You can eat a lot in 16 days. In Sedona, the variety of what you can devour is overwhelming.
From chimichangas or reubens to lasagne Bolognese or pecan-crusted trout to grilled beef filet or seared salmon, there is something for every palate.
So what happens? You stick with what you know. Or maybe you venture out to try one or two a friend told you about and hope to avoid the masses. Some restaurants find themselves in the Yogi Berra conundrum - "Nobody goes there anymore; it's too crowded."
To give tourists and residents alike a chance to experiment much of what the Sedona area has to offer, a new culinary tour is in the making.
The Sedona Chamber of Commerce has organized the inaugural event Dine in Sedona to run June 15 through June 30.
A variety of well known and lesser known establishments, stretching from West Sedona to the Village of Oak Creek, have signed up to create special menus for the 16-day restaurant fest.
Chamber staff had seen similar events succeed in other cities like Los Angeles, Chicago and Santa Fe. "We thought, 'why can't we do it here?'" says Chamber President Jennifer Wesselhoff.
Sedona, she says, has a growing reputation as a culinary destination, "and our locals really benefit too from our diverse restaurants."
While much of the Chamber's tourism efforts are on other attractions and events that in a roundabout way bring people to the area's eateries simply because of the basic human need for sustenance, "we were looking for something to benefit our restaurants directly," Wesselhoff says.
Board member Michele Moore, co-owner of Marketplace Café, worked to spearhead the project and garner support of other restaurants. Event organizers also want to tap into the trendy winery scene and local agriculture and reach a broader audience.
For Dine in Sedona, participating restaurants have created a three-course prix-fixe special menu to be inserted in their regular menus or handed out to customers during the 16 days. Guests can select an appetizer, entrée and dessert.
There are three price levels -- Modest, Classic and Elegant -- and restaurants chose which level they wanted to participate in. The Modest price is $19.95. Classic is $29.95. Elegant is $39.95. The prices are for food only and do not include gratuity and such.
The restaurants may have corresponding specials and entertainment, as well.
For more information and a map, visit the Web site at www.dineinsedona.com or call the Sedona Chamber of Commerce for more information at (928) 204-1123.