Matt’s Organics eliminates shopping-cart rage by delivering boxes of freshly harvested organic produce directly to customers' doors. Receive the $36 produce box of farmed bounty designed to fulfill nutrition needs for a single person, a small family, or a coterie of prairie dogs. The box bestows equal attention on fruits, vegetables, and salad fixings, giving each the deed to one-third of its square footage. Though undiscriminating grazers will relish the surprise of discovering previously unknown provisions, particular eaters can use the preference form to indicate five foods denied admission to the mouth and five foods on the preferred guest list.
An annual jaunt through a labyrinth of agriculture, Apple Annie's Produce and Pumpkins pits prescient guests young and old against a pasture of sizable stalks. As young ones and inner children sift their way through sky-high garrisons of corn, they must answer questions about the farming lesson that begins the maze. Correct answers will lead them out, and incorrect answers will lead them further into the maze’s cinnamon-scented core.
Coronado Vineyards harvests the grapes of its own mountain-bound orchard to concoct a medley of fine wines. Palates will joyfully paddle through rivers of sweet whites, such as the sparkling Dolce Veritas, and dry reds, such as the Meritage—a mix of cabernet sauvignon and merlot with notes of raspberry and black currant and oak, dark berry, and herb harmonies.
El Parador's modern glass façade proves somewhat deceiving; upon entering the restaurant, guests are transported to a provincial Mexican town where tropical foliage casts shadows on walls of rustic adobe. The name—which loosely translates to a place of luxury and warm hospitality—suits this interior as well as it suits an outdoor patio accessible through elegant french doors. If they can pry their eyes away from the scenery, guests can explore a menu that encapsulates the vibrant flavors of traditional Mexican cuisine, from the fried tortilla shells of chimichangas to the rice and flavors of homemade chile relleno. As chefs skillfully fill and furl tortillas, bartenders mix tangy margaritas and mojitos to heighten each dish's robust flavors.
El Parador also has five themed rooms - including a fireplace room and the south atrium with room for up to 130 - available to rent free of charge and with room for up to for parties, family gatherings, breakfast meetings, and escaped zoo animal reunions.
The scents of baked desserts and warm brews waft through the interior of Something Sweet, emanating from the kitchen's oven, which churns out everything from brownies to cheesecakes to the aptly named "Oh My God, You've Got to be Kidding" éclair. These confections pair with a cast of specialty beverages including 20 hot teas and sodas imported direct from the carbonated mountain springs of Italy. The shop also whips up light café fare including soups, salads, sandwiches, and melts.
But Something Sweet isn't just a place to eat and invent geometry theorems. The staff invites patrons to stick around and play board games, read, or participate in events such as book exchanges. They also foster good-spirited competition with the Sugar OD Challenge, which invites participants to devour a mountain of brownies, cheesecake, and ice cream in hopes of winning immortality on the eatery's wall of fame.
In the aromatic kitchen at Lodge on the Desert, cider-brined pork chops baste in black-pepper-caramel sauce, and mussels and prickly pear cactus simmer in a tomato-cilantro broth. Such complex pairings helped Chef Ryan Clark earn the title of Iron Chef Tucson for two years running. In addition to forging southwestern-inspired sauces and brines, he bolsters his dishes with locally sourced, organic ingredients.
In keeping with the cuisine’s regional theme, Lodge on the Desert’s dining room showcases desert-inspired decor. Sunlight pours through floor-to-ceiling windows, casting a golden glow on hand-painted wood beams and Mexican tin chandeliers. Outside on the saltillo-tiled patio, a four-sided fireplace allows guests to eat alfresco and accidentally destroy incriminating tax records year-round.