This Is the Place I Was Telling You About

Elote Cafe in Sedona

"Honestly, my favorite place to eat is my house. I have a hard time getting out. But when I do, I go to Elote Cafe in Sedona for Mexican food because I like Chef Jeff Smedstad."
– Abbie Ashford, chef/owner at Abbie's Kitchen (Cottonwood)

The Place: Elote Cafe

Named one of the Top 10 Mexican restaurants in the U.S. by Fox News/Gayot, Elote Cafe is a labor of love for the chef, owner and James Beard Award nominee Jeff Smedstad, who spends his off-time perfecting his skills and recipes in the Mexican states of Oaxaca, Veracruz and Puebla.

Not-to-miss dishes include the lamb adobo topped with a sweet-and-spicy ancho chile sauce and the slow-roasted duck carnitas. Enjoy either while sipping high-end tequila or mescal on the patio overlooking Sedona's Red Rocks.

Says Who? Abbie Ashford

Abbie Ashford worked as a caterer and a private chef in Florida and Tennessee before relocating to Cottonwood to open her first restaurant, Abbie's Kitchen, in 2011. The 28-seat restaurant gets a lot of attention for being run out of a 1920s miner's cottage, but it's Ashford's decadent take on classic comfort food and her dedication to making everything from scratch—from the fettuccine to the soup crackers—that have diners clamoring for a reservation.

Thumbnail image by Jill Richards Photography.
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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