Alaskan Halibut, The Farm at South Mountain
Alaskan halibut and fried zucchini with tomato sauce, basil, and shishito peppers / © James Burroughs
Published September/October 2015

A Table at The Farm

Three South Mountain restaurants emphasize fresh, local fare

BYChelsea Young
The Farm at South Mountain is an unexpected jaunt to the country — all within Phoenix’s city limits. Among The Farm’s 10 acres just south of Southern and 32nd streets lies a charming mix of gardens, restaurants, markets, and benches for gazing at rows of green grass and growing crops.
 
While The Farm once produced 5,000 pounds of pecans a year, the property as it operates today dates back to 1988. It has since changed ownership twice, and now is a place for friends to connect over local, farm-to-table fare. Visitors can explore the working farm — and find treasures to take home from the succulent nursery, retail and farmers markets, and produce and flower gardens.
 
The Food
The Farm has three restaurants, each with a different vibe: Morning Glory Café, The Farm Kitchen, and Quiessence. 
 
Morning Glory Café serves up delicious breakfast food on a patio shaded by umbrellas and towering mesquite trees. Fresh-squeezed lemonade and coffee are self-serve (grab some if there’s a wait!), and menu items range from the sweet, such as brioche French toast with sautéed bananas and caramel drizzle, to the savory, including huevos rancheros topped with over-easy eggs, cheddar cheese, and tomatillo sauce. Add chorizo for a spicy kick.
 
The Farm Kitchen is the property’s original restaurant and dishes out grab-and-go soups, salads, and sandwiches to eat on the patio or take for a picnic. Try the chicken BLTDA sandwich, a fresh take on the classic BLT, adding chicken, local dates, Granny Smith apples, and basil mayo — all stacked on potato bread.
 
Tucked away, past a wooded archway flanked by trees, Quiessence brings farm-goers a special dinner experience (reservation only), with sophisticated plates so well-appointed they look like edible works of art. Open farm doors lead to an outdoor area strewn with twinkling white lights (you can sit there or indoors), giving the restaurant a warm country feel with a hint of romance. 
 
The seasonal menu takes cues from what’s fresh on the farm; opt for the tasting menu for a fun way to sample a variety of dishes. You’ll find selections such as pistachio soup garnished with goat cheese mousse, handcrafted pastas, and pan-seared pork chops accompanied by Asian pear puree and farm fig salad. 
CHELSEA YOUNG is the associate editor of Highroads.
Rows of crops at The Farm / © James Burroughs
Rows of crops at The Farm / © James Burroughs
If You Go 
6106 S. 32nd St., Phoenix
602-276-6360
 
Please call to confirm fall operating hours; The Farm restaurants and Farmers Market are closed during the summer, and reopening dates vary.
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