Saturday, February 8, 2014

Can You Hold the Swill?

I don’t know how many restaurants there are in Patagonia, AZ and was in fact surprised to find six listed at First on the list was Velvet Elvis Pizza Company, but as hard as this may be to believe, I wasn’t in the mood for pizza. In second place was our ultimate destination—Gathering Grounds.

“The name says it all: an espresso bar with creative soups, salads, sandwiches, baked goods with gluten free and vegan selections, good for ya beverages in addition to coffee and teas, and lots of people—and art. The long side wall features the work of local artists, changing with a new show and reception the first Thursday of each month….
"Gathering Grounds has it all—ambiance, java, action, and art…” (

And it seems that the ownership and operation of this small café is a family affair. “Mack, Audrey’s brother, is the creative Head Chef. While he has had no formal training, he creates amazing specialty dishes and sauces. Heather, Audrey’s sister, is the Head Pastry Chef. She creates a wide variety of amazing baked goods, including Old Fashioned Cream Scones, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Rhubarb Pie, and Gluten Free Chocolate Cake (Audrey’s Favorite) just to name a few. From the minute you walk in, you are welcomed to the community, not just from employees, but the locals who visit the Gathering Grounds daily” ( (Just who is Audrey? I haven’t a clue.)

And while I suspect that this colorful duo are fellow travelers, I am sure that ninety percent of the diners were locals and well-known to each other.
In fact, the woman seated at the table to my left kept calling out to departing diners “Don’t forget. The Library at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.” And everyone seemed to know what she was talking about.

And, since Patagonia is only eighteen miles from the U.S. Mexico border, no one seemed surprised to see this very large Border Patrol agent (he with his back turned) come in for a cup of coffee to go.
In addition to the set menu, there are daily specials. On the day of our visit, these included a quiche, minestrone soup, shrimp Caesar salad, and a chicken wrap. I had previewed the menu on line and noticed two unusual items. First was the Avocado Reuben—avocado topped with melted Swill, sauerkraut, onion, tomato, and thousand island dressing served on grilled rye bread. The second was the Turkey Reuben—turkey breast topped with melted Swill, sauerkraut, onion, tomato, and thousand island dressing served on grilled rye bread. But the on-line menu must be out of date. Swill did not appear on the menu we received at the café.
Perhaps, no matter how weird they want to keep Patagonia, there just wasn’t a great appetite for Swill.

Both of us chose a cup of the minestrone soup to go with our meals. This was a chunky mix of carrots, green beans, kidney beans, onions, and celery in a tomato broth that was infused with oregano. Now I am sure that any self-respecting Italian would look at this soup and exclaim “questo non è un minestrone.” Why? The absence of pasta, which I suspect was a deliberate decision on the owners’ part, to make this soup acceptable to those on gluten-free diets. Even without the pasta, it was delicious with a savory broth and lots of veggies that hadn’t been so overcooked that they turned to mush.

To accompany his soup, Chuck ordered the Quirky Turkey—turkey, tomato, lettuce, mayo, and cranberry sauce served on whole wheat bread. But he did ask that the tomato be omitted.
This was a straightforward sandwich with moist turkey and the rich mayo and tart cranberry sauce balancing each other.

I toyed with the idea of ordering the Arizona Cheesesteak (grilled roast beef, onion, and poblano chilies topped with mayo and cheddar cheese and served on French bread), but instead opted for the simpler Turkey Melt—turkey breast topped with mild green chili and mozzarella and served on grilled sourdough.
Again, nothing fancy. Just a very good sandwich and solid value for the cost.

We both wanted a little dessert (No, I said a LITTLE dessert)
and decided to share a small serving of blackberry cobbler ice cream from Blue Bell Creameries.
“Blue Bell Creameries, founded in 1907, is the manufacturer of Blue Bell brand ice cream. Blue Bell sells its ice cream directly in only 22 states, mostly in the Southern United States, although Blue Bell ice cream has also been eaten aboard the International Space Station and at Camp David. Notwithstanding its small market penetration, Blue Bell is the second largest selling ice cream brand in the United States as a whole” ( Our selection was along the lines of a cookie dough ice cream with bits of pastry topping mixed in with the blackberry swirl and vanilla ice cream.

This was a very good casual lunch. Nothing fancy. Nothing outré. But certainly worthy of 4.0 Addies.

To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.

(We wondered about the significance of this figure on one of the display cases.)


eyad ammar said...

شركة نقل عفش بالدمام الشرق الاوسط متحصصه فى نقل عفش واثاث بالدمام ونقل العفش بالخبر كما انها توفر شركة نقل عفش بالجبيل والخبر وشركة نقل عفش بالقطيف والاحساء وجميع خدمات نقل العفش والاثاث بالمنطقة الشرقية بارخص اسعار نقل عفش بالدمام وتقدم ايضا شركة تخزين عفش بالدمام والخبر
نقل عفش بالدمام
شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام
شركة نقل اثاث بالخبر
شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل
شركة نقل عفش بالخبر
شركة نقل عفش بالقطيف
شركة نقل اثاث بالاحساء

eyad ammar said...

شركة نقل عفش الجبيل
شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل
شركة نقل عفش بالخبر
شركات النقل البري بالدمام
شركات نقل العفش بالدمام
ارقام شركات نقل العفش بالدمام
ارخص شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام
شركة تخزين عفش بالدمام

eyad ammar said...

شركة تنظيف خزانات بالمدينة المنورة وشقق بالمدينة المنورة شركة غسيل خزانات ومكافحة حشرات بالمدينة المنورة ونقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة مؤسسة صفوة المدينة
شركة تنظيف خزانات بالمدينة المنورة
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالمدينة المنورة مؤسسة صفوة المدينة انها الاولى فى مكافحة ورش الحشرات بالمدينة المنورة رش البق رش الصراصير مكافحة النمل الابيض بالمدينة المنورة
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالمدينة المنورة