The last thing Bite Me wanted to do last week was slosh around in the rain looking for the really hard-to-find AZ88. (Drought? What freakin' drought?) She got the address and directions easily enough, but then found herself discombobulated in a Scottsdale parking lot. She called the restaurant on her cell phone and was told "it's nearly impossible to find." Super.
There is nothing more comforting to a directionally challenged person. But then her badass photographer Emily called and flew through the phone lines as Superhelper, walking her through the difficult directions. Bite Me finally got to the restaurant in one piece, although she was soaked to the bone, clutching a ripped polka-dot raincoat, a dampened notebook and a now-useless tape recorder. Spotting her trusty sidekick, she sank into a barstool and ordered a package of napkins to wipe her rain-bitten self as best she could.
Bite Me wasted no time deciding on a mess of chicken wings to grace her bar area. However, getting a bartender to pay one stitch of attention to her was no small task. In fact though there were three bartenders attending the part of the bar where she was seated it took nearly a half-hour to get someone interested in taking her order. You apparently need to be some sort of rock star to get serviced at AZ88. Bite Me loved the joint and would love to tell her readers that they'll be treated like royalty if they just walk in and pay the bill. But she'd be lyin' if she did so. The staff at AZ88 treated Bite Me's ass like the mangled mess it truly is. She watched swank and recognizable folks get served within minutes while she nearly died of thirst, endured her stomach growling and, most important, lost her buzz waiting for a refill on her martini.
7353 Scottsdale Mall, Scottsdale
480-994-5576. Hours: Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-1 a.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 5 p.m.-1 a.m. Appetizers: $5-$12; main courses: $6.50-$15. Major cards.
Whatever. Bite Me forgives and recovers at the speed of light. Frankly, she ain't about the restaurant. She's a woman of the people, so she set about fixing her gaze on the folks dining there. She spotted folks departing and chased them down through the raindrops to get their scoop. As her interviewees strolled off to their cars, Bite Me let out a sigh and headed back in to sample some of the chicken wings she'd ordered. Chicken wings good. Decor good. Service? You better be fancy or at least a regular. Martinis strong. And what the hell, she'll probably go back. Go figure.
Bite Me: So where do you DJ in town?
DJ Romeo:I just moved here from Vegas. I've been down here for six months now.
Bite Me: You'd already torn it up there?
DJ Romeo: I was there for seven years, playing at Club Utopia and Club Raw at the Luxor.
Bite Me: Which clubs are you spinning for now?
DJ Romeo: I've only played at a couple venues out here: Freedom and Six.
Bite Me: What about the music at AZ88?
DJ Romeo: It's my first time here, but they've got decent music for a restaurant. It's not really a nightclub, but there's definitely a good vibe. They actually have really nice DJ booths up above in the sky. It's really cool. I was really impressed.
Bite Me: Did you have any food here tonight?
DJ Romeo: No, because I had sushi over at RA.
Bite Me: So I recently read an article on how the turntable should be considered an instrument.
DJ Romeo: It sure is an instrument.
Bite Me: Why's that?
DJ Romeo: Well, being a DJ is all about how you flow your mix, and the turntable is the tool you use to do that. And everybody mixes differently.
Bite Me: Do you rely on word of mouth to get a following as a DJ?
DJ Romeo: My motto is: "He who has the newest set is gonna be the best DJ."
Bite Me: It's probably really competitive.
DJ Romeo: If you can go to a club and hear a DJ play a whole set and you've never heard any of the records before, then you know he's really good.
Bite Me: Were people nice to you when you got here or did they think you were invading their territory?
DJ Romeo: Well, I've only been out here six months, but in Vegas, we welcome out-of-town DJs with open arms.
Bite Me: You didn't get such a welcome wagon here, did ya?
DJ Romeo: Well, so far I haven't found anyone who wants to pay the price I want. So I'm gonna throw a party Vegas style, and it's gonna hit Scottsdale so hard that people aren't gonna know what hit 'em.
IBM project manager
Bite Me: What's your story, dude?
Daniel: I work for IBM. I moved here from France eight months ago.
Bite Me: Hey, you've got to teach me some cool French slang. You speak perfect English and you have no accent at all. I bet people don't believe you when you say you're French.
