This is the Place I Was Telling You About

Criollo Latin Kitchen in Flagstaff

"I'm from Flagstaff, so my secret place is Criollo Latin Kitchen in downtown Flagstaff. It has great food, and the chef has a passion for what he does."
Christopher Smith, chef at Merkin Vineyards & Osteria (Cottonwood)

The Place: Criollo Latin Kitchen

Sustainable. Local. Organic. Those are the tenets that have driven husband-and-wife team Paul and Laura Moir's restaurant concepts, from Brix Restaurant and Wine Bar to Proper Meats + Provisions and Grand Canyon Café. Criollo Latin Kitchen is no exception.

Chef Christopher Smith at Osteria in Cottonwood

All the ingredients are sourced from local and regional farmers and ranchers for dishes like bison meatloaf, beer-battered catfish tacos and seared-salmon tostada. You can taste the difference. Criollo Latin Kitchen was named one of Arizona Highways' "25 Favorite Places to Eat."

Says Who? Christopher Smith

Arizona native Christopher Smith served as executive chef at Robert's Creekside, Los Abrigados Resort & Spa and The Asylum Restaurant before rock star and winemaker Maynard James Keenan picked him to helm Merkin Vineyards Tasting Room and its restaurant, Osteria, in Cottonwood.

Smith believes in keeping his menu as local as possible. He makes his own bread and pasta using Arizona flour and sources much of the produce from Merkin's own orchard, gardens and greenhouse.

Expedition Foodie AZ

About the Author: Expedition Foodie AZ

Expedition Foodie AZ’s authors interview chefs, servers, bartenders, brewmasters and winemakers to uncover Arizona's best-kept dining secrets. Have a tip? We'd like to hear it. Visit us on Facebook or Instagram to say: “This is the place I was telling you about …”

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