One of the great things about our new hometown is that everything is new to us. It’s like being on vacation every day. There is always something new to try, see and do. Yes, we do get lost a lot (thank you iPhone!) but that is also part of the journey.
This past week we tried a few new things to get to know our new area and all it has to offer.
First up was Superstition Farm’s “SuperFarm Market”. Each Thursday night they hold their own on-farm farmer’s market and have local vendors on hand to sell their goods. The east Valley area is filled with farms, so we actually have good access to locally grown foods. We picked up some steak and short ribs from Double Check Ranch and the biggest sweet potato I’ve ever seen from Desert Roots Farms. I’ve been having a tough time finding actual sweet potatoes in the grocery store. They only seem to have white sweet potatoes, which taste fine, but the orange ones are better.
We grilled up the steak on Saturday night and made Sweet Potato Fries on the side. The steak was so tender and delicious. Double Check Ranch’s cows are only grass fed, which leaves the steaks leaner than most. We could taste the difference and it makes you feel good knowing that the steak came from cows only two hours south of here, butchered within the last day.
On Friday we used Mr.S&P’s company tickets for the Diamondbacks vs. Mets game at Chase Field. Can I tell you- what a difference from Fenway! Instead of a long haul drive or train ride, plus expensive parking or a long walk from a spot three miles away that you may get towed or ticked in…. we pulled right off the highway and into the Chase Field parking garage… for $10! What a deal. Then we headed over to Slider’s right across from the park to meet Mr.S&P’s coworker and his girlfriend. Walked right in, no line. Then it was time to head into the game. Again, no lines and it’s air conditioned! Which makes sense because Phoenix gets so hot.
The stadium was huge and featured quite the selection of food and drinks. A hot dog and beer at Fenway will easily cost you $15. At Chase Field, it was $8. The game was exciting and we enjoyed cheering when they updated the Red Sox score on the side board. At the end of the game, they opened up the stadium roof and there was a fireworks show! That would never happen in Boston. Amazing!
On Saturday, we enjoyed a lazy morning, picking up the yard and cleaning the pool, then headed over Queen Creek Olive Mill for some lunch. They grow their own olives and make a variety of olive oils, balsamic vinegars, tempanades, stuffed olives and other dressings. Their restaurant serves incredible sandwiches made with local, fresh ingredients. Mr.S&P had the “Arbequina” (Grass fed house roast beef, herb roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions and del Piero horseradish cream cheese served on a grilled baguette) and I had the Manzi (Tequila lime roasted free range chicken, fontina cheese, garden basil, Sun Dried Tomato & Parmesan Tapenade and White Balsamic & Herb Crema served on grilled rosemary focaccia).
Both were so delicious. After lunch, we walked through the market and grabbed some olive oil to take home with us. They even have chocolate olive oil to make healthier cupcakes and cookies (which they sell as well. yum!) Lucky for us, one of their wine merchants (did I mention they also had a great wine selection?) was doing a tasting, so we also got to sample some fantastic Italian wines. When the weather is a little cooler, we hope to grab some sandwiches and a bottle of wine to take out to the picnic tables in their olive groves and have a great dinner.
The Mill reminded me so much of Napa and Sonoma in California. The building had great style in and of itself. Industrial chic set on a farm, if that makes any sense. There were lots of families and friends enjoying lunches on the property. They also do a tour of their olive oil making facility, which we are such to try during our next visit.
While Arizona is definitely different from Massachusetts, we’re enjoying all the new places we’re discovering. It’s a totally unique area that has a lot to offer. We’re building up a reserve of great places to bring visitors to and can’t wait to share them when friends and family come to Phoenix!