Though you won't see the roadside, open-air kitchen built from arrowroot and cactus ribs on Instagram food feeds, or in the pages of any glossy publication, The Stand on the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Reservation is one of our favorite places to eat in metro Phoenix. Here, the seats are stumps, the ceiling is the sky, and the fry bread from cook Cindy Washington will occupy your thoughts long after the meal is through. This Frisbee-sized fry bread is shaped from dough using vegetable shortening and born from a deep fryer. It rises dripping on the tines of a long, steaming fork. It's puffy as a marshmallow — chewy, lacy, and soft all at once. With some honey, the nuttier toasty notes of the grain awaken. Blanketed with gloppy red chile, rained with toppings, and supercharged into an "Indian taco," you have a sub-$10 meal for one that could feed two hungry people. Though fry bread isn't an indigenous food with roots in the deep past, people, including many Native Americans around Phoenix, still enjoy it. If you don't, well, when you hunger for a similarly satisfying meal, try The Stand's menudo. New Normal: Some outdoor seats are available around the eatery. Takeout is always an option.
- Price: $
- Hours: Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Outdoor seating: Open-air patio