The expansion of the 202 Freeway east is a good thing. It allowed us to empty our car into uncharted territory in Mesa, and, as we drove around lost and clueless, to come across the Orange Patch. We were immediately taken with the farmhouse shop, surrounded by more than 200 acres of tree-ripened citrus. This is a store straight out of Harry & David's lore, stocked to the rafters with bin after bin after bag after tin of locally grown fresh-roasted-in-the-store nuts. There are also Arizona-kitsch gifts, dates, dried fruit, candies, hand-dipped chocolates, orange juice made fresh every day and ice cream. The fresh produce options are as jaw-droppingly expansive as the nut selection: fresh citrus, seasonal items such as squash, okra, tomatoes, New Mexico green chiles, Utah peaches, watermelon and cantaloupe.
Shop anywhere else? We'd have to be nuts.