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Restaurants of the Arizona Salsa Trail

Upcoming events

Ballet Folklorico "Quetzalli" de Vera Cruz - Gila Valley Arts Council

Wed Mar 25 at 7:30pm

Ballet Folklorico "Quetzalli" makes its home in the state capital, Xalapa, Veracruz. The company has given hundreds of performances across Mexico, the USA, South America, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean.

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Heritage Days - Pima- Arizona

Fri Apr 10-11 at 7am

Evening BBQ, Dance, Breakfast and more.

Coronado Varsity Triathlon-Grand Canyon Council Boy Scouts of America

Fri Apr 17 at 5pm

With over 1,500 participants and the capacity for 2,000 this 75 yard swim, 6 mi. bike, and 1.6 mi. run is a seamless activity with high tech timing chips. Young people as well has adults are destine to have a great time.

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Coronado Varsity Triathlon-Grand Canyon Council Boy Scouts of America

Sat Apr 18 at 7am

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Spring Sing: The Music of Living

Thu Apr 23-25 at 7:30pm

Music Department - fine Arts Auditorium

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Spring Jazz Ensemble Concert

Wed Apr 29 at 7:30pm

Jazz Ensemble

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Mariachi Pasion

Fri May 1 at 7pm

All female mariachi group is proud to share the beauty and emotion of mariachi music.

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Mariachi Pasion

Fri May 1 at 7pm

The heart of Mariachi Pasion is the common love and respect for mariachi music; the soul of the group is the desire to preform in an all female mariachi group.

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Lemons and Lemonade

Fri Jun 12-13 at 10am

Safford Downtown Association

Annual McMurray Communications-Nickel Picnic-Battle of the Bands

Sat Jul 4 at 9am



The businesses participating in the Salsa Trail are currently offering the following specials. To redeem simply print the given special and show it to your server!

Green Corn Tamales

Green Corn Tamales for only $17.25 a dozen

Mechy's Mexican Food

Breakfast Quesadilla

Breakfast Quesadilla for only $5.89!

El Coronado

Chicken Enchilada platter

Chicken Enchilada platter for only $6.65

Mechy's Mexican Food

Enchiladas Tres Banderas

One beef flour enchilada with red chile sauce, one chile verde con carne flour enchilada with sour cream, and one chicken enchilada sause sprinkled with shredded cheddar and broiled to perfection topped with green onions, if you like, served with beans and rice. This special dish represents the Mexican Flag.

La Paloma Restaurant

Indian Fry Bread Taco

Fry bread filled with beans(whole or refried) and seasoned ground beef, folded and deep fried, garnished with lettuce, tomato, and cheese.

El Charro Restaurant

Sonora Hot Dog Combo

Only $ 5.50 + Tax. Includes: Sonora hot dog, large order of Mexican fries & a medium fountain soda. Single hot dog - $ 2.50 + Tax

El Mesquite Taqueria

2 Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

Served with Rice and Beans~ $5.99

Casa Manana


Have you ever wonder what actually goes into some of the best recipes along the Salsa Trail? Some of those safely guarded savory recipes are revealed below.

Mexican Steak

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Mexican Steak If you love steak, you are going to just love this dish.

6 oz. Marinated Sirloin Steak
1/4 onion (cut in slices)
1-2 Jalapeños (cut in slices)
2 Canned Tomatoes (cut in slices)

Cut sirloin in 1/2 inch strips. Sauté marinated steak in Olive oil and steak seasoning for 3 minutes. Add onions, tomatoes, and jalapeños and sauté for two more minutes all together. Plate with Rice, Beans, Flour Tortilla and garnish.

from the kitchen of "El Coronado"


Secret Salsa Verde

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This is great on eggs, as a marinade, or as a dip.

1 lb. tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 clove fresh garlic ¼ medium onion ¼ jalapeño chile, with seeds
1 tsp. kosher salt
4 sprigs fresh cilantro
Fresh black pepper to taste

Put the tomatillos in a medium saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain. Puree the garlic, onion, jalapeño, salt and pepper in a blender until smooth.
Add the tomatillos and cilantro sprigs and puree until smooth.

Yield: About 3 cups

from the kitchen of "Casa Manana"


Johnny's Hot Jalapeno Salsa

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5 jalapeno peppers (seeds and chopped for raw salsa)
2 tomatoes(chopped for raw salsa)
1 medium onion, peeled and minced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 tsp Mexican oregano
1/2 tsp cumin, ground
salt to taste

Boil the jalapeno peppers, tomatoes and onion for 10 to 15 minutes or until al dente. Drain and discard the water. Let cool. Add seasoning and mix thoroughly.

from the kitchen of "El Charro Restaurant"


Street Fish Tacos

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Street Fish Tacos This is a great dish the entire family will love.

