Indian Gardens Oak Creek Market is a pleasing culture clash of vintage roadside Americana – a 1940s-era general store with supplies for adventurous travelers – and modern culinary values that include artistic lattes, smoothies, and craft beers, kale salad and house-made granola, vegan and gluten-free options, and fresh-pressed organic apple cider. Coolers hold a selection of interesting soft drinks and Arizona wines.
My favorite takeaway is sourdough bread, baked daily in muffaletta-size loaves. Bread-lovers’ bread it is – heavy and dense, requiring a sharp knife or good dentition to detach a piece from the loaf, rewarding a substantial chew with powerful yeast-and-sour flavor. When I passed through, I bought a loaf and gnawed on it all the way from Sedona down to Phoenix. In the autumn, the Market is a destination for travelers in search of apple sauce, cider, and muffins made from local apples.
Among the sit-down meals are pancakes, chilaquiles (a dolled up version of migas), chorizo and egg tacos, and a healthful and quite delicious item called Grains & Greens Bowl. That’s roasted butternut squash, quinoa, a couple of eggs cooked to order, sliced avocado, and sautéed kale, accompanied by a ramekin of house-made hot sauce to make it buzz. I don’t have a lot of cred as a judge of health food (the kale and quinoa are organic), but I will be ordering this again next time I go through Sedona. It is hugely satisfying and – dare I say it? – salubrious.
Despite its modern take on eating, the place itself maintains an old-timey feel, well-worn and hospitable; and the setting is magical, on the graceful winding road that threads through Oak Creek Canyon.