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Reservations: Not unless you have a big group. 480-888-9290
Where: 25062 S. Meridian Road, Queen Creek, AZ 85242
Olives…. mmmmm!!! Garlic stuffed olives… mmmhmmm!!! Locally grown olives…. mmmhmmmmhmmmmm! What more could want, yeah? Locally grown olives and locally milled olive oil, could make our day we thought …. and…… hence recently a trip down to Queen Creek to Arizona’s only olive mill happened on a nice relatively cooler weekend. A nice way to spend a Saturday morning or afternoon.
The mill offers several things:
1. Tours of the facility which includes information about olives, their production, making of olive oil and other olive products.
2. A nice cafe style restaurant to enjoy their food at
3. A store to buy various kinds of oils, olive products and other local products.
About the tour:
Cost: $5. Maybe it was the fact that we visited in August and it was hot outside, the tour was more of a talk than a tour. We got some information about how the mill was started by a family, how they grow olives locally (couple miles from the mill), and how they produce olive oil. I was rather unimpressed because we didn’t really get to see the farms or the actual production process. But I’m willing to go in December again and try the tour once more to see if it’s any different. I was told by the tour guide that their main production happens from October to December, which would be the ideal time to visit and tour the facility. I think if that’s the case, then they should do couple things….. One, they should clearly state that the tours in summer months are not tours, but talks…. and Two, that they should be free in summer.
What I do appreciate is the fact that the tour guide clearly told us that the olive oils are bottled in December every year and if we bought some right now we’d be buying 10 month old oil. So, she recommended coming back in December and buying fresh oil. A big Thank You for her honesty!
About Del Piero:
This cafe is what it’s supposed to be. A nice representation of the multitude of things olives can be used for, for having as it is, for making oils, flavored oils, tapenades and guess what… even cake! Yes, the cafe serves a nice olive oil cake, which I must admit was surprisingly delicious! 🙂 Interesting how I start the cafe’s review with dessert. Oh well, they also have some sorbets and gelatos, but I didn’t try those as I felt that’s not what the cafe stands for. In keeping with the theme for the day, we got the classic bruschetta, following which I got the Vegetarian Antipasto plate and the husband had the Manzi Panini. The Antipasto plate was a nice sampling of their mozzarella, pesto, olives, couple tapenades and was absolutely yumm! I fell in love with their sun dried tomato tapenade, which we even bought a bottle of to take home. The husband’s panini was rather good as well, although he and I both felt that everything was a little too olive-oily. I tad bit less would be much better! But, I definitely will go back in winter to try their soups and hot sandwiches.
The ambiance of the place is cozy and nice…. kinda in between the wine cellars of Napa and on the corner quaint cafe style. There aren’t that many tables though, so you have to either hold a table or sit outside, which, I’m sure, would be the preferred dining area on a cooler day.
About the store:
Lots of things to buy here! Olive oil, flavored olive oils, ranging from blood orange to vanilla flavored… they have quite a variety to please everyone. We didn’t buy any since the tour guide was honest enough to tell us that buying one in December would ensure fresher oil. I did sample the oils, and I must say that while they were all very flavorful, the lemon olive oil was my favorite. It would be the ideal thing to have on a nice asparagus salad. Mmmm!!
Amongst other things, they sell wines, tapenades, stuffed olives and some bath and body products. Nice gift idea, eh! And of course, some to spoil yourself too! 😉 In keeping with that tought in my mind, we got some parmesan stuffed olives and the sun dried tomato tapenade that I loved so much. It’s been couple weeks now and I must say, we’ve been enjoying every bit of the two things. I’m looking forward to going there again later in the year when it’s cooler.
Not to mislead you, but not all products sold there are locally grown or made. Their tapenades, some of stuffed olives, some of the oils, vinegars, are made in Napa, where they have other olive farms. So, although it’s nice to know that most things are local, not all are! 😦