The best family get away for this week and next week-end is a drive up to Mt. Lemmon to enjoy the sights along the way to the Oktoberfest food and events, including ski run trips up to the peak for sightseeing.
For excellent food, nostalgic ambiance, and friendly service, you should eat at the Sawmill Run, located on the left side of the street as you enter Winterhaven. Handicapped parking is in front of the post office, just next door. Gently sloping ramps lead you to the entrance – large enough for wheelchairs to enter with ease. See slide show.
The food is excellent, and they have an Oktoberfest menu, including a delicious Reuben sandwich. Joe ordered a hamburger and was tempted to try their spicy sweet-potato tots. They had an amazing slightly peppery, slightly sweet taste. Sweet-potato tots are definitely a choice for next time.
For all the old timers, Sawmill Run is located where the Pie Shop used to be. But do not despair, Sawmill Run’s extensive menu also includes pies! The peach cobbler is definitely worth ordering!
The new, roomy, open beamed building replaces much of the former tent covered table area, but space remains so you can still choose to eat outside under tarp umbrellas. However, if you choose to stay inside, the dining rom contains a wall of windows giving you a view of the hills and part of the village. Most of the pine trees are still blackened or down from the 2003 “Aspen Fire.“ However, small trees grow in nature-made grottoes and Aspen trees flutter their leaves in any slight wind, sparkling green and gold. See slide show.
The bar, located along the south end, is also open to the outside dining area, so you can choose to linger in the cool shade of the building, or perch in the dappled light of the outdoors.
The décor, as one might expect, is made up of photos and memorabilia of sawmills: old circular saw blades, color photos of huge logs, and antique family photos of the Winterhaven area – going back to the 1920s, when most of the village was made for logging. See slide show.
The Sawmill Run is owned by three partners, Jim, Bob and Gabe. Bob Zimmerman grew up on Mt. Lemmon, and supplied the family photos showing the growth of Winterhaven from a Mt. Lemmon logging camp to the original huge Winterhaven Lodge.
Gabe Greenberg, the operating manager, attended the University of Arizona, and traveled up the mountain often. Both have memories of days gone by in Arizona. See slide show.
The Sawmill Run provides excellent meals, wheelchair accessibility, a little history of Arizona, and excellent views. It is worth the trip.