The Brat of Bratwurst

Written by Craig Outhier Category: Valley News Issue: June 2014
Group Free

We’ve always liked Payton Curry. We like his food. We like his brashness. We like his crazy, carrot-colored locks. And we’ve never withheld our affection for the chef, once devoting our Spotlight page to the former Digestif frontman. His Old Town beer hall, Brat Haüs, is hailed in this very issue (page 158).

But we feel compelled to defend our excellent dining writer, Gwen Ashley Walters, who was made to pay after penning a less-than-glowing review of the chef’s latest venture, Taco Haus, in our May issue. Soon after publication, Curry posted a photo of Gwen – who tries to maintain anonymity during her restaurant visits, in the classic tradition of food critics – on Twitter.

A low, mean blow, but not entirely uncharacteristic of the Minnesota native, who seems determined not to surrender his enfant terrible label without a fight. A roundup of his, er, greatest hits:
April 2009 >> In an impressive feat of culinary provocation, Curry creates a rabbit-based Easter tasting dinner at Caffe Boa in Tempe.
December 2010 >> Outdoing himself, Curry generates national media attention by devising a Christmas season six-course “reindeer tasting menu” at Caffe Boa. The meat was actually caribou.
February 2014 >> A disgruntled Taco Haus customer leaves a tipless receipt scribbled with profanities. A photo of the receipt, complete with the man’s name and credit card number, is later posted to the restaurant’s Facebook page.
April 2014 >> Gwen-gate.



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{Exporting Arizona}
Finding a California craft beer in Arizona is pretty easy. Hell, finding a Utah craft beer in Arizona is pretty easy. Why, then, is it so dang difficult to find an Arizona beer anywhere outside Arizona?

The long and complicated answer, involving state brewing statutes and other legalities, will be addressed in subsequent PHOENIX mag issues. For now, know that one Arizona brewer – Chandler’s SanTan Brewing – has finally managed to penetrate America’s interstate-brewing glass ceiling. In April, brewery founder Anthony Canecchia shipped his first truckload of suds to Southern California, via distributor Reyes Beverage Group. So now you can pop open a HopShock IPA while staying with friends in  La Jolla. No taste like home?



“I always stated as a young teen in interviews [that]my dream was to one day own the L.A. Clippers!”
– April 29 Facebook post by Scottsdale resident and former Malcolm in the Middle star Frankie Muniz, announcing his intention to form an ownership group after Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s alleged racist remarks first aired on TMZ. Muniz is worth an estimated $40 million.


Arizona Infamy-o-Meter
It was a reasonably prolific spring for Arizona in the national headlines department – not Jodi Arias-prolific, but definitely lively. We gauged the following stories by their Google search hits.

Ex-sheriff Richard Mack vows to put women “up at the front” during a hypothetical shootout with the feds in Nevada. - 1,260,000 Google hits

Phoenix VA rocked by deaths, “secret waiting list” scandal. - 960,000 Google hits

Mickey the pit bull mauls child, gets clemency. - 516,000 Google hits

Arizona ranks 43rd nationally in 2013 high school graduation rates. - 361,000 Google Hits