This week, the Accidental Locavore has a great guest blogger. If you’ve ever wondered why these blogs are (relatively) mistake-proof, it’s because of my good friend, editor and this week, guest blogger, Lisa. She and her good friend Ellen were at Miraval spa for a few days and wanted to share their food experiences there. I’m sure there were some exercise classes and an occasional massage tossed in too…or maybe they just ate for three days, what do you think?
What’s not to love about Miraval, Tucson’s “other” world-class resort and spa? It’s impossible not to compare it with Canyon Ranch, nestled in opposite corners of the Catalina Mountains. When I first arrived at Miraval, as a frequent CR goer, I was disappointed. Where was the massive salad bar at dinner? There was no salad bar at all. No evening pasta bar, or lunchtime sandwich bar either. On the other hand, Miraval serves cocktails before dinner, has a pretty fair wine list and fantastic cookies are available all day long. The offerings aren’t as limitless, but in many ways the food is more ambitious.
Miraval offers a choice of buffets or one prepared menu item for breakfast and lunch. The dinner menu lists five first plates, a daily flatbread “pizza,” and four entrees. Like CR, the portions are small, but you can order as many as you like — in fact, they encourage you to sample, and sample we did! As with CR, I found the food exquisitely prepared and presented. Both resorts go for organic, healthy, local and fresh, although Miraval may stay more true to a Southwestern taste. There’s one other difference, too. As a far more casual and unambitious cook than my friend, the Locavore, I am more willing to tackle CR’s dishes than Miraval’s. Miraval’s recipes seem to involve more steps, more prep work and require more ingredients. Some of that is no doubt in keeping with the Southwestern flavor.
Next month Miraval is finally responding to guests’ feedback and offering a cookbook. This will give me the chance to really pore over it and compare it to Canyon Ranch’s to see if my impressions are right. In the meantime, enjoy the photos!
And if Miraval or Canyon Ranch wants a Locavore to taste test their menus…