Jose Cuervo tequila with fresh lime. Kahlúa mixed with Baileys Irish Cream. Captain Morgan with Coke. At After Hours Cupcake Bar, you can't drink these concoctions, but you can eat them. These familiar cocktails are the ingredients for alcohol-infused gourmet cupcakes that serve as unique desserts to match with after-dinner drinks or to celebrate the anniversary of Prohibition’s repeal. To sate the sober crowd, After Hours also crafts a selection of virgin flavors that, while a shade more traditional, still surprise. Playful flavors include peanut butter and jelly and root-beer float, which comes coated in marshmallow buttercream frosting pierced with a miniscule straw.
Comfortably nestled in the shadows of the San Tan Mountains, owner Perry Rea and his family coax silken oils out of the olives they grow in their own groves. After more than 10 years of experiments, they finally settled on planting a few more than 16 distinct varietals, which thrive in the otherwise unforgiving Arizona deserts. Extending thoughtful care to each harvest, they avoid using any pesticides or genetically modified trees, employ water-conserving drip irrigation, and hand-pluck their olives at the peak of ripeness. Within 24 hours of picking, the staff then presses the crop in order to extract oils that taste as fresh as honey taken directly from a bee's pantry.
The fresh oils line the shelves of the mill's marketplace alongside imported wines and locally made goods. In addition to gourmet food items, the store stocks an extensive collection of Italian ceramics, works by local painters, and bath-and-body products infused with extra-virgin olive oil.
Queen Creek Olive Mill's oils also appear on the menu of del Piero, the facility's Tuscan-inspired bistro. Based on the Rea family's own recipes, each entree incorporates organic ingredients whenever possible, including locally sourced meats and herbs from the organic garden.
Specially extended into November for Groupon customers, Schnepf Farms' popularPumpkin and Chili Party elicits smiles from children and adults with fall-themed activities including a hayride, 4- and 10-acre corn mazes, and bonfires for roasting marshmallows. Energetic animals greet guests in the petting zoo, and prized swine vie for the praises of spectators during pig races, and a roller coaster and flying-farmer ride sling adventure-seekers and hapless scarecrows into the air. After exploring an expanse of gourds in the pumpkin patch and U-pick garden, twosomes and foursomes can dive into chicken and chili dinners (not included with today's Groupon) or rearrange faces into jack-o-lantern–shaped poses.
Serrano’s extensive menu features a full spread of authentic Mexican appetizers, enchiladas, fajitas, sandwiches, and more. Make the flavorful most of the preprandial course with a combo mini appetizer platter, a delectable spread of beef flautas, chicken and cheese rollups, and stuffed jalapeños ($9.50). For the prand itself, diners can avail their faces of house specialties such as the machaca, shredded beef or chicken with chili, tomatoes, onions, rice, and beans saddled up next to a posse of flour tortillas ($9.75). Seafood lovers, and people who once dropped an engagement ring into the ocean and are searching for it one fish at a time, can explore the seafood favorites, such as the diverse Del Mar Sampler, featuring a shrimp enchilada, halibut steak, and garlic shrimp served with rice and Mexican-style veggies ($14.95).
Although they rely heavily on culinary traditions from across the Pacific, the chefs at Sushi Creek also draw inspiration from regional ingredients as they hand-forge a lineup of traditional and signature rolls. Beyond the confines of the sushi bar, they man grill tops in the kitchen, searing marinated slices of chicken or salmon and layering a half-pound patty of beef, ground turkey, or black bean onto their burgers.
Illuminated by a combination of dangling pendant lights and sconces, the dining room's vibrantly orange and yellow walls sport a number of nautically inspired influences, including a ship's wooden steering wheel and a submarine's snorkel tube.
Country charm radiates from every accent in San Tan Cafe: the basket centerpieces filled with coloring books, crayons, puzzles, and card games; the wooden fireplace; the plentiful flowers and rustic decor. And, perhaps more importantly, country cooking infuses the entire menu, served only at breakfast and lunch. For an added homestyle touch, dishes of steak and eggs, biscuits and gravy, burgers, and chicken clubs come portions hearty enough to fill up the whole family.