtown Flagstaff with stops at iconic buildings, public art installments and of course, restaurants.
We enjoyed special access to six restaurants in downtown Flagstaff – all locally owned and operated: Toasted Owl, Single Speed Coffee Café, Root Public House, Sosoba, Cuvee 928 and The Sweet Shoppe Candy Store.
Let me be clear…stopping in with Flagstaff Food Tour is not the same as stopping in as Joe-Schmo consumer.
Brad and Maria have done what takes us as consumers sometimes years to achieve – developed personal relationships with chefs and restaurant owners to provide a truly exclusive experience.
Tour guests are treated to house specialties and casual conversations about the inspiration behind them, how the restaurant sources its food and so on.
At Single Speed, Zach taught us about coffee blends, the coarseness of grounds and that I only pour cream and sugar into my coffee because I’m not drinking good coffee. Seriously – Work Ethic – Best. Coffee. Ever. And it’s roasted onsite. And their homemade raspberry pop tarts…I’m craving one now.
Root Public House reminded me there are still “secret recipes” in the culinary world when they would not disclose the ingredients for their incredibly delicious sauce on their signature burger.
At Cuvee, Lou Ann “read” each of us in the party and paired wine accordingly. She cringed at my request for red and declaring, “No, you’re just not a red. You need a white.” And you know what; she was right. The light white sample she brought perfectly complimented the heavenly Cuvee version of bruschetta – toast topped one of 10 ways. My favorite was the toast with Goat Cheese, Fig Jam and Prosciutto, drizzled with local honey.
The Sweet Shoppe gave us a lesson in high standards; they actually fly in their gelato. Are you kidding me?!? We were granted as many samples as we wanted of gelato and homemade fudge for the final stop of the day. We were quite literally kids in a candy store.
More than anything, the Flagstaff Food Tour treats you to a true experience.
I went on the tour alone, armed with my smartphone and social media to keep me occupied. I figured I’d post during my journey – but instead, I made real connections with the other tour guests.
Flagstaff Food Tour provided so much more than food. They provided Sombremesa: The time spent around the table talking to the people you shared the meal with; time to savor both food and friendship.
I re-fell in love with Flagstaff during my Flagstaff Food Tour. And I can’t wait to go again.
Lucky for me (and you), Flagstaff Food Tours is giving an exclusive discount for Flagstaff Moms Blog readers!
Book your Flagstaff Food Tour at www.FlagstaffFoodTour.com and use discount code FLAGMOM10 to save 10% on your tour now through October 2018.
You can also learn more by calling 928-224-8278 or checking them out on Facebook @FlagstaffFoodTours.
Much Love – H