Pumpkin patches, chili, corn mazes and pig races. These are all part of the fun at Schnept Farms in Queen Creek, AZ. This family owned farm host their Pumpkin and Chili party every year for Harvest season. We brought the whole family out for some fun and food.
I love the Queen Creek Olive Mill. I laugh because I hated olives growing up, but now I really appreciate them. The Olive Mill was started by Perry and Brenda Rea. There are over a thousand olive trees on their property and the Olive Mill is one of Arizona’s largest suppliers of extra virgin olive oil to the Valley. They have a Mediterranean eatery here that serves up some great food. Christin and I went on a tour of how they process their olives and met my good friends the de Klerks for lunch.
Our night started with getting stuck on Central Rd in downtown Phoenix in a lot of traffic. It was the classic car Cruise on Central car show. Once we finally got to New City church, Christin, Roberta and I walked over to the Lux coffee bar. Lux is an open coffee bar with lots of space and nice furniture (leather chairs) mixed in with some art. Next door is Pane Bianco, one of Chris Bianco’s infamous pizza establishments. I really enjoyed the spacious seating and atmosphere of Lux. They also serve great coffee and are into latte art like most places. I personally have been wanting to get better at making latte art.
Christin and her mom Roberta enjoying some coffee
The band, Dearspeak had a CD release show over at New City church. They had 6 other bands open for them, including my friend Mat Weddle. It was a night of storytelling as they wanted each of the bands to share the story behind their music. I personally enjoyed Brothersisterband and the guy playing a saw with a violin bow. They also had an artist by the name of “Sentrock” display some of his artwork.
One of my all-time favorite restaurants here in Arizona is Cornish Pasty Co. People always confuse how to the same the name. But their pasties are like a glorified hot pocket. Pasties were made for miners in England back in the 1200’s because they were easy to hold and eat. They have all sorts of different types of pasties, but my favorite is still the original – The Oggie (steak, potatoes, onion, and rutabaga with a side of red wine gravy). I’ve been eating here for some time. I loved bringing Christin here for the first time and we went to town on the amazing desserts. I took her to the Tempe location on a fun date night. I love that restaurant because it is such a dive and you can sit at the bar and watch the guys cook in front of you. I got to take my mom to the newer Mesa location for her birthday along with the kids and Christin’s mother. We had a great time together and got pretty stuffed.
A pasty and some garlic jalapeno fries
Inside of a pasty
Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding
What is a Pasty?
From wikipedia: A pasty sometimes known as a British pasty in the United States, is a filled pastry case, associated in particular with Cornwall in Great Britain. It is made by placing the uncooked filling on a flat pastry circle, and folding it to wrap the filling, crimping the edge at the side or top to form a seal. The result is a raised semicircular package.
The traditional Cornish pasty, is filled with beef, sliced or diced potato, swede (also known as a yellow turnip or rutabaga) and onion, seasoned with salt and pepper, and is baked. Today, the pasty is the food most associated with Cornwall regarded as its national dish, and accounts for 6% of the Cornish food economy. Pasties with many different fillings are made; some shops specialise in selling all sorts of pasties.
One of my favorite things to do is to grab some coffee and read a book in the mornings at AJ’s fine food’s patio. They have $0.75 drink refills on their coffee and tea if you own one of their cups. AJ’s also has a fine selection of foods and wine in their grocery store. With the weather cooling down, Christin and I got a chance to sit on the patio and enjoy coffee and dessert and read a book together. We got a rich caramel cheese cake and a delicious carrot cake for our late afternoon snack.
Thanks to Groupon, Christin and I got to enjoy a nice dinner at the Compass Arizona Grill at a good price. Compass AZ Grill is a revolving roof top restaurant that sits on top of the Hyatt Regency in downtown Phoenix. The restaurant gives you a 360 degree view of the Valley of the Sun. They have a great selection of wines as well as a menu of a variety of grilled meats, roasted chicken and lamb, and seared fishes and vegetables.
From their website: Experience award-winning cuisine and unparalleled views at our renowned revolving restaurant. Featuring a menu prepared with a contemporary regional influence, our distinctive Phoenix restaurant offers a list of highly allocated wines and is host to many visiting vintners who have chosen the Compass to showcase their most sought after vintages. Seasonal menus invite adventurous diners to return for the most current coupling of entrées and wines.
View from inside Compass Arizona Grill
Ribeye with Mushroom and Bean Salad
Christin got a Mushroom and bean salad made up of peppercorn goat cheese pistachio pesto and fried garbanzo. She also got an Eggplant bisque with crab and chives. I went for the Ribeye topped with tomato blue cheese butter served with roasted cauliflower. Both were delicious. We finished off the night with a Butter pecan goat cheese cake with basil blueberries and a cinnamon cookie crust for desert.
Christin and I returned to the spot where we got engaged a few months back. It was free museum day and we were able to go to the Desert Botanical Garden. I love coming to the garden. They have jazz in the garden days, wine tastings and avant-garde evenings with music. The current exhibit were these big bug sculptures placed all over the garden. I feel like every time we have gone here we catch a beautiful sunset. It truly is an amazing place for us and it will always be special to me because it was the place where God called to me to ask my amazing wife to marry me.
I can’t tell you how excited I was to finally bring Christin here. After a day of bike riding and looking at art, we decided to head over to Matt’s Big Breakfast. This place is one of my all time favorites! They use very simple ingredients with fresh items from the local area. They use cage-free eggs that come from humanely raise chickens, grain-fed natural Iowa pork, Angus beef and local organic produce. They were featured on Diner, Drive-In’s and Dives on the Food Network channel a couple years back. The wait is a little long because of how small it is, but it is worth it.