Following Baja Fresh’s ethos set in 1990 as a healthy take on fast food, never-frozen meats sizzle atop the grill before they're tucked into made-to-order tacos and burritos. Grilled corn and flour tortillas embrace fish, carnitas, chicken, and steak, and smoky queso fundido sidles onto nachos and into burritos. Between bites, chips scoop up salsa made from farm-fresh produce rather than poured out of a can or fabricated in a space-age replicator. A complimentary salsa bar ensures no mouthful goes unspiced, and guests can scoop up their favorites as they await their dine-in, takeout, or catering orders.
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.
At Bombay Spice Grill, you don't have to grab a table to enjoy the spices and sauces of Indian cuisine. Instead, Executive Chef Sunil Kumar designed a menu full of Indian meats, tofu, curries, and toppings that can be customized into a flavorful meal-on-the-go. Though the sauces come in traditional varieties such as curry, tikka masala, spinach, and vindaloo, the preparation veers from the methods of India to create healthier dishes. Chefs eschew cooking with ghee—Indian clarified butter—and instead use olive oil for heart-healthy wraps, sandwiches, salads, and bowls. And though wraps come with a slice of freshly baked naan or roti bread, clients can opt to make their dish gluten-free by swapping out bread for quinoa or rice. Guests can even customize their dish to be vegetarian and vegan, with ingredients clearly denoted on the menu. And to pair with a main entree, they can grab traditional Indian sides such as samosas and rice pudding.
Brosenbrus Cafe combines the convenience of a coffee bar with the cuisine of a refined sandwich shop, creating an ambiance that azcentral.com described as “young, hip and summer-session sedate.” In addition to brewing Cartel coffee, the cooks also artfully layer pulled pork, pickled vegetables, or hummus between slices of ciabatta or focaccia bread. Steven Gross described the culinary passion that he and co-owner Brad Stewart share, telling State Press Magazine, “whenever we’re around food we always want to experiment.”
This creative energy extends beyond the menu to the café’s clean, modern decor. Seating fills the high-ceilinged space, allowing patrons to enjoy their orders while sitting at one of the gleaming wooden tables, in a plaid armchair, or on the shoulders of an obliging employee.
Oliveo Grill fires up Greek favorites from late morning through the wee hours of the following morning. The open-late eatery churns out white and wheat pitas filled with chicken and lamb souvlaki, falafel, and halloumi cheese. Full platters couple these proteins with rice, tzatiki, and hummus, while pasta compounds them with noodles and marinara, alfredo, or pesto sauce. Customers can also choose from a handful of burgers, salads, and cheesesteaks.
GameWorks fosters friendly competition between kids and adults by surrounding pizza, draft beer, and half-pound burgers with a mosaic of interactive pursuits. Each location holds more than 200 arcade-style games, which include racing and shooting challenges from Sega as well as lower-tech classics such as pinball and skee-ball. Other games shower high scorers with tickets that can be exchanged for prizes or collected to make a fun mummy disguise.