Friday, February 27, 2015

Bisbee Breakfast Club

The original restaurant in Bisbee, opened its doors in 2005.  The establishment is situated inside the historic Rexall Drug building on Erie Street in Lowell.  The environment inside is comfy just like home with amazing breakfast meals, mouthwatering lunches, and homemade pies and desserts.  In 2009, because of the popularity of the restaurant, they expanded their interior area buying the glass shop next door.  Now they have plenty of room for all their customers to enjoy a delicious meal.  The Bisbee Breakfast Club has expanded with two new restaurants in Tucson and Mesa, AZ.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Shops and Art in Southern Wine Country

The towns in this area are small, but we still managed to find places to shop.  Actually, most of the shops are in Sonoita and Patagonia.

Sonoita Merchantile Country Store and Deli, 520-455-5788. This place has a deli, gourmet food items, local wines, and a self-serve Shell gas station.

Sweet Ride Gift Shop, 520-455-4717, 3244 Highway 82, Suite 6, Sonoita, Arizona

The Steak Out Gift Shop is inside the Steak Out Restaurant and Saloon, 520-455-5205, 3243 State Highway 83, Sonoita, Arizona

Many Horses Trading Co., 520-455-5545, American Indian jewelry

Heartland Ranch Alpacas & Country Store, 520-455-5701, Alpaca products, gifts, wearables, and collectibles

Global Arts Gallery, 520-394-0077, 315 McKeown Avenue, Patagonia, Arizona

Tumbleweed & Poppleswamp, 520-384-0055, 299 McKeown Avenue, Patagonia, Arizona
This place is a Living Studio which is "a space where many of the goods you buy are actually created". Their merchandise consist of "handmade and custom made clothing, art, note cards, and other little gifts".

Heart of Gold Antiques, 520-394-0199, 335 McKeown Avenue, Patagonia, Arizona

Monday, February 23, 2015

Places to Dine in Sonoita

Sonoita, AZ is a rather small town, but it does have places to dine which are notable.  Here are some of them:

Vineyard Café

This place was recommended by Bernie and Karen of the Xanadu Ranch.  We had breakfast there on our way out of town, and the food was not only priced fair, but very tasty.  They will offer breakfast and lunch, or a brunch on Sundays.

Overland Trout Restaurant - We didn’t try this place, but we heard that the food was good.  This is what they say on their website:  “Chef Greg LaPrad brings a polished dining experience to the lush high-desert grasslands of Sonoita, poising this region as the Southwest’s prized up-and-coming culinary destination. Named after cowboy slang for bacon, the term “Overland Trout” was first seen in a newspaper published in 1887. Here, we celebrate the culinary heritage of Arizona’s borderlands with our terrain that boasts a rare agricultural bounty of regional indigenous ingredients alongside rich soil that feeds our neighboring vineyards. Overland Trout combines the treasured produce of Sonoita with its quality wine for an authentic and unforgettable dining experience.”

The Steak Out Restaurant and Saloon

 We choice this place to have dinner on our first night.  The ambiance is western with steaks and ribs cooked on a mesquite grill.  For over 50 years, this place has offered their customers a fun time and great food for affordable prices.  We had to pay a cover price of $5.00 because we didn’t have a reservation.  They sat us in the back room, on the other side of where the band was located.  Yes, they entertain you while you eat with a live band.  I had the beef ribs and they were so delicious.  On our way out, there is a small gift shop with local/handmade items.  We just couldn’t resist stopping in and checking out the merchandise.

The Café

We choice to have dinner at this place on our second night in Sonoita.  It was recommended by a bartender at one of the wineries.  The owner, Adam Puckle, was born at nearby Fort Huachuca and attended schools in Elgin and Patagonia.  With a culinary degree, he opened The Café in 2010 and wanted a place which was not only affordable, but offered mouthwatering food as well.  We found this place warm and inviting.  We had a wonderful dining experience there, and the fish was scrumptious.

Sonoita Chuckwagon Grill & Ice Cream Parlor

 Before hitting the wineries on our first full day in Sonoita, we choose this place to have breakfast.  Not only do they offer breakfast meals, but burger and sandwiches as well.  The food wasn’t bad, the service was a bit slow, but the scenery surround the place, was gorgeous!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Other Wine Country Hotels

When Deb, Sharon and I went to southern wine country in Sonoita, AZ, we picked the Xanadu Ranch Getaway (see post here).  If this ranch in not your cup of tea or you would rather stay in Elgin, I have a list of some places to check out. 

Casita Del Che
photo from their website
This casita is located in Sonoita, only a couple of miles from the main drag and wineries.  It is a two bedroom, one bath, private home, and has the whole shebang necessary to make your stay comfortable.

Hacienda de Sonoita
photo from their website
This bed and breakfast is managed by a husband and wife.  Not only are the views amazing from the home’s deck, but you are also offered a homemade breakfast every morning.

Sonoita Inn

my photos
Located along the main downtown area of Sonoita, the location makes it one of the best choices for your stay.  The rooms are plush with incredible views of the valley’s grasslands and mountains.  I also heard that the place may be haunted for those of you who are interested in a paranormal experience.

Rain Valley Bed and Breakfast - For a more old-fashioned place to stay, check this place out.  It is located in Elgin, near numerous wineries, hiking/biking trails, and Tombstone.  If you are interested in staying at this B&B, contact the owners by phone, 520-456-2911 or email,

The Canelo Bed and Breakfast
photo from their website
Like all the other places, this B&B can be found in southeastern Arizona with gorgeous scenery and near the vineyards.  The location also offers plenty of outdoor activities nearby for you to enjoy the fabulous weather.

