A drive in the San Tan Valley the other day took us from the city to the countryside and it was only a matter of turning right instead of left. Turn left and you head into the city, right and you're immediately in farm land, and on open road with quaint and unique at every turn.
First up there's Cherie's Salsa. Selling on the side of the road isn't uncommon here. In fact we just passed a sign advertising Fresh Tamales hot out of the back of a truck. But it is another cardboard sign that we're watching for. Cherie's Salsa proudly advertises on a roadside sign just ahead of her SUV that has the hatch thrown open and a gaggle of friends gathered around keeping her company. It's definitely worth pulling over and getting some of the best Salsa we've found so far in the valley. Cherie admits to being up at two a.m. stirring up some of this fabulous salsa. She's upgraded from a year or so ago when we first found her and she told me this was a temporary thing. Now she has a business card and a presence on Facebook.
From there we headed further into the countryside and find, what a surprise in the land of snowbirds, more snowbirds. These snowbirds appear to be hardier than most for they're settled in on a barren tract of desert in RV's of all sizes right down to an Airstream no bigger than what most would camp in. With few amenities, it's unique but I can't imagine what one would do on a blistering Arizona afternoon with only cactus and a view of the mountains to keep you company.
A little further down the road a small but quaint, bright red building stands out on the edges of a bone dry parking lot. The Mexican Meat Market isn't a place I'd consider shopping at but DH discovered it a few days ago. I'm glad he brought me along this time for the store itself is like I've travelled just a little further afield than Arizona and stepped foot into the heart of Mexico. The store is alive with conversation spoken in rapid fire Spanish and foreign smells that are pleasant yet unfamiliar, permeate the place. There's only two short aisles and they're crowded with familiar and not so familiar products. I'm drawn to the cooler where Arizona Iced Tea occupies most of the shelves. And I'm amazed at all the flavours. Who knew that Arizona Iced Tea comes from Brooklyn, not Arizona, or that there are many more than the two types shipped north! I happily went home with the regular and a Mango flavoured as well as a strawberry. I hesitate at the pecan and bubble gum popsicles but manage to resist. And the Carne Asada we came for - delicious.