El Tovar Breakfast of Champions

When in Rome, have pasta. When in Colorado, have steak! That’s my motto. And that’s what I was going to have for breakfast on Thursday, April 14th, which was also the first official day of the reopening of the Grand El Tovar Hotel. Well, technically there was an opening the night before, but this was the first breakfast!

From an outsider’s perspective, we could’ve been the Grand Canyon’s version of Dorothy Parker’s Round Table. Artists, poets, photographers, film festival directors and all actors (in one way or another) gathered to break bread. Kim also broke the Wheat Topiary centered on our table as she removed it for a better view of the other guests. No problem, our waiter quickly whisked it away!

After sifting through the great descriptions of the menus items, I chose the steak and eggs. Mmm. Hearty! El Tovar Prime Rib Hash sounded just to my liking…and it was chock full of ample-sized bites of steak, potatoes and veggies.

The coffee, a requirement pour moi, was better from the stand-alone canisters upstairs on the balcony level. In the restaurant it was weaker. And, once you’ve become a New Orleans-coffee-and-chickory-hearty coffee drinker like me, not even Starbucks compares! So, I sufficed on my muddy water.

I was transported throughout breakfast by the impressive murals painted on the walls, representing different native American tribes for the area in ceremonial-type settings. (Here’s one)Directly across from me I noted to Mike how ironic it was sitting across from what looked like what was about to be a human sacrifice. He commented that it was actually a Wedding Dance. Well, one (wo)man’s human sacrifice is another’s Wedding Dance, what can I say?!

It was really lovely to sit in the dramatic, dark, wooden-log walls with cathedral ceiling great dining room and have views of the spectacular Grand Canyon.

But the company was the best! Kim and Mike Buchheit, their friends Beth and Jim and Tery all regaled stories of adventure (Tery, Kim and Mike about the Grand Canyon hikes, Beth and I about sky-diving!) and mused poetics on art, film, music (Jim is very involved with an annual music festival) and nature.

All in all, breakfast at the El Tovar is a delightfully elegant and substantial way to start your day in the Grand Canyon. I give this restaurant 5 Wheat Topiaries.

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