Published on December 11th, 2013 | by Charu Suri
1 Proof: a Southwest-style Canteen in Arizona
During my second trip to Arizona (the first with baby in tow), I was a bit mesmerized by the skyscraper-tall Saguaro cactii, the desert landscape, and the flowering plants. But I was not really expecting to be bowled over by the food (whoever went to Arizona for cuisine?).
But as usual, I was wrong.
For a taste of the authentic, unpretentious Southwest, Proof Canteen offers more than you bargained for, with floor-to-ceiling windows and unvarnished views of the Sonoran desert landscape.
The vintage-style canteen, which is part of the Four Seasons Resort at Troon North, offers weekend brunches with dishes like waffle chicken sliders, sweet potato pancakes with honey maple butter, and home-style potatoes that are so good that second helpings are a given. What I especially loved was the old-fashioned soda fountain and the microbrewery menu (the cover of the menu is a stylish car license plate) which features craft brews from 50 states. In other words, drive to Proof Canteen and drink through the 50 states without worrying about a DUI.
Proof Canteen: a vintage-style brunch
Give us this day our daily bread tray and carrot cake jam
Southwest tones are everywhere
The newly-opened juice bar punches out fresh carrot and acai shots for everyone, and is one of the highlights of the brunch menu (for $4 extra, you get unlimited juices: a no brainer). The lemon ricotta blue corn pancakes are cotton-soft and delicious, and the root beer floats from the company Dry in Seattle are so very vintage. ?We really try to accommodate all the 50 states on our menu,? says Proof?s chef Dale, and it shows. He takes special pains to get locally-grown vegetables, and even feature local wine where possible (yes, the Verde wine trail runs near Sedona in Northern Arizona). The thoughtful menu, inspired decor which is far from kitschy, and well-heeled waitstaff (long-sleeved shirts and bow ties for the boys) make this a bit more upscale version of a traditional canteen, but this is the Four Seasons after all.
Erika had a blast with two straws; that?s all she cared about
But because the canteen also has unpretentious southwestern food, and more kid-friendly perks than FAO Schwartz (toddlers get served Etch-A-Sketch and crayon pencils), this is a win-win for the entire family (the Boomer generation will appreciate the comfortable gingham-upholstered sofas; the quirky teen will love the cinematographic-style vintage lamps). Erika quite obviously loved everything there, from electric lights suspended from longer than usual wires to the vintage items available for sale (including license plates). The drinks menu, with its craft beer and ice cream floats, bowled me over and I would have gratefully drunk my way the entire afternoon.