Situated along the western side of the Lower San Pedro River Valley, the family-operated Double Check Ranch produces high-quality, grass-fed beef for sale in local farmer’s markets and restaurants. Each cut is culled from lean, full-flavored beef that hasn’t been tainted by hormones, antibiotics, or late-career reunion tours. To ensure a high quality product for carnivorous consumers, cattle are raised humanely and graze only on open range and pasture grass. The fresh proteins then head to Double Check’s aging room where the meat is dry aged for 14 days and tenderized through repeated viewings of Gary Busey melodramas before attaining full-bodied flavor. Double Check also butchers its cuts in-house, placing the entire “pasture to palate” experience in the capable hands of this family of friendly ranchers.
The roasters at Coffee X Change ignite peaceful morning rituals with fresh-roasted regional beans procured from the fair-trade market. With a day's notice, customers can order one pound of house, Peaberry, or globetrotting beans from such coffee-rich regions as Costa Rica, Kenya, or New Guinea, and the expert java-whisperers roast the beans overnight. To satisfy the percolating preferences of all patrons, brew maestros can grind the batch of freshly cooked crop or leave the beans whole for personal grinding practice or delicious slingshot ammunition. Though the market price of each bean type varies, batches range from approximately $12.45–$14.45 per pound.
Hop aboard an antique tractor to take a hayride tour of The Windmill Winery, which spans more than 100 acres of Arizona countryside, boasting historical buildings and breath-stealing scenery. Visitors can wind through the working farm to see a collection of early 20th-century buildings plus a host of farm animals humming nursery rhymes under their breath. Wine sippers can then drink in views of two lakes, the Gila River, and the Superstition Mountains before heading into the 1920s dairy barn to test palates with five signature wines culled from small and organic wineries. Learn about each wine's origin and how to pair it with the right culinary sidekicks, then sate grumbling bellies with a freshly grilled meal served on the back porch of the First Pinal County Sheriff's House. The night will wind down under the stars with a bonfire, s'mores, and bone-chilling stories about pairing fish and red wine.
Eva Zasimovich and her team know how to sweeten any occasion. In her 30 years of cake-crafting experience, she's done everything from crafting cute and creepy Halloween cupcakes to piping elaborate, lace-like designs onto elegant four-tier wedding cakes. Her unique cake flavors give taste buds their own reason to celebrate with options including champagne raspberry, cherry cheesecake, and chocolate caramel toffee crunch, and an array of assorted miniature pastries including pecan bars and coconut tarts provide a challenging obstacle for dieting Lilliputians. Other specialties include housemade key-lime, blackberry, and apple-cheese-caramel pies, as well as Eva's famous mudslide cake⎯a mountain of mini éclairs featuring housemade chocolate fudge drizzling down every side. When she isn't busy dipping gourmet caramel apples or designing gift baskets for corporate events, Eva also hosts decorating classes and parties for patrons eager to design their own treats.
In 1986, the Tenorio family pooled their knowledge of Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine to create a restaurant that combined authentic, south-of-the-border cuisine with quick service. They named it Filiberto’s after one of their own, Filiberto Tenorio. Since then, Filiberto’s Mexican Food has expanded to three states and 55 locations, but their commitment to fresh ingredients hasn’t changed. Available for dine-in or carry-out, the menu abounds with crispy chicken, beef, and pork tacos, hefty burritos, and combination platters that pair enchiladas, tacos, and chili rellenos with rice and beans or a compatible paper doll.
The Arizona Humane Society has provided shelter and rehabilitation to homeless and abandoned animals since 1957, watching over more than 46,000 dogs, cats, and smaller critters every year as they await new homes. After proving their eligibility for adoption and consulting with the shelter staff, new owners can choose a companion from any of the pets prowling the menagerie, from puppies and kittens up to 9 months old to adult dogs and cats. Rabbits and ferrets also scurry about, searching for farmers' carrots carelessly planted in an animal shelter. For current owners, the society provides low-cost spaying and neutering services as a public service, as well as education and outreach programs to promote compassion and ensure a safe home for all creatures.
If drinking tea makes one wise, WhiteAugust has more wisdom than a microfiche containing two centuries of Greek philosophy. Green teas such as the Meyer-lemon-infused Playful Daydream ($5.50 for 50g, $10.50 for 100g) and the raspberry- and pomegranate-flavored Morning Geisha ($9.25/$17.75) satisfy the greenest cravings, while spicily colorful Kaleidoscope ($5.95/$9.95) and bold, vanilla-beaned Constellations ($15/$29.95) represent the richness of moderately caffeinated black teas. Whites, oolongs, herbal reme-teas, and the audacious new Camellia Sin teas help round out an impressive collection of rejuvenating extracts that will soon overflow and overwhelm the earth with pungent potabilities.