Dining in Yuma, AZ
When I travel one of my favorite things is to try local dining establishments. Who wants to eat at a chain when you can do that at home? Luckily, on my recent International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association press trip to Yuma I was lucky enough to enjoy a variety of local spots.
On our first night in town we headed to River City Grill, a local spot that’s been a Yuma favorite for 14 years. Located on a quite side street the unassuming exterior gives way to a bustling restaurant with most of the action centered on the patio. When you’re the sunniest city in America outdoor dining is a must.
River City Grill offers a diverse array of dishes and it was hard to pick just one. I finally opted for the Tequila Snapper with a first course of Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper Bisque. The bisque was filled with flavor and the snapper was a fresh and hearty entree. The dinner was a lovely start to the weekend.
The next day I headed to the annual festival – Yuma Lettuce Days. Yuma has a rich agricultural industry and supplies several of the nations fruits and vegetables. In the winter production is especially fruitful and the area provides 90% of the countries leafy vegetables. Lettuce Days is a celebration of the industry located on the grounds of the University of Arizona Yuma.
The day was bright and sunny and very hot. I spent much of the time wandering around looking at the lovely displays of the harvest.
Luckily, with all the produce around there was plenty to eat. I took advantage of the build your own salsa bar and put together a tasty concoction.
I also made sure to stop by the salad bar where I was able to enjoy a fresh salad for only $2.
Filled with an assortment of fresh vegetables and seeds and topped with a light vinaigrette it was a delicious taste of Yuma’s bounty.
After my light lunch I was ready for a hearty dinner and Yuma did not disappoint. But first, our group stopped by Yuma’s Main Squeeze which makes its own wine from grapes imported from all over the world. We enjoyed a lovely tasting of some of their wines and apps.
Soon enough it was time for our final stop – Das Bratwurst Haus. I’m half German and was immediately intrigued when I saw this restaurant on the itinerary. When we walked in and I saw the steins lining the wall I knew I was in for a treat.
A large variety of German beer was offered and there was a full menu of German dishes.
Then I learned the proprietor, Barbara Bowles, hails from the town of Bamberg in Bavaria and cooks all the dishes. Bavaria is where my family is from and I couldn’t wait to try my dish. I opted for Jäger Schnitzel – a breaded pork loin topped with a mushroom cream sauce with a a side of späztle and semmelknödel. This just so happens to be my favorite German dish and I knew I was taking a risk in ordering it. How could it possibly measure up?
Well, it certainly did. The entire dish was absolutely delicious. The cream sauce! The pork! The späztle! The semmelknödel! It was filled with flavor and I would seriously contemplate driving to Yuma just to enjoy it again. It was the perfect ending to a weekend of exploring the food of the area.