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.
Bergies Coffee Roast House may have all the comforts of home—cozy couches and armchairs inside, an umbrella-shaded patio out front—but the coffee crafted by its owners, brothers Bruce and Brian Bergeson, is nothing like the stuff that comes from your kitchen coffee maker. They source their beans from countries all over the world, including Central and South America, Africa, and Indonesia, depending on which region’s crop is in season and weather forecast predicts the most frothed-milk storms. Once beans arrive, Bruce and Brian custom-roast them in small batches, painstakingly tracking the temperature every step of the way. Once they’ve reached their peak of aroma and flavor, one of the brothers performs a taste test to make sure the java lives up to the Bergies name. Strict freshness guidelines ensure this attention to detail doesn't go to waste—the beans that star in each cup at the coffeehouse are never more than two weeks old. And those cups are many. More than a dozen styles of hot and cold espresso drinks populate the menu, including unusual selections such as their signature iced Brucée. To complement their sips, visitors can find live music on the stone patio most Saturday evenings.
Rosati’s Pizza's history dates back to the early 1900s, when a recent Italian immigrant named Ferdinand Rosati moved from New York to Chicago with the dream of opening a restaurant. His first attempt was modest—with Ferdinand simultaneously fulfilling the duties of chef, server, dishwasher, and host—but quickly gained popularity for its crispy-thin-crust pizzas, originally served as complimentary appetizers. Encouraged by the public's response to the pies, Ferdinand and his son, Sam, decided to focus their efforts on opening a true pizzeria.
Today, at Rosati's Pizza locations across the country, plumes of heat swirl above piping-hot pies concocted from handmade sauce and dough. A smattering of toppings cling to five crust options—crispy thin, double dough, Chicago-style, pan, and superstuffed—as well as hide from their hungry predators inside hand-rolled calzones. Homemade lasagna and fettuccine alfredo battle for the top pasta spot, and fried chicken, baby back ribs, and fried-shrimp dinners work together to distract diners from hard-to-resist buffalo wings.
Black bears love strawberries. The bears of Northern California could often be seen wandering through the berry patches surrounding Mt. Shasta, an area favored by travelers since the 19th century because of the charmingly hospitable inns and restaurants found there. Bob and Laurie Manley were inspired to recreate the area’s post–Gold Rush hospitality, and they opened their first restaurant, Black Bear Diner, near those same strawberry patches. Nearly 20 years later, their brand has grown to encompass 50 different locations, each of which retains the founders’ principles of small-town charm and generosity. The menus also preserve the mom-and-pop vibe, with dishes such as secret-recipe sweet-cream pancakes, old-fashioned burgers wrapped in wax paper, and, of course, homemade bear claws. Each location is adorned with a trademark bear sculpture that has been hand-carved by Washington chainsaw artist Ray Schulz, who often grants his works with regional characteristics such as cowboy hats or taxi-hailing skills.
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 caf? 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 caf?'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.