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Jacqueline’s & Desert Botanical Gardens – Scottsdale


Sunday in Phoenix was a leisurely day.  We weren’t going to a game and our flight was scheduled to depart about 5:30.  We wanted a nice breakfast and then we were going to check out the Desert Botanical Garden

I had a place in mind that I’d been to a few year’s ago.  Sam’s Café on Scottsdale road.  I remembered the outdoor seating, the Southwestern fare and the friendly staff.  So with business card in hand (that I’d collected from my last visit) we packed up the car and set off. 

We made our way to Scottsdale Road, determined we should head south, based on the address, and drove by the area of the address.  There was no Sam’s Café in sight!  We drove by again and it still wasn’t there. :-(  A quick call to 411 confirmed our suspicions.  While Sam’s Café was alive and well and had two locations, neither was now at this address.  And neither was near where we wanted to be.

Next idea, head to Jacqueline’s – another place I’d been a few year’s ago.  Hopefully it was at the same location!  And it was.  We put our name on the list and waited to be seated outside. 

Last time I was at Jacqueline’s it was called a "Marketplace and Café".  Unfortunately, the Marketplace has been replaced with more café seating.  The Marketplace was a really great collection of gourmet sauces, mixes, foods and beverages.  While waiting for a table it was fun to stroll through the aisles and pick out interesting items to take home.  The only good thing is that now seating is much faster – this place can get really packed on weekend mornings.  Apparently there are new owners and they decided tables were better than the shop. 

We were seated within a few minutes and ordered our breakfast.  I ordered Huevos Rancheros with a side of Chorizo, M asked for the Corn Beef Hash.  Service was a little slow; it took quite some time for our breakfasts to arrive but once they did we knew it was worth the wait! 

My Huevos Rancheros were a thing of beauty!  I’d ordered my eggs over easy and they sat on top of a blue corn tortilla and black beans and were framed by red salsa on one side and green on the other. A little cheese was sprinkled decoratively over the top.  A generous portion of chorizo filled out the plate.    The salsas were more flavorful than hot.  The green was tangy and the red sweet with ripe tomatoes.  I love the combination of flavors that Huevos Rancheros brings together – there is something in there for every taste bud!  The chorizo was excellent, too.  Full of paprika, mild chilies and ground pork it was the perfect complement to the Huevos. 

M’s Corn Beef Hash was great, too.  The corned beef had been shredded, formed into a patty with red peppers and onions, and then fried so that the outside was a little crispy but the inside was the tender strands of corned beef.  It was accompanied by an egg, English muffin (M’s choice of toast) and sliced tomatoes. 

We sat in the sun, savored our breakfasts and then finished with a lovely cup of tea.  When finished we were perfectly fueled for our next adventure! 

No food info in this next part….

We made our way a little further south to the Desert Botanical Gardens.  With all the rain Phoenix has had this year we were hoping to see lots of bloom.  The Botanical Gardens are a really amazing display of cactus, succulents and dessert flowers.  Over the years they have completed many projects that have really improved the experience at the garden.  You wander through different sections that showcase wildflowers, different cactus, succulents, cactus shade plants (yes there are some!) and bees and butterflies.  While you are walking, if you keep your eyes open, you’ll see lizards scurrying around and funky little desert squirrels that resemble prairie dogs going about their business. 

We were on the early side of the bloom.  The wildflowers were blooming and many of the barrel cactus had their crowns of flowers but many of the cacti were not quite there, although you could see buds just about ready to pop.  Even the little we saw was amazing.  We also happened to time our visit just right to see the Butterfly House!  It had opened just a few days prior and will remain at the gardens until May 8th.  You get to walk around with hundreds of butterflies in a small, enclosed space so you have the opportunity to really see them.  It’s quite magical!  Outside the main pavilion, there is a Chrysalis House, where butterflies hatch right before your eyes!  Amazing. 

Jacqueline’s Market Place
7303 E Indian School Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85251-3942
Phone: (480) 947-8777  

The Desert Botanical Garden is located in Phoenix, Arizona, near the cities of Scottsdale and Tempe, on 145 acres in the midst of the red rock buttes of Papago Park at 1201 North Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, Arizona 85008  


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