For her 14 devoted readers, Bite Me will explain her absence last week. She scared the bejesus out of her co-workers by fainting dead away at the keyboard -- no lie, this really happened -- and hit her head on her way to the office floor. Blood. Screaming. Calls to 911. Paramedics. Ambulance ride. Four stitches and a monster shiner around her right eye. Even hard-hearted Mr. Editor looked concerned and wondered if he was overworking poor Bite Me, what with all the late nights out doing research at restaurants and bars. Ya think?
The swelling's down, but your humble narrator still looks like she lost a fight with Mike Tyson. She's already getting tired of that look she's getting that says, "Oh, darlin', get away from that man and check yourself into a shelter." Meanwhile, Editor Man's sympathy lasted about a nanosecond and Bite Me had to get her ass out to another eating establishment. Checking with her usual sources -- friends, neighbors, freaks -- she learned that there existed this amazing place, Postino, that had once been a post office. How cool is that? Yeah, okay, they serve only wine and beer. There ain't no hard liquor for Bite Me to imbibe, but she made an exception since there'd surely be a bounty of diehard Italian men (yum) on a Monday night. Jamma lamma ding dong.
Postino had all the accouterments she holds dear. While there were no martinis to be had, she was sated by the delicious selection of scrumptious sandwiches on focaccia bread and a big spread of all manner of cheeses with bread and fancy extras. She ordered a sandwich and a whopping plate of cheese and stuff to pile it on and a carafe of red wine because she's found it always makes her feel worldly wise and witty. She'd need to be on top of her game if she spotted a hot dude to move in on. Her dinner companion Elaine -- no, not the gay fella she usually harangues into accompanying her -- was happy to tag along and indulge in some good grub as she watched Bite Me do her best to snag a potential paramour. And did Bite Me spot a wealth of hotties? You betcha. Each time she saw one, she gulped down many sips of grape courage, enough to drop off a few cards with a whispered "call me." Any dude who calls a banged-up woman who randomly drops her number is bound to be either psycho or interestingly freaky enough to investigate. She'll keep you posted as to the results.
3939 East Campbell, 602-852-3939. Hours: Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat., 4-11 p.m.; closed Sun. Main courses: $6-$10. Major cards.
John Logan and Carla Wade
Musician and bartender
Bite Me: What do you do for a living, buddy?
John: I sing and play guitar for a band called the MadCaPs. (Bite Me would have guessed the dude was in a band. He just had that, well, ya know, "I'm in a band" look, disinterested and aloof but charismatic despite himself. Odds are wonderful that this guy had a gig coming up, an instrument of some sort in his car and an attitude toward some local club owner.)
Bite Me: What did you eat here?
John: A ham and cheese sandwich. (This also fits the bill. Band dudes are meat-and-potato folk. They're used to eatin' just what is necessary to fuel them. They don't ever seem to get a taste for the fancy food. Funny, huh, but think about those backstage requests you hear about from bands. They're always asking for things like Jack Daniel's, Doritos, peanut M&Ms, turkey sandwiches, pepperoni pizza, Coke, Marlboros . . . you get the idea. They never seem to get to the chick singer level of, say, J.Lo, who requires that ridiculous white-on-white everything including, uh, the room, drapes, couches, flowers, etc., and then a mound of cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, papaya, mango and grapes and every brand of Snapple and special candles and apple pie à la mode, brownies, chocolate chip cookies and the requisite VCR and CD player. What actually occurs if the beyatch discovers that there ain't no à la mode for her apple pie? Does she refuse to perform? How fancy do you have to get to demand such a ridiculous list of wants and needs? Who's the guy who has to ensure the whole room is white with no exception? Does he have a paintbrush and bucket of paint to cover any inconsistencies? Let's hope John never becomes such a diva. Bite Me believes he'll always remain a ham-and-cheese dude. Thank God.)
Bite Me: What a solid human you are. So how'd you meet this dame I see next to you? She looks like a really skinny and hot Lauren Ambrose who plays the little sister on Six Feet Under.
Carla: Thanks, I think. We met through my ex-boyfriend. John's actually really good friends with my ex-boyfriend, Brian Smith. (Bite Me thinks that's rather gracious of good ol' Brian to be the springboard to a relationship between his ex and his buddy. And people say all men are sacks of shit. Oh, wait, is that only Bite Me? Mmmm.)
Bite Me: That's a terrible name, Brian Smith. Very generic. I have a fucked-up name, but I'm usually grateful. At best it's original. I'm Marnye. (Mr. Editor informed Bite Me that Brian Smith was a staff writer at New Times a couple years back. Bite Me never met the guy, but from what she's heard, he's one swell fella.)
