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Arizona's Female-friendly Food Stops


Evelyn Hannon

When it comes to finding good restaurants, Journeywoman relies on her networking pals around the world to share their best bets. On a recent trip to Arizona we asked our hosts to "tell all" about where they like to eat. Their suggestions were great (and very reasonable, too)!

Best Meals in Tucson

We asked Jean McKnight, P.R. Director of the Tucson Visitors Bureau for her "gal-friendly restaurant suggestions" and we hit pay dirt. Each of her top spots is fun, moderately priced, a good food experience and has a strong female-friendly connection.

El Minuto is a petite, mother-daughter owned, Mexican eatery. Expect a southwestern kitsch ambiance and large portions of hearty fare. P.S. We're told this is also singer Linda Ronstadt's choice when she comes home to Tucson. (354 S. Main Ave)

El Charro is located in the heart of the El Presidio arts district. It's owned by vivacious Carlotta Flores, an internationally-renowned Sonoran Mexican chef. Gourmet Magazine voted it one of the best ethnic restaurants in the USA. Bonus: Look for their Heart Smart Menu selections --low fat but delicious.(311 N. Court)

Finally, for a solid coffee shop meal served in historical surroundings, stop in at the (circa 1919) Congress Hotel. Their Cup Cafe is open 7 days a week and, rumor has it that Kevin Costner shot a few scenes from Tin Cup here. The female connection? The hotel is managed by Mary Ann Brazil. (311 East Congress)

Best meals in Sedona

Longtime friend, psychiatrist Shelly Uram, lives and works in Sedona. She happily escorted Journeywoman to the restaurants the locals frequent most.

Way back in the Fifties, movie star Jane Russell ran a bar in this very same location. Today, for the best breakfast in Sedona you'll want to stop in at the Coffee Pot Restaurant, home of 101 omelets. Food is fine, prices popular and atmosphere A-1. (2050 West Hwy. 89A ).

Pearl Padre calls herself a health, happiness and diet counselor. She's also the owner of Thai Spices serving up macrobiotic specialties in her smallish no-nonsense cafe. We sampled her Veggie Pad Thai and hot thai tea for lunch. A gold star experience! (2986 West Hwy 89A).

Heartline Cafe features a menu that blends Euro, Mediterranean and Asian cooking styles. Dine inside or outdoors in a delightful English garden setting. From the salad with fresh pear dressing and gorgonzola cheese, to the grilled coriander rubbed tuna, these are taste delights you won't quickly forget. Dinner entrees from $9.25 (1610 West Hwy 89A).

Best meals in Scottsdale

Marine biologist, Janet Scheffman and her husband Chris invited Journeywoman to join them at Scottsdale's Old Town Tortilla Factory. The menu is eclectic--a bold mix of Mexican and Southwestern with a funky cross cultural influence. At center stage a tortilla machine churns out a selection of individually spiced flavoured tortillas. Service is friendly, atmosphere lively and desserts are delish! (6910 East Main Street)

We asked Julia, manager of the Museum Shop, where the ladies of Scottsdale lunch. She directed us to Acadia Farms which we never would have found without her. Just a little off the main drag, this casual country dining room was buzzing when we arrived. JW strongly recommends the oriental chicken salad($7.75), and chocolate praline tart for dessert. Wow! (7014 1st Ave) Enjoy!

Arizona - The Female Facts

Arizona Business Womens' Directory provides a listing of the female entrepreneurs in the area. Great for networking! Fax: (602) 941-5196.

"Women to the Fore" is a women-only intro to golf offered at the Lodge at Ventana Canyon, Tucson. Tel: (800) 828-5701

Canyon Calling Tours offers enriching hiking adventures for middle-aged women wanting to experience the Southwest. Call: 800.664.8922 or visit their website:

Social hikes in and around Tucson for those over 50? Tel: ( 520) 296 -7795

Want a woman-led desert walk? Call Outdoor Adventures in Tucson @ (520) 296- 9437

Learn more about southwestern outdoor adventures for women by contacting Dr. Libby Howell of Wilderness Journeys. She promises to take you to places that the average tourist to Arizona doesn't even know about. Tel: (602) 921-1002 or write: 150 South Ash Avenue, Tempe, AZ, 85281.

Gift giving - Look for Native American flute music by Carlos Nakai. JW recommends the CD "Canyon Trilogy - solo melodies to dream by".

For more info about planning your own female-friendly holiday in Arizona call 800-842-8257

She meets local women and more...







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