Butterfly Garden Inn
The burgers at Butterfly Garden Inn in Oak Creek Canyon are easily one of Sedona’s best-kept secrets (until now, of course). Some people might not even realize that there’s a kitchen mixed in with the rustic cabins, but the food there is top-notch. The spring menu features chef Tony Guerra’s newest creation: The Cuban. Just like all of the burgers here, this one is built around a half-pound Arizona-grown grass-fed beef patty cooked to your liking. The Cuban is topped with melted Swiss cheese, caramelized onions, fried plantains and – here’s the kicker – pulled pork. Inn owner Frank Garrison says the pork is his grandmother’s recipe, and though it might sound like a lot of meat, the portions on this burger are perfect. No one single ingredient overpowers the others, so the flavors of the grilled beef and tender pork happily intermingle with the sweetness of the plantains and onions. (Turkey and black bean patties are also available.)
The eatery at Butterfly Garden Inn is more market than restaurant, so order at the counter and grab a seat outdoors surrounded by the swaying pine trees and the sounds of nearby Oak Creek.
Butterfly Garden Inn, 9440 N. AZ-89A in Oak Creek Canyon (928-203-7633)
Order This: The Cuban, $10.99
Wash it Down With: A can of Mother Road Brewing Company’s Kölsch-Style Ale
Sedona’s newest burger joint is Dellepiane, tucked away in Hillside Sedona across from Javelina Cantina. The original Dellepiane is located down a small alley in bustling Buenos Aires (Dellepiane is the street name of the Argentina location); this is chef Tomas Agostino’s second location. One wall in the Sedona eatery is covered with a gigantic photo of its predecessor’s exterior, which almost makes it seem like you’re dining in Buenos Aires. The rest of the interior has an industrial vibe with metal chairs, brightly painted tabletops, a chalkboard menu and ammo tins that serve as condiment holders. All of the 6-ounce burgers feature black Angus beef that’s ground in house, and each one is served on a toasted sesame-seed brioche bun. We loved the presentation, too. The burgers arrived wrapped in paper (a good thing because it’s about to get messy) on wooden boards with horseshoe handles.
The signature Dellepiane burger won our hearts. It’s topped with pecan-wood smoked bacon, Tillamook cheddar, provolone (melted onto the bun, which really makes a difference in the bun’s texture) caramelized onions, pickles, Dellepiane’s house sauce and barbecue sauce. Side orders are available for an additional cost. We tried the yucca fries ($4) and the Smokin’ Mac ’n’ Cheese ($5). Both were extraordinary and substantial enough that one portion could easily feed two people. The restaurant also features craft beers on tap and a selection of wines, many from Argentina.
Dellepiane, 671 AZ-179 at Hillside Sedona (928-862-4129)
Order This: Dellepiane, $12
Wash it Down With: A glass of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or an Argentinean Malbec
Etch Kitchen and Bar
Dining at L’Auberge de Sedona is one of the greatest pleasures to be had in Sedona at this time of the year. The resort’s two restaurants, Cress on Oak Creek and Etch Kitchen and Bar, received facelifts last year, and we love the fact that there’s a burger on the revamped menu at Etch. Executive Chef Michael O’Dowd’s Etched Out Burger is available for lunch or dinner, and it’s a classic. The 8-ounce patty is a mix of aged buffalo and Wagyu beef. It’s topped with marinated shaved lettuces and a thick slice of marinated tomato, aged cheddar and two slices of apple-wood smoked bacon. The brioche bun is lightly dressed with Etch’s version of thousand island. The uber-thick burger comes with your choice of lightly seasoned waffle fries or regular fries – both are excellent.
You’ll want to enjoy your burger on Etch’s terrace, which is surrounded by trees and overlooks Oak Creek. The indoor/outdoor bar is connected to the terrace, lending an air of casualness to the elegant resort. If there’s a chill in the air, opt for the chic indoor dining room or gather around the fire pits on the restaurant’s lower level.
Etch Kitchen and Bar, 301 L’Auberge Lane at L’Auberge de Sedona in Uptown (928-282-1661)
Order This: Etched Out Burger, $23
Wash it Down With: A Copper City Cola (Arizona Copper City Moonshine, Massenez Lime & Ginger Liqueur, House Kola Nut & Spice Simple Syrup and Purely Sedona Sparkling Spring Water. Served over a solid cube of Purely Sedona Water ice, garnished with a ginger/lime rind pinwheel.)