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“Average food, average service”

El Tovar Lodge Dining Room
Certificate of Excellence
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: After-hours, Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Delivery, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Reviewed 24 May 2013

Another example of being held captive at the Grand Canyon. Food was ok, very overpriced.Our waiter was good, but the disaster at the host stand really put us off our meal. The host and hostess were in a shouting match with other guests, which was odd. I had asked for a table with a view of the canyon as we had my mother there for her 65th birthday. They sat us as far away from a window as possible. Not the experience I had planned!

1  Thank kitty1018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,790 - 3,794 of 5,389 reviews

Reviewed 23 May 2013

Summary:
Four adults had a late lunch at El Tovar Dining Room. While the food was delicious, the wait staff left much to be desired. None of our drinks were EVER refilled, leaving us playing a game of "pass the water" as we nursed what was left of one glass of water.

Reservations:
Reservations are necessary for dinner, but NOT for lunch. We had a short 3-minute wait for seating at 2:00pm on a weekday for lunch.

View:
Not all tables have a view of the canyon. We got lucky and were seated at a 6-person table against the large window, giving us a tremendous view of the canyon. If a view of the canyon is important to you, you may wish to request this.

Food:
The food was delicious. I had the Local Natural Navajo Taco for $10.50. Two at the table had the Natural Black Angus Burger on Ciabatta Roll with steak fries at $12.50. The hamburgers and steak fries were perfectly cooked. One more had the Santa Fe Sandwich on 12-Grain Bread at $11.25. Both myself and the woman having the Santa Fe Sandwich had enough food to take half of our respective lunches back to the hotel room with us. Three of us ordered a soda at $2.30 each. Water was served immediately upon sitting.

Service:
UGHA! My husband and I rarely, RARELY, tip under 20%, and often tip higher than that. I could not justify more than a 15% tip, and even that was difficult to offer. By mid-meal, none of us had any soda left in our drinks. To order a soda for $2.30 and never receive a refill left me wanting to combat the charge on our checks. The water at the table completely ran out. My husband, who didn't order a soda, ran out of his water by mid-meal, and took what was left of my water. I ran out of soda, and then snagged my cousin's water. We were literally passing a water glass around on the table, nursing the last glass, because of the lack of attention from the waitress. We were going to order dessert, but decided that the service was poor enough that we didn't want to risk having to take the glasses to a water fountain outside the restaurant to refill them for the meal.

Further, at higher-end establishments like this, we anticipate that our food be boxed for us. That was not the case in this restaurant, where a small (very small) box was offered for to-go and we boxed it ourselves. No big deal, but it just re-emphasizes how much the service and the establishment do not match.

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Thank Meadlei
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 May 2013

This was the last, celebratory dinner we had after our week-long rafting trip in the Grand Canyon. A wonderful ending to a good trip.

1  Thank k j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 May 2013

We had our anniversary dinner at the El Tovar lodge. The service was excellent however the food was average. I had a pasta and vegetable dish that didn't quite have the right flavor pallet. My husband had the pork chops that were a little dry but not bad. Overall dinner was pricey and a bit disappointing. When we were being taken to our seats we were told that we had the "best" table in the house. While I'm sure during the day it is the best table being right at a window, at 8:30pm all you can see is your reflection in the dark glass. Breakfast however was a different story. We did not have the "best" table but we still had a view of the canyon and the elk grazing on the lawn. The pancakes with the prickly pear syrup were delicious. My husband had a skillet that was also quite tasty. I probably would pass on dinner but I would highly recommend having breakfast here.

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Thank windycitytraveler13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2013

I did not have high hopes for El Tovar - it has a piece of prime real estate overlooking the South Rim so I didn't expect it to focus on good food. But suprisingly, the food was very good and it was not that expensive for what it is - fine dining in the Park

The portions were very large which was great after a long day of hiking. The food was also very flavorful. I had the quail with Hoison sauce which was bursting with flavor. Also, our table ordered the $26 bottle of Pinot Noir which was a nice, delicious, flavorful red wine. The staff is also very friendly and willing to accommodate vegetarians (it was no problem to change out chicken for tofu in the pasta dish).

Although the entrees are very good, the desserts do not rival the entrees. We ordered the chocolate taco and the apple pie. The Apple pie was way too sweet. As for the chocolate nacho, it was pretty good except for the fact that they sit the chocolate taco on top of a liquid syrup which again, made the dessert too sweet for my liking.

The price wasn't that bad given the view and the historic nature and look of the restaurant - basically $30/person with the wine. Definitely eat here if you can when you are visiting Grand Canyon.

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1  Thank TinLizzy7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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