Top Five Phoenix Food Stories of the Week
Every week, there's a cornucopia of Phoenix food news, features, and reviews to report here at Chow Bella. If you're like most people, you probably just don't have the time to get to all of it. It's kind of like those burgers at Old Town Whiskey; it just won't all fit in your mouth ... or in this case, your day. So, here's a recap of some of the top stories from the week that you may have missed.
September was a dark month for lovers of Asian food throughout the Valley. Dim sum spot Golden Buddha smiled its last smile. A dispute over rent shuttered Korean market and secret kitchen Paldo Market.
But at the same time, Phoenix added a rather unique delivery service and storied Lo Lo's moved into fancier and more spacious environs.
"Choosing a restaurant is like choosing a husband," says Hanna Gabrielsson, "you just know which one is right for you."
Gabrielsson, owner and chef of Beaver Choice, the quirky eatery in Tempe serving seriously delicious Polish, Canadian, and Swedish food, should know. She looked at over 30 husbands, er, restaurants before landing on what will eventually become her new home.
And Gabrielsson's decision to relocate couldn't have been more necessary.
Since it opened in late 2010, word of the unusual little restaurant with killer, one-of-a-kind cuisine quickly spread through the Valley's food community making it an instant underground hit. Soon, everyone was talking about it, including the Cooking Channel, which put several of Gabrielsson's recipes on its website.
Everybody tells the same story about how the chimichanga was invented: somebody accidentally dropped a meat-filled burrito into a fryer. And according to the publicity machine for Macayo's Mexican Kitchen, that somebody was its founder Woody Johnson, who opened his first restaurant here in Phoenix in 1946 and made serendipitous chimi magic . . . when? No one gives a date. Wouldn't someone remember?
I don't buy that story for a minute -- not from Macayo's or any other Mexican restaurant in Arizona (El Charro in Tucson also lays claim to the chimi's invention). And I'll tell you why.
Diana Kennedy -- the "Julia Child of Mexican Cuisine" who spent 45 years traveling through Mexico researching history, ingredients and technique -- the due-diligent person who spoke to grandmas all over the country and recorded their recipes, mentions "chivichangas" in one (if not more) of her nine cookbooks. So chimis aren't quite as gringo as people think.
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