John: Marnye, isn't that a name from an old movie?
Carla: Yeah, that's that movie with Cary Grant and that girl. The girl was crazy. Are you named after that movie?
Bite Me: Actually, it was Sean Connery, but thanks for playing. And no, I'm actually not named after the movie. So what did you eat here, missy?
John: The bruschetta.
Carla: It's really kinda nice the way they have it set up. There are different types of toppings, Tuscan bean, tomato basil, white bean, fresh mozzarella and torn basil on cruscante toast.
Bite Me: How's the wine here? I know they don't serve liquor.
Carla: Oh, they have great wine. And the waiters were able to point out some really good wine selections.
Bite Me: So when you're in doubt, you can ask the waiter. That would totally save you on a first date. You could get the waiter to salvage your inexperience.
Bite Me: How often do you come here?
Carla: We come here every couple of weeks, and on Mondays, there's no corking fee. You pay wholesale for the wine. And it's even better because most everything's closed on Mondays.
Bite Me: What's with this town? Closing joints on Mondays? Is this a Mormon town? I'm starting to worry. So where did you two meet?
Carla: This is way too campy for me. (Uh, Carla needs to, uh, get over herself. It's too campy to describe the place the two met? Bu-bye.)
Bite Me: All righty, then. John, what's the best thing about Carla?
John: Carla has wonderful taste in everything.
Bite Me: Aw, aren't you sweet.
Sean and Heidi Ross
Programmer and restaurant manager
Bite Me: What did you eat tonight?
Sean: White bean soup and bruschetta.
Bite Me: How was it? Super yummy?
Sean: Not one of the best things on the menu, but good. They usually have good soups.
Bite Me: Have you eaten here before?
Sean: We've been here several times.
Bite Me: Best thing about it?
Sean: Incredible service. Always incredibly personable great wine service, and very good food.
Bite Me: If you knew nothing about wine, would they help you?
Bite Me: Would they help you on a first date?
Bite Me: Where's your favorite place to eat?
Sean: My house when my wife cooks.
Bite Me: Who's your wife?
Sean: My wife is Heidi Ross.
Bite Me: How long have you been married?
Sean: Almost two years.
Bite Me: What do you do to contribute to the household costs?
Heidi: I'm a restaurant manager at the House of Tricks.
Bite Me: You're an industry betty. You know your restaurants. Go with your bad self. So, hey, what did you eat tonight?
Heidi: I had the bruschetta, romaine salad and soup with champagne vinaigrette dressing.
Bite Me: Splendid meal there, buckey! So what's the best thing about your husband?
Heidi: He always remembers important dates, like anniversaries. He's great about that.
Bite Me: Whoa, right on, but do you kind of drop him hints like six weeks before so he has time to prepare?
Heidi: No. He's just good on that stuff.
Eric A. Peterson
Bite Me: Hey, your ears were once pierced? Do you usually have earrings in them?
Eric: No, not since college.
Bite Me: Isn't that weird how they never close? So what'd you eat?
Eric: Navy bean soup. It was good, but it needed salt. I added salt.
Bite Me: You added salt. Is that something you normally do?
Eric: I do. I usually add salt.
Bite Me: Are you the cook at home? I'm a fabulous cook. Hey, lemme torture your wife.
Mrs. Peterson: Oh, no. I read you. I'm not talking to you. (Bite Me got nothing from the cautious Mrs. P.)
Bite Me: You seem too young to be a lawyer. Where'd you go to school, hotshot?
Eric: I'm 26 and I went to Georgetown. I grew up here, went to school at Dobson High in Mesa and I came back here to settle down.
Bite Me: Wow. So why'd you come back?
Eric: My wife wanted to come back. We just got married two weeks ago.
Bite Me: Where'd you two tie the knot?
Eric: The Botanical Garden on a Sunday.
Bite Me: Sweet Jesus. Doesn't anyone marry on Saturdays anymore? Why'd you get married on a Sunday?
Eric: Because we waited too long and all the Saturdays were taken. It was either the Sunday we married or Easter Sunday.
Bite Me: That's a no-brainer. So did you get fabulous gifts?
Eric: Great gifts.
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SHOW ME HOW
Bite Me: Are you helping your new wife with the thank you cards?
Eric: I did all my side of the family's. She's done all hers.
Bite Me: Well, your marriage seems destined to rock. Check yer bad ass out. (Do they even make men like Eric anymore? Bite Me is having a hard time accepting that, but, hey, let one of them hot Italian guys prove her wrong. She dares them.)
As parlayed to Marnye Kaye Oppenheim