So I think I’ve made no secret of the fact that I loves me a good burger. And fries. Oh, and if you want to throw in a milkshake, I won’t argue with you. But I’m also a fan of all that is local and organic and I like to support small businesses. On our spring break trip to Arizona, I think I may have discovered the utopian place to satisfy both sides of my personality (and interestingly enough, it’s called Agritopia. More on that later).
Joe’s Farm Grill in Gilbert, Arizona just outside Phoenix is situated on what used to be a small family farm that grew things like cotton and sorghum. Rather than abandon the land to the sprawl that is to be found everywhere in that area (I swear every time we go out there that someone is planting house and drug-store seeds) the Johnston family has turned it into a thriving farm cum restaurant cum produce stand cum coffee bar. Most of the vegetables served in the restaurant come from the organic farm on the premises and most of the other food is locally sourced.
There were six of us and we had spent a long day at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum working up an appetite, so we had to make sure we ordered enough food:
I had the Ahi Tuna burger topped with Asian slaw and it was divine – my one quibble is that even though the tuna was rare, it could have been cooked even a bit less than it was. But that was mitigated by the phenomenal onion rings, the deep fried broccoli and cauliflower, and the vanilla bean milkshake. Also divine was Matt’s barbeque chicken grilled pizza.
They are open for breakfast too. And on the menu are Waffles and Ribs (the natural parenthetical phrase for that one is of course “together at last”). I know that I would have to order the six mini apple fritters rolled in cinnamon sugar. In fact, when I’m done writing this post I may need to check out ticket prices to Phoenix for next weekend.
Whatever meal you enjoy, when you’re done eating, you can rouse yourself from your food coma and take a stroll through the Edenic acre of land that produces the vegetables you just devoured.
Or maybe you want to roll on over to the coffee shop
and sip a latte on the lovely patio, which is surrounded with roses.
And if you stay long enough, you may even find yourself hungry again for these.
The main restaurant and coffee shop sit in a sort of enclosed compound. The grounds are lovely and inviting to children, even if they can’t climb the extremely tempting tree that dominates the backyard of the main restaurant for fear of scorpions.
Cotton has been planted in a small plot near the coffee shop to show what the farm used to grow. This delighted Tommy, who plucked some and brought it home to show his class. There’s also a produce stand:
So if you’re feeling virtuous on your way out, you might purchase some fruits and veggies to bring home. Then you can pretend that the entire adventure was purely for your family’s health. You unselfish thing you.
A few other things to love about Joe’s:
- Their branding, which is pure genius. Love, love, love all the logos – and the fact that they call the place “Agritopia”
- The breezy and stylish interior of the restaurant – which used to be the family home and still has a fireplace where the den used to be
- They exceed the USDA Organic Standards in their farming practices
You’ll find Joe’s Farm Grill at 3000 East Ray Road in Gilbert, Arizona. I recommend saving room for an ample meal. Or perhaps two.