With summer temperatures sizzling right now, many of us like to get away to the high country for a day or two. Prescott is my favorite place to cool off, and, being a foodie, I enjoy finding places where I can try out different ingredients or purchase kitchen stuff.
Let me share a few of my favorite Prescott places with you.
Olive U Naturally
What I like about this store is that, besides the fact that they have many oil and vinegar flavors, they allow you to sample them as well. Their oils come from around the world, and at $14.95 a bottle, they are an affordable way to upgrade your meals. If you are not sure what you would do with something like blood orange olive oil, just ask the staff. They are very helpful.
If you want to check out the store but do not know if you want to purchase anything, worry not. I never felt pressured to buy anything in the store and totally enjoyed the opportunity to try out their vinegars and oils.
They are at 130 W. Gurley St., on the third level of Bashford Courts Atrium Mall, directly across from Courthouse Square. Reach them at (928) 778-2337 or OliveUNaturally.com.
While you are in Bashford Courts, stop on in Spice Traveler. Besides having basic spices, they sell flavored sugars, tea and exotic spices that you will not find at your grocery store. They also offer some of their own spice blends, so be sure to try them, too. Just ask the sales person; they have sample jars available that you can taste. Spice prices vary.
Spice Traveler is on the second floor of Bashford Courts, across from the elevator. You can also find them online at SpiceTravelerPrescott.com, or reach them at 928-445-1377.
True Value Hardware
The next place I recommend is going to be a little unusual, but my absolute favorite foodie place in Prescott is the True Value Hardware store.
Have you ever watched “Barefoot Contessa” and heard Ina Garten say, “You can get this fancy pan at your local hardware store’? I have, and I thought she was a little nutty. Then I found the Prescott True Value. Sure, it has every hardware item you can imagine, but they have rows and rows of kitchen gadgets, gourmet foods, pots and pans and kitchen appliances. Actually, I’ve found things there that even Williams-Sonoma doesn’t carry!
They are located at 846 Miller Valley Road, about five minutes from downtown. Reach them at (928) 445-6422 or PrescottTrueValue.com.
More to come
This is a nice start, but there is so much more. Next time, we will talk about a store that sells nothing but Lodge cast iron, a hot sauce haven and a honey store. I’ll also point you to my favorite bed and breakfast, if you want to stay for a night or two, as well as few restaurants to enjoy while you are up there.
If you go: Prescott is about two hours from the Valley. To get there, travel north on Interstate 17 to Exit 262/AZ-69 N to Prescott. Follow AZ-69 about 33 miles until it turns into Gurley Street at a slight right near downtown Prescott.
• Judy A. Toth is the owner of Simply Impressive Cooking School. Reach her at (480) 654-1981 or simplyimpressive.com.