Cartwright’s Sonoran Ranch House is devoted to offering only the freshest, best-quality ingredients in every dish, including specially sourced beef, game, pork, poultry and seafood. We also purchase our produce, meats and dairy from local purveyors whenever possible, we change our menu four times a year to take advantage of seasonal items, and we even harvest foods from our own property and the surrounding Sonoran Desert.
From May through October the desert provides us with an abundance of organic and natural foods. For thousands of years, American Indians have eaten these heritage products. We spend a fair amount of time in the desert harvesting the following ingredients.
In April and May, we harvest ocotillo flowers, cholla buds and cat’s claw flower. June is time for Mormon Tea. July and August see the ripening of saguaro fruit, prickly pear fruit and yucca baccata fruit, and we gather jojoba seeds and mesquite beans. September and October are particularly special, because we harvest the dates from our palm date trees and olives from our olive trees on property.
Fruits, Vegetables, Herbs and Nuts
Thanks to Arizona’s incredibly long growing season, we are blessed with a cornucopia of vegetables and fruits most of the year. We use as much local produce as possible, including lettuce, tomatoes, corn, squash, melons, onions and citrus, and fresh herbs, most of which are locally grown. Southern Arizona is a major provider of our pecans and pistachios.
Native Seeds Programs
We use California rice bran oil from California Rice Oil Co. for all of our frying. It’s free of trans fats and does not present the health risks of other oils such as soybean and canola. Also, it’s high in Vitamin E, antioxidants, and micronutrients that can combat the effects of aging. Out of all oils, it has the best balance between saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats as recommended by such organizations as the American Heart Association and the World Health Organization. It’s the oil of choice for improving serum cholesterol levels and preventing cardiovascular diseases. Also, it doesn’t contain any of the “big 8” allergens. We use sesame and olive oils in our salad dressings.
For all cooking, we use kosher salt, which is all-natural and free of iodine. All of our spices are custom blended for us by a local spice company. They provide the freshest ground spices from around the world.
Cartwright’s sources top-quality game meats such as quail, buffalo and elk . The elk comes from Minnesota, Canada, or New Zealand, depending on the time of year. Bison is sourced from a Cheyenne Indian reservation in Wyoming, and our quail comes from Oregon.
Our Wagyu beef is sourced from Bruce and Allison Hemmingson, who own and operate Allison Ranch in Pittsburg, Texas. In 1990, Bruce flew over one of the first full-blood Japanese Red Wagyu bulls in the U.S. for a cost of almost one million dollars, and the Hemmingsons began converting their Black Angus stock to a domestic F1 Angus and Wagyu cross. All-natural domestic Wagyu Beef is one of a consumer’s healthy options. The traceable history, specific genetic bloodlines, and holistic cattle production method produces unique muscle fibers and distinctive flavorful marbling. Allison Ranch raises 90% of their own forage unless hay is purchased during drought years. The Hemmingson’s animals are raised without antibiotics or added growth hormones to produce the most delicious, full-flavored and tender beef available on today’s market.
With the increasing awareness of the health properties of quality buffalo, consumers are continuing to respond positively when it is presented on our menu. Its deep, rich flavor, high protein content and low cholesterol make buffalo a delicious selection. Our buffalo is raised and processed in South Dakota. Because our Bison Buffalo consume high-protein grasses from the vast Dakota prairie, we receive the highest quality all-natural buffalo possible.
Rocky Mountain Elk:
Our exceptional North American Elk are raised in prairie environments to produce steaks that are both light and healthy and delicious-tasting. Originating from the Canadian prairies, Rocky Mountains and Yellowstone area, our elk is the most tender and flavorful elk meat available. Our trusted suppliers raise the animals with traditional care focused on sustainability and animal husbandry. All the animals are processed at 26-28 months to provide a very tender steak. This sets the stage for an entrée that is at its optimum flavor, and also healthy and nutritious.
In addition, all of the beef and pork we use can be traced back to the birth of the animal. All of the meat we buy, including poultry, pork and beef, is all-natural, which is free of steroids, antibiotics and growth hormones.
All seafood is sustainable, and we also use locally grown, organic and sustainable Desert Sweet Shrimp from Gila Bend, Arizona, when available.
Our salmon is from a small boutique farm in eastern Canada just north of the U.S. border. It is completely dye-free, unlike 99 percent of farmed fish. The fish is allowed to eat its natural diet, and the farmer believes in quality over quantity. Because it is such a small boutique farm, the waste from the fish is able to be cleaned before it returned to the ocean, which ensures that the farm doesn’t pollute the water. Also, the salmon tastes clean because the fish don’t swim in their waste, the tanks are kept completely clean, and the food is organic and natural.
The tuna we buy is caught outside of Fiji by a small day boat operated by one man and his crew. He uses specialty nets so it will not let ocean birds or sea turtles in to the nets, thereby eliminating unnecessary catches. He only catches the tuna which our Seafood company orders for the day and lets any extras go, so no fish goes to waste.
Kanaloa seafood is an ISO 14001 company, meaning they have to comply with the strictest environmental standards and be checked regularly for consistency. They also have to continuously evaluate their management plan in such a way that reduces their environmental impacts.
All of our breads and buns are house-made daily without the use of any preservatives or additives. They are all rolled by hand and baked each day before service.
All of our desserts are house-made, with the exception of our Gelato, from Talenti. Desserts are made with pure dairy products such as local butter, milk and cream.
We buy organic coffee from the Roastery of Cave Creek, a local roastery that custom blends our coffee. We also buy from them China Mist teas, a premium tea purveyor whose products are gluten-free and certified organic, fair trade, kosher and halal.