Ease yourself into a booth at El Coronado Family Restaurant (at left) in Safford, Arizona,two hours northeast of Tucson. Dip a crisp chip into the impeccable homemade salsa and soak up the friendly warmth of a quintessential Mexican family restaurant. Like so many such places all over the West, the food is fresh and homemade, nothing fancy but nothing like Taco Bell, either. At El Coronado, you should order a green-chile quesadilla with tender, luscious cubes of beef, or the chorizo and egg plate, smoky-tasting and hot. And leave a big tip, because the service is fast and nice.
Other must-try family-run Mexican restaurants in Safford, a gateway to hiking Mt. Graham or exploring the Coronado National Forest, include:
- Chalo's (928/348-9941), where hundreds of chiles rellenos are made by hand every week
- Casa Mañana (928/428-3170), specialists in chimichanga—slow-roasted shredded beef