Rainbow’s End Bed and Breakfast – This place is found in Sonoita, near many of the vineyards and offers four guest rooms, private bath, and breakfast every morning in the dining room.  For reservations, call 520-455-0202.

The Crown C Ranch
photo from their website
This sprawling ranch is situated at the base of the Santa Rita Mountains and has stunning views of the grassy hills.  This place is perfect for a family getaway.  The whole place is all yours with all the conveniences of home.

The Rancho Milagro Bed and Breakfast – This B&B provides all the creature comforts you will need to make your visit relaxing.  They present you with three unique rooms for you to select from.  You can even ride your horse to the ranch if you so desire.

Whisper’s Ranch Bed and Breakfast
photo from their website
If you prefer to stay in Elgin this place is for you.  It is near many of the wineries, has a breathtaking setting, and is close to many outdoor activities.  The rooms are stylish and have many amenities to make your stay an wonderful one.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Patagonia Town and Cemetery

Another town in the Santa Cruz County of Arizona is Patagonia.  Around a 1,000 people call this place home which lies 12 miles south from Sonoita, and 18 miles north of the U.S./Mexico border.  This small settlement seems isolated and quiet.  It is nestled in the Coronado National Forest near two creeks, and where you can find ruins with petroglyphs from the Anasazi people.

Sometime in the late 1850’s, the Patagonia Mountains were loaded with silver and many moved to the area to mine the mountains.  By the next decade, the mines were pumping out mass quantities of silver and lead.  All the other towns in the area were enjoying flourishing economies.   In the first part of the 1900’s, the mines all but dried up.

Today, Patagonia has survived the shut-down of the mines, but other towns/camps such as Mowry, Harshaw, Washington Camp and Duquesne are all nothing but ghost towns.  You can take a short drive to any of these locations and find fragments of what was.  Many of the structures are on private land and you will be met with a “No Trespassing” sign.

The Patagonia Cemetery is not an easy place to find.  The entrance is a small, with an abrupt incline and at the top of a mount.  If you are coming from the Sonoita area, you will find the entrance at the southwest end of town with an American flag waving high in the air from the cemetery.  With its large trees and old to new headstones, it is a beautiful place to take photos.  We were lucky to get the sun going down which made for great shots with shadows and light.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Southern Arizona's Wine Country

I just recently took a trip to Sonoita which is located in the heart of southern Arizona wine country.  Sharon, Deb and I were able to try 5 of the vineyards and their wine tasting bars.  The first five I have listed are the ones we went to.  The rest are other vineyards in the area that also offer wine tastings.  I did find out that I do not care for dry wines.  I have more of a sweet wine palette.

Dos Cabezas Wine Works – This winery is owned and operated by the Bostock family from the time they acquired the winery in 2006, but has been generating wines since 1995.  The vineyard started out on 80 acres of land near Willcox, AZ, and eventually moved to Sonoita where it flourishes today.
Lightning Ridge Cellars – This small family operated winery was founded in 2005.  They spent eons perfecting their wines and are delighted to present them to the public in honor of their Italian legacy.  As they state on their website, “an old world style of winemaking provide the perfect combination to produce rich, full-bodied wines.”

Arizona Hops & Vines – This little winery/farm is a welcoming spot where families and wine lovers will have a wonderful time.  They have a patio where you can sit and enjoy your wine while enjoying the amazing scenery.  They also offer you different snacks (chips, Cheetos, Doritos) for each wine.

Sonoita Vineyards – Where the first three places only offered us dry wines, Sonoita had a great variety with sweet wines as well.  This award winning winery was the first profitable winery in Sonoita, began in 1974, and opened their doors in 1983.  The vineyard spreads out to about 50 acres.  They are besieged by gently sloping grasslands and gorgeous mountains.  The vineyard is operated by a tiny group of people who see to it that each bottle has the attention and devotion that it deserves.

Wilhelm Family Vineyards – The Wilhelm family’s winery and vineyard are located on 20 acres in Sonoita.  Their vineyard sits on 5 of the 20 acres and has amazing 180 degree views from the top of the hill where the wine tasting building is located.

Charron Vineyards -
Rancho Rossa Vineyards -
Callaghan Vineyards -
Flying Leap Vineyards -
Kief-Joshua Vineyard -
Village-of-Elgin/Four Monkey - &

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Xanadu Ranch Getaway

Bernie and Karen
When my friends and I stayed in Sonoita, in the middle of southern Arizona wine country, we picked the Xanadu Ranch as our getaway place to spend a couple of nights.  The owners, Bernie and Karen, are the warmest and most inviting people you will ever meet.  From the moment we got there, Karen peaked her head out the door to greet us.  She took us inside the main area, showed us all the food, drinks, and other items available to us.  She gave us a map of where all the vineyards were located, along with the restaurants and shops nearby.  Their ranch was a short drive to anywhere we wanted to go.

Our room had two queen beds, a sitting area with cable, fridge, microwave, coffee maker, cups and glasses for any wine we may bring back to our room.  Right outside our room was a table and hammock.  The views from their ranch, with the rolling grassy hills, were breathtaking.  They also had a casita area with tables, BBQ, fire pit and coy pond.  The prices are just right, the hosts are wonderful, and the Xanadu Ranch Getaway has been rated number one for places to stay while in this part of Arizona.  Our trip there was just delightful and we have plans of staying there again.

To find out more about the Zanadu Ranch Getaway and the history of the place, check out their website and Facebook page:

View from the road.

View from the back of the ranch and rooms.

The bunkhouse with two rooms for visitors.

The owner's free-roaming horses.

View from the road.