Start the car, and bring your appetite. Here are the absolutely best places to eat along Western highways
Casa Antigua, Camp Verde, AZ. This family-run restaurant, in a plain-Jane strip mall, is the definition of unpretentious. But the food is the real thing: Sonoran-style Mexican, simply but perfectly done. Must-try: The generously stuffed spicy pork tacos or the potato tacos, made with french fries—not exactly authentic Sonoran but strangely delicious. $; 452 Finnie Flat Rd.; 928/567-6300.
MartAnne’s, Flagstaff, AZ (pictured). This tiny storefront kitchen and eatery draws long lines, especially on weekends, for Mexican breakfast-into-lunch dishes like green chile chilaquiles and huevos rancheros. Snag a seat at a dinette table inside the brightly painted restaurant, or get takeout and enjoy it on the benches around the corner at Heritage Square. Must-try: The Jerry, a green chile–pork enchilada topped with two eggs over easy. $; 10 N. San Francisco St.; 928/773-4701.
Criollo Latin Kitchen, Flagstaff, AZ. Criollo’s windows give you an up-close look at Flagstaff’s surprisingly vibrant street scene. Cuisine here starts in Mexico, then ventures into Central and South America, with standouts like braised pork shoulder with mole sauce, and pork belly tacos with housemade pickles. Must-try: The coconut-and-masa fried calamari appetizer, served with mango slaw and a creamy cilantro aioli. $$; 16 N. San Francisco St.; 928/774-0541.