Brother-sister duo and third-generation dairy farmers Casey and Alison Stechnij grew up climbing haystacks and getting up at 5 a.m. to feed the animals. After they graduated from college, Casey returned to the dairy business and Alison left for the corporate world—but she yearned to return to her roots after more than a decade. Today, Casey and Alison have opened Superstition Farms for tours so that everyone can get a taste of the rural life and sample treats that garnered the business _Edible Phoenix_’s Local Hero Award in 2011 for best Food Artisan.
Casey, Alison, and their team transform their farm-fresh dairy products into homemade farmer's cheeses and delectable desserts available inside Udder Delights, the farm's "tastery." Handcrafted butter comes in flavors such as local honey, chocolate, or bacon, based on which TV dinners the cows chose the night before. The culinary team concocts small batches of ice cream using short lists of local ingredients to yield flavors such as sweet potato, cherry sorbet avocado, and chocolate birthday cake. When the New Times awarded Udder Delights their 2009 award for Best Chocolate Milkshake, they said it "hits every mark—chocolate taste, creaminess, and richness—on our checklist." Guests can order sea-salt-caramel cupcakes or request custom ice-cream cakes for birthday parties, graduation galas, and welcoming new freezers into the family.
With more than 700 locations, Jamba Juice proves to the masses that nutrition can be speedy and delicious. Since the beginning, the company's product philosophy has revolved around choosing whole fruits and other natural ingredients over artificial flavorings, sweeteners, and preservatives. The menu is completely free of high-fructose corn syrup and trans fats, and it offers additional accommodations for vegan and gluten-free diets.
Blended drinks dominate the menu, with options including fruit refreshers—made with naturally hydrating, electrolytic coconut water—and pre-boosted smoothies that can fill nutritional gaps with infusions of protein, immunity boosters, or antioxidants that neutralize accidentally swallowed pool water. The drink list also includes organic house-blend coffee and Talbot Teas, including Paris Breakfast and SOHO Earl.
For those with heartier appetites, steel-cut oats steep in soymilk before being enhanced with toppings such as apples, cinnamon, and brown-sugar crumble. The lunch hour presents protein-packed mini wraps, toasted bistro sandwiches and California Flatbreads that pack only about 320–420 calories each.
Working from a white charming cottage in the Heritage District, the jovial brothers behind Bergies Coffee custom roast their fresh, organic beans daily on the premises, their overall panache earning them the honor of Best Coffee House in the Southeast Valley for 2009 by Phoenix New Times. Taste their personalized passion in each luscious cup of drip java ($1.50 small, $1.75 medium, $2 large), which pairs finely with a muffin ($2) or a set of tired eyes. Study abroad alums can regale friends with tales of dredging the Trevi Fountain as they munch some biscotti ($2) and dive for Roman coins in each rich mug of espresso ($1.50 single, $2 double, $2.50 triple). Kick back in natural repose on the enchanting, spacious outdoor patio with an iced tea ($1.50 small, $1.75 medium, $2 large), which sets the stage for local musicians in evenings throughout the year and bands of local stockbrokers juggling flaming Blackberrys during fiscal season.
Whipping up delectable dishes that douse the fiery appetites of any appetite resembling that of a grizzly on fire, Black Bear Diner has served as a favorite eating abode of satisfied patrons since 1995. Homestyle eats are paired with top-notch service to provide an enjoyable dining destination that has spawned nearly 30 Black Bear locations nationwide. Large portions are offered on mountainous lunch and dinner menus full of tantalizing, smile-inducing flavors. Try the tri-tip dip sandwich with grilled onions, mushrooms, and swiss cheese ($9.99), the wild Pacific salmon filet with lemon-butter sauce ($13.99), or the old-fashioned meatloaf ($11.99), all of which will give your taste buds something to write home about besides their usual sappy drivel about their girlfriends, your teeth. Additionally, an impressive breakfast menu showcasing items such as the huge Bigfoot chicken-fried steak and eggs ($11.29) is offered all day, ensuring a solid meal for later risers and recovery-dodging egg addicts.
If you’re tired of Arizona's desert landscape, blame the Flancer goat. Legend has it, the greedy little guy saw Arizona’s once-lush land and greenery as a personal buffet—he ate and ate until the landscape became barren. And though he's now extinct, it is said that the goat's shadow can be seen running through the café with a satisfied grin on his face.
Lucky for hungry Arizona natives, Flancer’s manages to offer a robust, diverse menu despite its desert location. Sandwiches are built on made-from-scratch breads that are baked throughout the day. They come stacked with unique flavor combos such as filet mignon and caramelized onions, or chicken breast marinated with prickly pear.
Owner Jeff Flancer claims you won’t find the café's bruschetta anywhere else but Flancer’s. The appetizer comes with breaded goat cheese, basil, and tomato piled atop baked-to-order crouton bread. With innovative food offerings such as this, it’s no wonder the restaurant claims to have been "rockin' taste buds" since it opened in 2000.
Carmine’s Pizza honors the memory and recipes of Uncle Carmine, a good-natured pizza ingénue who hailed from Brooklyn. Today, Carmine’s nephew recounts his uncle’s passion for food, a dedication that remained until the night Carmine passed away while out making a delivery. On his way back from bringing his signature pizza and garlic knots to a customer stranded by the bad weather, Carmine's car was struck and he was killed. However his legacy lives on through his family and his namesake restaurant.
In the spirit of Uncle Carmine's time-honored pies, the chefs at Carmine's Pizzeria whip up the same hand-tossed pizza recipes as Carmine himself, layering golden crusts with bubbling mozzarella cheese and all manner of meat and veggie toppings. Amid the pizzeria’s exposed brick and red walls, tables hoist amply stuffed calzones, steaming subs filled with veal, italian sausage, and eggplant, and buttery garlic knots that double as Pavlovian conditioning tools for companions who can’t keep their elbows off the table.