About 30 minutes East of the Grand Canyon National Park Southeast entrance along highway 89 is a little pitstop called Cameron. There are a couple of gas stations, a museum and a couple of places to grab some food. After camping at Desert View Campground in Grand Canyon National Park we were looking for the latter. The first spot we tried was a deli attached to a Navajo gift shop. The reviews for the deli said great breakfast burritos could be found there. We showed up to the deli and attempted to order a breakfast burrito only to be informed that they no longer served breakfast burritos. Fair enough, it was around 2 in the afternoon so I guess that makes sense for those places that differentiate when it is appropriate to serve breakfast items. I don’t lie to live that way but understand why some restaurants operate that way. Breakfast burritos were out so we attempted to order Navajo Tacos. After a few days camping at the Grand Canyon we thought that some hearty Navajo Tacos in Cameron sounded just right. We were informed that this deli in Cameron was “not doing” Navajo tacos at the time. Strike two. Confused as to what they do offer we decided that it may be time to try out the other restaurant in Cameron. Salivating and starving at this point though we can’t leave empty handed so we order a couple of soft serve cones. That sounded like a decent consolation prize on a hot Arizona day. The kid behind the counter informs us that they are not doing cones. Straight faced, unapologetically, deadpan he hits strike three. I ask “Not doing cones? Are you out?”. We are told that they have cones but just don’t know how to ring them up. We cannot leave fast enough. We hightail it about 2 miles North on highway 89 to Cameron Trading Post Restaurant hoping that they will have a menu with food that they do serve and are able to sell.
Walking into Cameron Trading Post a gentleman walking in front of us turns and asks if we are headed to the the restaurant. We say yes and must have some apprehensive looks on our face coming from the deli because he informs us that the food is great and that he brings his family often. Things are looking up.
The dining room is old wood with pressed tin high ceilings with Navajo crafts and art all over the walls. One side is mostly windows that look out over the canyon and rock formations of the area. The place was fairly busy. Most of the food coming out looked like Navajo tacos or some variety of food on Navajo bread. I ordered a prickly pear milkshake and Cali ordered a chocolate one. The chocolate milkshake was meh and the prickly pear seemed lacking in anything but vanilla. I asked our server about the mistake and he apologized and corrected the mistake. I received my prickly pear shake as our food arrived. Food came out about 15 minutes after we placed our order. This seemed perfectly reasonable for the amount of patrons in the restaurant. I ordered the Beef Navajo Bread. Navajo bread with shaved beef, brown gravy, and green chile. Cali got the Navajo Beef Stew with Navajo Bread. First off, the bread was hands down the best that we had experienced in the area. We had made many fry bread stops on the road in Arizona before and after the Cameron Trading Post. My meal was decent. The gravy was nothing special, just a simple brown gravy. The green chile was one of the spiciest green chili dishes I have had. I enjoy spice with good flavor and the green chile did not disappoint. The first bite caught me off guard. I had a mouthful of green chili and my eyes started watering as I reached for my milkshake. The rest of the meal I enjoyed with a lower green chile ratio per bite. The prickly pear shake was a bit sweet for me but overall a good flavor. Cali shared some of her beef stew. It was kind of bland as it was served but came with a side of salsa that really made it great IMO. The beef quality in both dishes was decent in quality. The salsa and green chili would have gone great with a cold beer but unfortunately there was no beer on the menu. I really like a beer with my southwestern food but a milkshake is a decent substitute.
The portion sizes of the navajo bread dishes were large, very large. I was barely able to finish my dish after camping for a few days and working up a mighty hunger. These dishes could probably feed a family of four with an appetite for a decent lunch. If I recall correctly the dishes were around $10 – $12.
I give the Cameron Trading Post 3.5 out of 5 stars on an honest scale where 3 stars is an average restaurant. If we were in the area again I would eat here again but would not go out of my way to do so. If you find yourself in the Cameron area check it out and try some Navajo Bread dishes.