No way am I throwing my body down a mountain with long and narrow “boards” strapped to my feet. I am way too much of a klutz. I can inadvertently make a complete fool of myself at least two or three times a day without doing so on purpose. But, with enough opportunities to practice, I could gold medal in ski lodge. I could master sitting before a roaring fire while wearing a bulky sweater and holding the beverage of my choice. Like, maybe, a hot buttered rum.
But the Sawmill Run Restaurant with its large corner fire place and soaring beamed ceiling may be the closest that I will come.
“The best thing about Sawmill Run is the view. The restaurant is open and airy, designed with a modern log-cabin feel. There are some great black-and-white photos of Mount Lemmon and a sawmill from the 1940s and '50s, and the restaurant's bar area has a large glass door that reveals beautiful views of the mountain. There is both indoor and patio seating…” (Joie Horwitz at tucsonweekly.com).
Upon our arrival, the restaurant was almost empty, but quickly filled as the lunch hour progressed.
“…the menu at the Sawmill has many…choices—some of them downright healthy…. The grilled Caesar…is a treat—heads of baby Romaine lettuce are dipped in Caesar dressing and lightly grilled, then redressed with all the Caesar trimmings. The restaurant has burgers, baby-back ribs, and a variety of sandwiches. It has ‘championship chili’…that comes as a bit of a surprise. It's made with turkey and white beans instead of the more traditional ingredients…. The smoked and pulled meats constitute the heart of the menu. You can order them as a ‘carving board’ selection…or in a sandwich” (Tom Beal at azstarnet.com).
I couldn’t resist ordering the Smoked Monster sandwich. This was smoked and pulled chicken lightly moistened with a sauce that was neither too sweet nor too acidic. In fact, the sauce was the perfect accompaniment for the mild flavor of white meat chicken. On top of the chicken sat a small mound of the house mac (made with small shells) and cheese which in turn was topped with cheddar cheese.
“All of the sandwiches come with a side order. You can get a green salad, cole slaw, seasoned French fries, spicy sweet-potato tots, deep-fried corn, mac and cheese, grilled veggies, soup or collard greens. The sweet potato tots and the grilled corn are the favorites…” (Tom Beal at azstarnet.com).
Chuck chose the Mount Turkey sandwich which contained thick or—as described on the menu—“Thanksgiving cut” breast of turkey with sautéed onions and peppers and melted cheese.
For his side he ordered the mashed potatoes and gravy, which I didn’t bother to taste but which he assured me were very good with just enough lumps.
“The sides and the overall quality of the food make it easier to swallow the elevated prices, which are a couple bucks above valley prices.
While not quite a ski lodge, Sawmill Run is a great place--as the sign reads--“To eat, drink & have some fun!” and our lunch earns 4.0 Addies.
To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.