12 corn tortillas
2 lb. skinless firm white fish (cod, American farm raised catfish) and cut into small pieces the size of your index finger.
1 cup of flour
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/12 tsp double acting baking powder
1 pinch of oregano rubbed to a powder
1 tsp chicken flavor bouillon
½ tsp granulated garlic
½ tsp granulated onion
1/2 tb mustard
1 can of Mexican dark beer or Lagger (Negra Modelo) plus more to thin the batter if necessary
1/2 litter of vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste

Place fish in a plastic bowl and sprits with lime and a scattering of salt. Cover and place in the refrigerator for approximately 1 hour.

Pour oil into deep pan and heat over medium heat to 365 degrees.

Mix flour, baking powder, oregano, mustard, garlic, onion, cayenne, pinch of salt, pepper and beer together until you get a light batter. Drain the fish and dry with a paper towel. The batter should be thick enough to cling to the fish. Dip the fish into the batter and coat completely. Dip into oil and fry until golden brown and serve.

Warm the corn tortillas and make a taco topped with finely shredded green cabbage, diced tomatoes, onions and lime.

from the kitchen of "El Mesquite Taqueria"


Chile Rellenos

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Chile Rellenos 6 eggs (separate yolks and whites)
12 green chile peppers roasted, skinned, slit lengthwise on one side and seeded
1 cup flour
12 oz. cheddar cheese cut in 1 inch thick strips
enough safflower oil to fill a deep fryer halfway

Stiff each chile pepper with 2 strips of cheddar cheese and set aside. Start heading oil to frying temperature. Whip egg whites until they meringue. Beat egg yolks and fold into the meringue. Drop a stuffed green chile in deep bowl filled with flour and bury completely. Dip the flour-coated chile in the meringue batter and completely coat. Carefully place the battered chile pepper into the deep fryer and fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve.

from the kitchen of "La Paloma Restaurant"


Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

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1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can chicken broth
16 oz. sour cream
3 finely chopped jalapeños
¼ chopped white onion
½ chopped green chilies
Add garlic & Salt to taste

In a casserole dish- cover bottom with corn tortillas, cheese, shredded chicken and enchilada sauce. Repeat layers as desired. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

from the kitchen of "El Coronado"


Famous Fish Tacos

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Famous Fish Tacos 1 quart canola oil
2 cups prepared tempura batter (or your favorite recipe)
8 oz Alaskan Pollock or cod fish cut into half-inch strips
1 cup flour
2 cups fresh shredded cabbage
1 line, cut into wedges
1/2 cup chipotle mayonnaise (see recipe below)
6 flour or corn tortillas, grilled
1/2 cup Pico de Gallo, freshly made

Heat oil in an eight-quart Dutch oven or deep fryer to 350 degrees. Mix tempura batter and let stand 10 minutes. Put flour on a plate, dredge each piece of fish through the flour coating completely and shake off the excess. Dip each floured piece of fish into the tempura batter, and coat completely Carefully place the battered fish into the hot oil and fry until crispy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Do not fry too many pieces at a time in order to keep the temperature of the oil consistent. Remove fish and put on a paper towel to drain.

Assemble tacos by laying out warm tortillas in a large pan. Place a piece of fish on each tortilla. Drizzle 1 tsp of chipotle mayonnaise over each piece and pile cabbage on top. Garnish with a scoop of Pico de Gallo and a lime wedge.

Chipotle Mayonnaise

1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 chipotle Chile in adobo sauce
1/2 Ancho Chile in adobo sauce
1/4 cup cilantro leaves (fresh)
salt and pepper to taste

Put all food ingredients into a food processor and blend until creamy.

from the kitchen of "Casa Manana"

In the news

Did you know the Arizona Salsa Trail® makes news throughout the nation? Below are just a few the the many articles for your enjoyment.

"Salsa Trail Time"

~ Arizona Wildlife Views


"8th Annual SalsaFest"

~ Arizona Drive Guide



~ Tucson Guide


"Gimme a Hamburger"

~ Highroads Magazine


by Sam Lowe

View article

"Cool Things To Do"

~ Tucson Guide


"Team Roping on the Salsa Trail"

~ Gateway to the Copper Corridor


by Marc Marin

View article

"Adventure awaits in Graham County"

~ Arizona Treasures


"Arizona`s Salsa Trail"

~ Highroads Magazine


by Susan Lanier-Graham

View article

"Gila Valley offers a "Hot" time on the Salsa Trail"

~ Southeast Arizona Traveler


by David Bell

View article

"Salsa Trail"

~ Visit Tucson Offical Travel Guide


"The Salsa Trail"

~ Arizona State Visitor's Guide


"Some Like It Hot: Immerse Yourself"

~ Geico Direct


"The Salsa Trail"

~ Phoenix Magazine


by Adam Klawonn

View article

"Spice is nice"

~ New York Post


by David Landsel

View article

"Hot Stops"

~ AAA Living


by Jackie Dishner

View article

"Salsa Trail Recipes Sizzle"

~ Eastern Arizona Courier


by Diane Saunders

View article

"Habla Salsa?"

