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2:45 AM Wed, Nov. 14th

Black Canyon Grille serves Southland taste

At some point or another, hunger is inescapable. But locals might just want to take a break from the regular scene or those staying at the La Quinta Inn on Highway 69 might just not want to leave and head down to the city. For both situations, there's the Black Canyon Grille, located adjacent to the hotel and serving up a tour of the Southlands.

Owner Sara Lauerman said the Black Canyon Grille was in the area when the space inhabited by the La Quinta Inn was a Wyndham Hotel. "It had to have a restaurant because it was a Wyndham," Lauerman said. "When La Quinta took over, we just chose to keep it here."

Lauerman said that the grille was her first foray into the restaurant business, but noted she has been in hospitality for 12 years. She said she loves seeing different people and giving them a good experience.

The grille, Lauerman said, has a good amount of regulars along with the hotel guests. And there are even repeat guests at the hotel because they like the food. And even though Lauerman said having the restaurant where it's located is harder due to being "off the beaten path," the restaurant is well liked by Internet reviewers. It has an average rating of four out of five stars from sites like tripadvisor.com (30 reviews), urbanspoon.com, (12 reviews) and yelp.com (two reviews):

"Great food & service!!! I had the Fish Tacos, they were the best I've had."

"This is the best Clam Chowder I have ever tasted, and I am from Boston! Seriously, you have to go there and try it."

"Great place to sit and relax."

"I love their food! I had the greatest experience here."

"Best steak in Prescott! I had the Tecate Beer Steak ... it was done to perfection."

Executive Chef Peter Padilla said that the Tecate Beer Steak (8-ounce seared Angus top sirloin perched atop homestyle mashed potatoes served with Portobello mushrooms, scallions and a Tecate Beer reduction, $19), is an award-winning dish.

Other entrees include the Lemon Caper Chicken (marinated chicken breast dredged in seasoned panko crumbs and baked in a lemon caper butter served on a bed of seasoned rice, $16) and the BBQ Pork Ribs (half-rack, hickory-smoked St. Louis-style spareribs basted with the chef's secret-recipe barbecue sauce served with Southern coleslaw, petite corn on the cob and house-made pork & beans, $17).

There's also sandwiches, which Padilla noted that the Reuben (house-prepared corned beef topped with melted swiss cheese, house-made sauerkraut and thousand island served on grilled marble rye, $10) is the top-selling sandwich. Others include the Prescott Cheesesteak (slow-roasted prime rib basted in chipotle butter, tossed with peppers, onions and pepper jack cheese on a grilled French baguette, $12), The Beefeater (roast beef grilled with onions, green chilis, tomatoes and melted cheddar-jack cheese served on grilled parmesan crusted toast, $12) and the Black Canyon Club (house-prepared turkey breast with applewood-smoked bacon, tomatoes, cucumbers, green leaf lettuce, avocado, cheddar cheese and mayonnaise on grilled Texas toast, $11.)

The Grille also has some burgers and a few Mexican choices.

Padilla said that the flavor of the menu is a result of all his travels. "The flavor of our menu really is kind of a tour of the Southlands, from Southern California to the Southwest, to the South through the Southeast," he said.

Lauerman also noted that Black Canyon Grille has happy hour every day, with the bar opening at 3 p.m. daily. Padilla said on Friday nights there is an all-you-can-eat fish fry and Saturday is prime rib night. Both nights have live music.

Black Canyon Grille begins serving dinner at 4 p.m. and stops at 9 p.m., but the bar closes at 10 p.m. and is located at 4499 Highway 69.