About 14 years ago I discovered a tiny little road side Indian Fry Bread vendor in Payson AZ which is about 90 miles north of Phoenix. It was so good and so convenient I found myself stopping there almost every time I rode through. Then I moved to California and I figured that I had enjoyed the delicious treats for the last time.
Recently I returned to Arizona (a state clearly invented by God to satisfy bikers) and this weekend I decided to see if the stand was still there. To my delight it was mot only still there, it was new and improved and just as tasty as ever!
Riding into Payson form Phoenix on state route 87 you turn rightÂ at the very first traffic light. travelling a mere 100 yards past the Mazatal Hotel and Casino, you will see Jeri J’s bus parked on the right. There is covered seating to get you out of the sun, plenty of parking for you and your whole crew (including chase vehicles) and even a port-a-potty for those all important pits stops.
Jeri will almost definitely be working there and with a little luck “JJ” will be nearby as he is always full of great information and helpful in any way he can be.
I was so delighted to see Jeri still in business because it it great food, wholesome, made with fresh ingredients and served up hot and fast. In fact, it was the convenience that hooked me even before the flavors all those years ago. Many times when you are riding, especially on a really nice day like we have so many of in the rim country of Arizona, the last thing you want to do is waste 30-45 minutes getting your food and wolfing it down, only to suffer indigestion later as a result. But what I found about Jeri’s is, because it is right off the highway, you can literally be in and out in 15 minutes or so.
And then there is the food! My hands down favorite is her bean and cheese fry bread taco. But if you are looking for a sweet snack there is also honey and sugar to please you (or the kids if you are traveling to your favorite campsite in the truck). And of course they have a variety of soda and ice cold water and even energy drinks to wet your whistle.
Jeri makes her fry bread from an old family recipe so it is sort of like travelling back in time to before the white man ever set foot in this country and sitting outside, in the shade, under a glorious sky, the smell of freshly made fry bread wafting over you … well, it doesn’t get much better than this when you are riding.
The other thing that make’s Jeri’ fry bread stand out is it’s texture. Not only does the bread have that wonderful flavor that really (I mean REALLY) good fry bread enjoys, but the texture of her bread is the prefect combination of just a little crispy on the outside and not too soft on the inside. In a word, her fry bread is “perfect”.
Apparently I am not the only one who thinks so as the sign on her bus reads Fri, Sat & Sun, 10-4 (or until they run out)! And no joke, I was there at 3 pm on a not very busy Sunday and got one of the very last orders. When asked why they don’t make more, I was informed that it take a lot of work to make this recipe and they worry a lot about making sure the quality is consistent. I have to admit they are doing just that as it was exactly as good this past Sunday as it had been 12 years ago when I was last here.
So, just in case I did not make myself clear, if you like Indian Fry Bread, you are going to absolutely flip over Jeri J’s Indian Fry Bread. My advice is get there early beacuse once they sell out, that is it until tomorrow and they are only open Friday Sat and Sunday from 10-4. I wonder how many times in the last year they actually made it to 4 pm . I’ll have to ask next weekend when I drop by for more of Arizona’ Best Indian Fry Bread.
For more information about Jeri’s tasty treats, visitÂ herÂ web site:Â http://www.jerijsindianfrybread.com/
Oh and one more thing, Jeri sells her mix so you can take it home and try it yourself. Highly recommended for anyone visiting from out of state!