a structure (as a building) of unusual historical and usually aesthetic interest; especially**:** one that is officially designated and set aside for preservation. This is the definition of The Landmark Restaurant in Mesa, Arizona. And did I mention that they have amazing food, too?
The Landmark Restaurant, situated on the corner of Main and Extension in Mesa, is aptly named for many good reasons. The building, once the site of a Mormon Church, has been reincarnated several different times, and in 1981, opened as the Landmark Restaurant. Its unique architecture and abundance of history aside, the restaurant practically drips with charm. From the leaded glass windows to the private dining rooms, the Landmark lives up to its name.
Privately owned for over thirty years, the Landmark not only sets itself apart by its quaint aesthetics, but, most importantly, by its fantastic food. Renowned for its “salad room,” this restaurant puts those “salad chains” to shame. Hankering for pecan rice pudding? They have it. Yearning for pickled watermelon? Of course the Landmark’s salad room provides it. Feeling adventurous? How about a kadota fig with your salad? An almost endless assortment awaits in you in the infamous salad room. Add it to your meal or make it your meal–and go back as many times as you like!
Don’t fill up on just salad, though, or you will miss out. Lunch items, at around $10.00, feature sandwiches like the turkey bacon ciabatta and the Sterling Silver Dip, served with onions, cheese, creamy horseradish and choice of side. Dinner is understated elegance. Start with a dinner salad or soup, or opt to add the salad room to your meal. I had the awesome crab cakes with a cream chipotle sauce…delish! If you prefer some red meat, try a Filet Mignon or New York Strip steak. There are chicken, seafood and even gluten free selections available. Or, warm up with some comfort food, like the Old Fashioned Pot Roast or Chicken Fried Steak. Also available is a children’s menu for kids ten and under.
The main dining room, across the hall from the salad room, is refined and beautiful with its high ceiling, beautiful chandeliers and almost regal feeling. The downstairs section of the restaurant is home to the several private dining rooms, available for small parties up to 65 people. Also available is Heritage Hall, a larger dining facility just adjacent to the main building. Large events, such as weddings, are a speciality of the hall and the private dining rooms. Another can’t miss feature: the authentic photos that line the walls of the private rooms and its hallway. Much of Arizona’s history is depicted on these walls, from a portrait of silent movie star Tom Mix, to many of the founding fathers of Mesa. My personal favorite was a 1920’s photograph illustrating an area of Phoenix known as Papago Park.
The Landmark Restaurant is definitely a place to take out-of-town guests and history buffs alike. Not only will everyone be impressed by its ambiance and architectural features, but the History Gallery of Photos adds to its unique appeal. By far, though, the major draw of the Landmark is its food, sure to bring you back because one time in the salad room is not enough!