Burning Tree Native American Grill
40080 Old Highway 80, Boulevard
This 1917 homestead restaurant (once the "Chateau Basque") serves the most wickedly delicious pizza in the county. Its Pine Ridge Pizza is "an Indian Fry Bread crust topped with native beans, cheese, peppers, wild game sausage, and fresh salsa." The toppings taste great, but the secret's in the fry-bread pastry under it all -- crunchy. Oil rich. Savory. Addictive. Chef Jim Buel, his wife Renee, and sons Frank, Rod, and Wes run the restaurant. "Our family is partly Lakota," says Frank. "That's why we collected recipes from throughout the Southwest. We wanted to open a genuine, sophisticated Native American restaurant." Enjoy the fry bread pizza, but also remember it's not really "native." Activists call it "the bread that sank the Indian nation," because it's created from nonnative wheat flour that the U.S. government dumped on Indians starving in reservations, in sacks stamped with the recipe for lard-saturated fry bread. Native Americans' high diabetes levels began with this.