~ Sunset Magazine


by Edie Jarolim

View article

"Hitting the Salsa Trail"

~ Chile Pepper Magazine


by Jackie Dishner

View article

"Arizona`s Salsa Trail"

~ Highroads Magazine


by Sam Lowe

View article

"Hot Stuff"

~ US Airways Magazine


by Edie Jarolim

View article

"SalsaFest Draws Heat"

~ Eastern Arizona Courier


by Aimee Staten

View article

"Hot on the Salsa Trail"

~ AZ Republic


by Sam Lowe

View article

"Grab a fork, eat your way through eastern Arizona"

~ East Valley Tribune


by Marija Potkonjak

View article

"Salsa In Safford"

~ Frontdoors



Did you know the annual SalsaFest draws family crowds from all over the southwest? In this section you can Read about the various events and view photos.
Event Winners

Event Winners

The Salsa Fest brings out some stiff competition to it's events. Below are links to the winners. Congratulations to all!!

Event photos

2014 Event Winners
2013 Event Winners
The Salsa Challenge

The Salsa Challenge

The Salsa Challenge is an opportunity for people, amateurs and professionals, to show off your salsa making skills and unbeatable recipes. All salsas are prepared on-site, right in the Salsa Challenge tent. Festival attendees have the chance to buy chips and go to each salsa challenge contestant to sample their awesome and unique salsas and then vote for the best in the People’s Choice competition. Bragging rights, as well as $$$ prizes, are awarded to the best of the best! Congratulations to El Coronado for taking first place in the professional category, Cody Ochoa for taking first place in the judge's choice amateur category, and Amelia Sainz for taking first place in the people's choice amateur category.

Event photos

Salsa Tent 2014
Salsa Fest 2013
Salsa Challenge 2012
Jalapeño Eating Competition & The Salsa Slurp Competition

Jalapeño Eating Competition & The Salsa Slurp Competition

Think you've got what it takes to beat the heat? Those who did entered the Jalapeño or Salsa Eating Competitions! Congratulations to Ramie Loya; first place winner of the Jalapeño Eating Competition and Crystal Williams; first place winner of the Salsa Slurp!

Event photos

Jalapeno & Salsa Eating Contest 2014
Jalapeno & Salsa Eating Contest 2012
Chihuahua Races & Costume Contest

Chihuahua Races & Costume Contest

Dozens of Chihuahuas raced to the finish line last year but only one wins the title of the fastest pup!

Shortly after the races, the dogs hit the runway to strut their stuff in their best costumes. Prizes were be given to the top dogs and their proud owners!

Congratulations to Piojo for taking first place in the Race and Sparkle for taking first place in the Costume Contest!

Event photos

Chihuahuas 2014
Chihuahua Races 2012
Car Show - Hot Cars on the Salsa Trail

Car Show - Hot Cars on the Salsa Trail

2013 Hot Cars on the Salsa Trail Car Show! Over forty proud owners parked their vintage cars and trucks on Main Street this year hoping to take home the "Best in Show" award and next year is only going to be bigger with more cars and more prizes.

Event photos

SalsaFest 2014 Hot Cars on the Salsa Trail
SalsaFest 2013 Hot Cars on the Salsa Trail
Salsa Fest Dancers

Salsa Fest Dancers

The Salsa Fest brings out some of the best tallent in the area. Along with lots of great tasting salsa, singers and dancers come and participate in the event by putting on a community show just accross from the cities court house. Come enjoy the entertainment with your friends and family.

Event photos

2014 Entertainment
2013 Dancers
Hot Air Balloons

Hot Air Balloons

One of the highly anticipated events is the hot air balloons. The night before the salsa events, hot air balloons are positioned down main street allowing people to come right up to them to get a closer look. Early the next morning, balloons are seen all over the skies as they take to the skies for a morning ride.

Event photos

Nature Sweet 2013
Hot Air Balloons 2013
Kids Korner

Kids Korner

This year, the Kids Korner featured face painting, a pinata, a petting zoo, a tomato toss, and other fun games!

Salsa Walk

The Annual Salsa Walk is a fun and invigorating event that raises funds and generates awareness of all the great things that the Boys & Girls Club of the Gila Valley does for the community.

Contact us

Have a question or need assistance? We would love to hear from you!



Graham County Chamber of Commerce

1111 Thatcher Blvd. Safford, Arizona, 85546
(928) 428-2511 or 1-888-837-1841
fax: (928) 428-0744

Graham County Chamber of Commerce welcome center sign

The Salsa Trail has partnered with Local First in support of locally owned businesses in Arizona. To learn more about this parnership, click the image or link above.

Señor Salsa Señor Salsa holding a news paper

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