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El Tovar Dinner?

Wellington, FL
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24 posts
71 reviews
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El Tovar Dinner?

Have reservations to stay at the El Tovar on June 11th, 2 adults and 3 teenagers. Is it worth having dinner at the El Tovar restaurant after sunset? If not, where do you recommend?

Tucson, Arizona
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21 reviews
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1. Re: El Tovar Dinner?

I think El Tovar is worth it. The food is generally OK, definitely not great. But do avoid the dish they call veal saltimbocca. It is not good, and it is not veal saltimbocca. You will need a reservation.

If not El Tovar, the Arizona Room, at the east end of Bright Angel Lodge would be my next choice. No reservations there.

Thrid choice would be the Bright Angel Restaurant. Simpler food, Dennys-type atmosphere, but maybe a better choice for the teens. You can check the menus of those restaurants here:

grandcanyonlodges.com/Dining-Overview-420.ht…

Evanston, Wyoming
Destination Expert
for Page, Grand Canyon National Park
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4,830 posts
149 reviews
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2. Re: El Tovar Dinner?

I recommend dining at least once at El Tovar while you're there. The atmosphere is very old-world and elegant (though no shorts at dinner is the only "dress code" they've got). Dinner is the most expensive meal of the day, and quality and service have been reported to be hit or miss of late. Reservations are strongly recommended, and you can make them up to 6 months ahead since you're staying there. Those reading this post and staying at other hotels can make dinner reservations up to 1 month out. If you decide to pass on dinner, maybe try breakfast or lunch. I'm partial to breakfast - very reasonably priced and yummy :)

For dinner I like the Arizona Room too - semi-gourmet steakhouse fare, first-come first serve. What I really like about the AZ Room though is that they start serving dinner at 4.30 PM (sorry, I don't know how some of y'all eat dinner at 8 PM!), plus some of the tables are actually just feet from the canyon rim, so you actually stand a fair chance of dining with a canyon view here. El Tovar is situated back a ways from the rim and there are trees and bushes in the way, so a canyon view is hard to come by.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8Oius7wMPg

Washington DC...
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3. Re: El Tovar Dinner?

We made one reservation at El Tovar and while there called and made a reservation (lucky they had space) for the second night. It was very nice. The black bean soup is to die for. We ate at 5:30 (the early time probably is why we got reservations) and one night saw the canyon across the lawn. The second night we faced south but saw elk out the window. I know you say "after dark" but even without the veiw we would have gone back. Nice sevice, nice atmosphere. Interesting hotel building. We were on a quick two night, one day visit staying in Tusayan.

Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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57,072 posts
227 reviews
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4. Re: El Tovar Dinner?

When I visit the GCNP (and I usually go a couple times each year) I choose to dine at the El Tovar or picnic outdoors. Those are the two best options IMO. Breakfast at ET is by far the best meal they serve there. Lunches and dinners are the best that you'll find inside the park, but it is more about the charm of the setting, than gourmet fare.

JMO

Harleysville...
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for Fountain Hills
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5. Re: El Tovar Dinner?

We like breakfast at El Tovar and dinner in the AZ room. You have to experience the charm of the dining room at El Tovar for at least one meal. For lunch get sandwiches and drinks and eat outside.

Duluth, Minnesota
2 posts
2 reviews
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6. Re: El Tovar Dinner?

I think the el tovar is way way overrated!!!! food was ok at best! million dollar resturant with ten cent steak knives!! save your money and go to the arizona room! we just got back from this trip!~

Seattle
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for Grand Canyon National Park
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8,866 posts
69 reviews
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7. Re: El Tovar Dinner?

I suggest you look at the menus online and then decide. Comparable dishes are a few dollars more at El Tovar over the Arizona Room. quality is the same. Not world-class, but most things are nice. Remember that you are in a remote spot with long supply lines.

by way of example, both offer a New York strip steak. The El Tovar steak costs $5 more, but comes wth some very good onion rings. It's up to you.

The big advantage of El Tovar is that you can make advance reservations. For Arizona room, you put your name in and wait. The wait can be 2 hours if they are busy. So plan to have something to do in the meantime.

ontario ny
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55 posts
4 reviews
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8. Re: El Tovar Dinner?

As recomended on here we had lunch at El Tovar which was good and we ate at the others mentioned but we ended up eating dinner at Maswik pizza pub and Maswik cafe even though we were staying at Bright Angel.

I'm sure it will be busy but it worked great for us. it's about a 5 minute walk from the end of Hermits Rest or some of the busses might stop there.

Also for a quick breakfast they sell milk and cereal in plastic tubs in the cafeteria's and we kept the milk in our cooler so we could still have breakfast and hit the trails before it got really crowded.

I think planning a picnic or similar is a winner because of wait times if you don't have reservations.

San Miguel de...
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4,923 posts
47 reviews
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9. Re: El Tovar Dinner?

We had dinner there at 8:00PM on 5 May 2010.

The house centennial wines from Oregon (a Pinot Gris and a Pinot Noir) were very nice.

The perfectly cooked 3 medium rare huge double lamb chops were outstanding, and the service was top end.

The NY strip was just OK according to mi novia (I don't eat steak).

Split a spinach and arugula salad which was great.

We would definitely return, if only to support AZ and it's anti illegal immigrant philosophy.

FD: we live legally in Central Mexico.

M

San Miguel de...
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4,923 posts
47 reviews
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10. Re: El Tovar Dinner?

We had dinner there at 8:00PM on 5 May 2010.

The house centennial wines from Oregon (a Pinot Gris and a Pinot Noir) were very nice.

The perfectly cooked 3 medium rare huge double lamb chops were outstanding, and the service was top end.

The NY strip was just OK according to mi novia (I don't eat steak).

Split a spinach and arugula salad which was great.

We would definitely return, if only to support AZ and it's anti illegal immigrant philosophy.

FD: we live legally in Central Mexico.

M