Page, Arizona – some of the most beautiful land I’ve ever seen, with some of the most poor food options I’ve encountered. Page has a population of 7,000, just a few thousand less than Sedona. Granted, Sedona likely has more tourism, but Page has the most incredible selling point, in Antelope Canyon!
After we saw the wonders of upper Antelope Canyon, it was really downhill… and I mean steep… from there as far as Page’s food goes. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express, which I must admit was very nice – simple, but clean. The internet was incredibly spotty and slow, and since the place was packed (don’t go between Christmas and New Years), by 8:30 the next morning the free breakfast was nearly all gone, including the coffee, yogurt, and most everything else. They did not have good options for me to eat to begin with, but it would have been nice for Gabe to had something to eat. Overall though, I would stay there again, (or maybe the courtyard marriott) since there doesn’t seem to be much else in Page.
I hate writing a review like this, but it needs to be said.
The options for food looked great when I went on the Find Me Gluten Free App! Two places, called Bonkers and Rivers End Cafe, looked to be very promising! Rookie mistake: I didn’t check to see their hours of operation. Bonkers is only open March through October (since it’s a big lake town) but does have a gluten free menu if you’re there in the warmer months. Unfortunately, I was there in December. Rivers End Cafe looked exciting, except that it closed at 3 and our tour didn’t end until about that time.
After much searching online, I realized the town had very little else to offer. Since Mexican food tends to be easily made safe, we decided to head over to Fiesta Mexicana. You can find the menu here, but the gluten free items are not marked, and there is little to no training for the staff. We were greeted by a gentleman who took our drink orders, and when I asked for a margarita with no mix, just lime, tequila, and soda water, he replied that the margaritas are pre-mixed and walked away. Ooookay! Gabe ended up going over to the bar and getting one for me. The waiter finally came to our table 20 minutes later and hurridly asked for our order. I ordered the chicken taco (yes, only one taco, Fiesta Chica), told him I needed to be gluten free, and that I needed corn tortillas. “He said, you want extra on the side?” I said, “No, just corn with the meal.” He continued arguing, not understanding, and moved away from me to Gabe, before I could finish ordering. As he left the table I said, I need rice with that, no beans. He didn’t even give me the chance to finish my order! I Was Appalled. It wasn’t looking good.
When the food finally came out, the single taco came out on a crunchy (corn, I think), taco. However, I wanted soft corn tacos, because I trust them more. The waiter never came back once after bringing the food with the check. Needless to say, I do NOT recommend this restaurant for anyone with food sensitivities, as the staff are not trained nor do they seem to care, based off my experience.
We went back to try Rivers End Cafe for breakfast the next morning, and found it to be closed then as well, so we ended up down the street at Ranch House Grill. The restaurant did have Udi’s gluten free bread for $1 extra, but as far as cross contamination is concerned, there doesn’t seem to be any precautions. It also seemed to be very pricey for what it was. The waiter was not educated on gluten free in the least, when I asked about the hashbrowns, he said they probably weren’t safe. He didn’t seem to know how they were made. I ended up with a plate of egg(s) and a slice of ham, neither of which was satisfying for $6.50. I opted out of the bread for the extra dollar because I wasn’t sure about the toaster, and being dairy and sugar free, I avoid butter & jam. Gabe did really enjoy his veggie omelet (9.50), and if I ever went back I would go with a DF version of that. However, cross contamination is definitely a major concern, along with staff training on ingredients.
Both of these restaurant reviews have been sent to the restaurants. I will update this post if I receive a response.
Overall, Page is an amazing place that definitely needs to make your bucket list, for a tour of Antelope Canyon (check out my amazing experience here!). However, if you are only going to do one or two tours, for an hour or two each, I would recommend staying down the road in Flagstaff, AZ (2.25 hours) or Kanab, UT (1.5 hours).