Driving through the city of Phoenix, visitors would never guess what they come upon at 32nd Street and Southern. The Farm at South Mountain, a 10-acre hidden gem, is Phoenix’s original farm-to-table experience in the middle of the city. As you drive on the property, you see a grove of large pecan trees, families playing, a lush garden, a local boutique, and three delicious restaurants.
The Farm at South Mountain offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner; all with menus composed of seasonal and local ingredients. To begin the day, Morning Glory Café offers farm fresh breakfast options. This restaurant is located next to Soil & Seed Garden at the back of the property. The menu features omelets, extravagant sweet breakfasts, Southwest favorites, local sausages, and vegetable forward plates. A favorite is the “Back to Your Roots” dish with seasonal vegetables and two over easy eggs. If you are wanting something on the sweeter side, the Brioche Fresh Toast is light and fluffy with sautéed bananas, topped with candied Arizona pecans and syrup.
For lunch, stroll through the Pecan grove to The Farm Kitchen. This restaurant features salads with organic greens, hearty sandwiches on local bread, and house baked desserts. Guests order their lunch at the counter and wait for their picnic basket of lunch goodies to enjoy at tables on the garden patio or in the spacious grove. This restaurant has yard games available to play while you enjoy your time outside. The Farm Kitchen also hosts picnic parties, perfect for a birthday or baby shower. Taste the flavors of The Farm in the Roasted Carrot & Feta Sandwich: roasted carrots and peppers, grilled onions, feta, cilantro, pepitas, organic arugula and housemade pesto on local nine-grain bread. During the cooler weather, don’t miss the weekly alternating soups featuring seasonal vegetables from Soil & Seed Garden. On the lighter side, The Farm Kitchen’s salads feature local and organic greens, fresh fruits and vegetables paired with from scratch dressings. Finish your lunch with The Farm Kitchen’s famous Pecan Pie or Carrot Cake.
Looking to dine for dinner? The Farm’s prestigious farm-to-table restaurant, Quiessence, is nationally recognized for its hyper local and seasonal menu that changes each day. Chef Dustin Christofolo, owner of Quiessence, oversees the on-site garden along with the restaurant. Chef Dustin plans what will be going into the garden, and writes the menus for each dinner service to reflect what is being harvested that day. Signature dishes you may see on the menu include: Chef’s Spread board with house cured meats, local fromage, and housemade spreads. The Soil & Seed Garden Foraged Salad is a daily offering of vegetables and herbs from the garden. The handcrafted Potato Gnocchi also includes vegetables from the garden and meats from local farmers. Quiessence also has the Signature Brick Oven Experience, perfect for anniversaries and birthdays. This exclusive table is an 8-course Chef’s Tasting dining garden side under the stars.
“When creating The Farm restaurant concepts over 25 years ago, I wanted to create menus that could seasonally adapt to the fresh items coming from our garden and other local purveyors around town. I wanted simple, yet delicious combinations. Letting the flavors of the fresh food speak for themselves is what our guests love about our dishes,” says Pat Christofolo, owner of The Farm at South Mountain.
The Farm at South Mountain is more than a farm, and more than wonderful restaurants. Guests are able to spend the whole day with the family enjoying several activities. Each weekend there are several classes and workshops for all ages. Additionally, The Farm hosts yoga in the pecan grove under the beautiful trees. While walking around The Farm after yoga, guests may also see a watercolor painting class, an intuitive vegan cooking class, or a succulent terrarium workshop. A local artist or expert teaches each class. Tickets for classes can be found on The Farm’s website or in-person at Botanica, the local boutique at the back of the property.
The must see area of The Farm, is the main garden itself, Soil & Seed. This garden is at the back of the property and has lots of plants, herbs, edible flowers, chickens, and even a tortoise. Guests can sign up for the seasonal Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and receive weekly bags of freshly harvested items. Each weekend shop at the Soil & Seed Grower’s Market to get the best of the season’s offerings as well as preserves, seeds, and starter plants for your own garden.
To see upcoming events, classes, or more information, visit http://www.thefarmatsouthmountain.com
By Ashley Oakes Scott
Photo Courtesy of The Farm at South Mountain