Daniel: It's funny because I met a girl a few weeks ago and she was pretending to be foreign, speaking half French and half Spanish. Problem was she didn't speak either well enough to pull it off. My friend totally caught her. It was stupid.
Bite Me: You should have said something rotten to her in French to see if she understood. I always learn how to insult people first when I learn a new language. It's a great icebreaker. And helps you weed out the phonies. So what'd you eat tonight? How was it?
Daniel: Smoked salmon. It was nice but usually I eat burgers.
Bite Me: Why aren't you with a chick?
Daniel: I don't have a chick.
Bite Me: Would you take one here if you had one?
Bite Me: Well, I'd date you. You have a job. You've got enough cash to take a chick to this place and you're probably a hot French lover. Too bad I'm gay. (Let Bite Me explain her response. She's friendly to her interview subjects to a fault it helps when she's trying to persuade folks to bare their souls but she draws the line at romantic entanglements, no matter what sort of killer quotes they might produce. It's just unethical, darnit. But so is lying, Bite Me's reader might respond. Ah, but your host and narrator was not fibbin' when she outed herself to Daniel. As all righteous gay folk will attest, if you've ever slept with someone of the same sex, you're gay. And her friend and one-night-stand Sue will vouch that Bite Me is a dyke just waiting to bloom. In the meantime, however, she's stuck on men. Just not the type at the other end of her tape recorder.)
Ann Saur and Brett Hackleman
Pharmaceutical rep and IBM programmer
Bite Me: So, Ann, you sell drugs?
Ann: I sell birth control.
Bite Me: That's good.
Ann: Well, my boyfriend certainly thinks so.
Bite Me: I bet he doesn't mind a bit when you take your work home with you. He's stoked. So what kind of birth control do you peddle?
Ann: Birth control pills, estrogen replacement and IUD.
Bite Me: IUDs. Wow. Oh my God, I didn't know people still used those. But I did read about it in a magazine recently.
Ann: Yeah, they do. It's on the upswing.
Bite Me: Do you have to travel?
Ann: I have a pretty small territory, just a sliver of Phoenix.
Bite Me: And they love you because you're giving them free drugs. You guys come with gifts with pharmaceutical logos and the docs probably snag some of them for themselves. (Bite Me has always wanted to get a job selling Vicodin.)
Bite Me: So do you have any in your purse?
Ann: My car is loaded up with it.
Bite Me: Do you use it?
Ann: Yeah, I use my own product.
Bite Me: What would you recommend for me?
Ann: Yasmin birth control. (Bite Me fondly remembers taking trips to the free clinic in Lodi while she was in high school. She had to go there so her family doctor didn't know she was, ya know, doing it. She'd get her birth control pills and condoms. Her best friend at the time went with her and would always get extra stuff, and last Bite Me heard she's still going there even though she now makes over $80K. And shit, she's insured, so what's it cost, like 10 or 15 bucks? I mean, Jesus.)
Bite Me: Oh, that's the new one. It helps with PMS stuff.
Ann: It has a diuretic for bloating and the best in the market for acne and the best in the market for PMS.
Bite Me: God really is a woman.
Ann: Oh, it's a miracle. Most people do really well on it.
Bite Me: So would you rather have a woman or a man for your gynecologist?
Ann: Women in general can relate to problems we have, but there are so many guys out there who are on the same level.
Bite Me: In my opinion, all male gynecologists need is some sensitivity training and to understand that PMS is real and needs to be controlled. I'm a bitch on wheels once a month. I get out all my aggression but then I spend the rest of the month being overly nice to make up for it. So how long have you two been together?
Brett: Five months.
Ann: More like three.
Brett: Well, we've known each other for three years. We used to work together.
Bite Me: Do you fix her computer for free?
Brett: Of course.
Bite Me: Right now I could use a friend with computer know-how. My computer crashed and I lost all my files. It was a sheer delight. Seems the thing had been sick since August of last year. Apparently you need to take it in just like a sick child or it dies. Do people ask you that all the time?
Brett: Yeah, all the time. They do, yeah.
Bite Me: You kind of look like Val Kilmer. Do people tell you that?
Ann: I think he looks like Prince William.
Bite Me: You're right, he kinda does. He's got that definitive bone structure. So are you guys the same age?
Brett: She's much younger.
Bite Me: So when did you know "this person is it"?
Brett: We don't.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Phoenix dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.