Perfect Picnics

Tips on how to fill your basket and where to spread the blanket

Written by Gail Collins

It’s always a good day for a picnic in northern Arizona. And it’s the perfect meal for a few reasons:  no need for a clean house to entertain, a tablecloth doubles as a nap blanket and al fresco feasting tastes better. Keep it simple and keep it fun by gathering your goodies at local shops. This list is not exhaustive, as Flagstaff’s foodie scene continues to expand, but it provides a good start. As for the venue, numerous parks and panoramas are within easy reach.

Where to fill the basket

Planning brunch on a blanket? Swing into Macy’s European Coffee House (14 S. Beaver Street). Unique combinations, like the mozzarella sandwich, bursting with fresh cheese, organic spinach, roasted red pepper, balsamic glazed onion, tomatoes and basil, create difficult, but delicious, decisions. The coffee is top-notch and grab a made-from-scratch pastry.

Tourist Home Urban Market (52 S. San Francisco Street) carries specialty items on the shelf and fresh grub to go. The daily quiche makes an easy handhold and the Cobb salad packs protein. Pastry chef Kat Beimann stocks a case of sweet surprises, too.

The deli counter at Proper Meats + Provisions (110 S. San Francisco Street) offers specialty butchered meats for the best cheesesteak outside of Philly or go global with the bahn mi of pork shoulder confit, pickled zucchini and carrot with cilantro and chili aioli.

Café Daily Fare (408 Historic Route 66) provides platters of veggies and dips or assorted spreads, including smoked salmon with lemon caper cream, and tarts or cookies. Frank’s, of course, carries all-beef hotdogs and Italian sausage with peppers plus snacks. Jitters Lunchbox (3504 Historic Route 66) features weekly sandwiches, like an egg salad BLT on buttermilk bread, and soups. Items are hand-crafted at Aspen Deli (20 N. Beaver Street). Choose the rise and swine burrito with pork and potatoes for a hearty start or Grandma’s recipe potato and pasta salads. Go Go’Z Drive-Thru (1750 E. Route 66) boasts two food truck concepts, including BBQ, for a fusion of flavor.

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Nomads Global Lounge Caters to International Travelers & Local Foodies

Northern Arizona’s Mountain Living Magazine, June 2017

Story & Photos by Gail Collins

Travel writer and a founder of Outside magazine, Tim Cahill, once noted:  “Travel is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” On the cusp of summer, one’s mind turns to travel, to vacation. Vacation and travel are used interchangeably, but the first often entails getting away to relax, while the latter implies exploration.

Exploration becomes an education, both in making plans and executing them, and as plans generally go awry, that is when the learning begins in earnest. We must problem-solve, reach out to strangers, and often, we make friends in the process. Beyond our familiar culture lay new ways to live, think and grow. Our circle of experience expands dynamically, and we are raw and real in the moment. Maybe, that authenticity allows us to find fast friends when wandering—we open up, engage in novel adventures and find others, who understand the joy in it.

We are fortunate to live in a place, where people come for adventure. Flagstaff is a jumping off point for travelers from around the globe. They bring their ways to us! The connecting point for such fellow travelers is Nomads Global Lounge with the motto:  “Where the world comes to mingle.” Owners John and Lisa McCulloch wanted a social space for guests of their properties, so John spent more than two years employing his

woodworking skills to transform the previous check-in area of Motel DuBeau. Nomads opened last October.

“We created an elegant, but comfortable, communal environment, where travelers and pilgrims could gather and tell stories, and locals could meet them,” John said. Lisa handled the decorating, layering a sleek, international atmosphere over classic, historic bones. Handcrafted, burnished wood, leather seating arranged for chatting, bold colors on the walls and global destinations on frameless canvases give Nomads a timeless, yet yearning-forward, feel. The duo built a background in customer service before buying the Downtown Motel in 1997 and Motel DuBeau Travelers Inn & Hostel in 2000 to provide beds for 90 travelers.

“It’s a quiet place to come after the theater, for parents dropping off college kids, a pre-game meet-up or a nightcap after dinner,” said John. The bar aspects include a variety of international wines and beers, plus cold pints of Boddington’s and 90 Schilling, specifically. Can’t decide on a wine? John suggests sampling sips.

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