People worry about various things when they travel. Is the destination safe, what is there to do, will I have trouble communicating with people?….and so on. I worry about food. Where to eat? Where to experience local flavors?
My research prior to a recent trip to Sedona, Arizona, was not yielding anything promising. One place that kept coming up, Elote, sadly, was not open on the one evening we were in town. The lack of “foodie” destinations was confirmed by others who had been there. I settled on a place called the Hudson. I was warned by a fellow food traveler not to expect much. Here was my experience.
We showed up on time for our reservation and were seated promptly. Service started off very slow. No one came by the table to offer water or drinks for 10 or 15 minutes. When someone finally came, service was good from then on. Apparently, the restaurant has a nice patio with a view of the mountains which is why you come to Sedona. As our reservation was after sundown, I did not see this.
We started off with a bowl of the chef’s famous corn chowder. This is not a particularly hard dish to make, but the flavors were good and I could tell effort was made. For example, some kernels of corn were stuck together indicating they had been removed from the cob as opposed to frozen. I could taste the fire roasted peppers. This dish had the right amount of heat. Overall, a good start.
For main I had the Hudson mushroom burger. The burger was cooked perfectly medium rare as requested (note that for Canadians, it is a luxury to go to the U.S. and have a burger medium rare as it is prohibited by the Canadian nanny state), it was juicy, well seasoned and delicious. I thought that the choice of bun was strange and I would of preferred a regular burger bun. Something more moist and soft. The burger is “triple blend ground beef, Portobello mushrooms, jalapeno bacon, haystack onion strings, arugula, truffled gouda cheese, garlic aioli”. Everything worked well together and was delicious. My only other feedback is that the portion was too big. I would of been happy with one of the below. You are essentially getting two burgers in one order which is good for sharing, but too much for one person. The mango in the slaw was also a nice touch.
My wife had the bbq ribs. They were fall off the bone good. The sauce was good. Again, the only feedback was that the portion was too big. One rack would be good for one person.
For dessert, we had the bread pudding. It was decent but the bread was too dense, and I would of preferred a thicker caramel. The whipped cream looked like it was hand whipped as opposed to canned which was another indication of the effort put in by the restaurant. Portion too big again.
Overall, I was expecting a bad meal, but actually ended up with one I was happy with. I think that restaurants obviously want to give good value for price paid, but they should also play a role in proper portion size awareness. Service started out very slow, and I thought would be bad, but improved once the server came around. 7.5/10