Kim Brennan, owner of Big Earl's Greasy Eats in Cave Creek, isn't ashamed to admit she was a stripper in another life. In fact, she's proud of herself for being smart enough to save her money, build a house, and start a business in her adopted hometown.
But Brennan, who once sat on Cave Creek's Town Council and considers herself a strong local business supporter, really ticked off conservative columnist Don Sorchych -- the community's self-appointed watchdog and publisher/editor of Sonoran News -- when she agreed to have her restaurant featured in an episode of Food Network's Mystery Diners earlier this summer.
In the June 20 edition of his paper, he wrote a scathing column about how poorly the community was portrayed on TV, dredging up Brennan's past and calling her "white trash" in the process. Now Brennan is poised to retaliate.
Let the pissing match begin.
This Saturday, July 21, at 8 p.m., Brennan is hosting a White Trash Bash at Big Earl's, and her many friends and supporters will be out in force. Brennan will be serving up Frito Pie and mac and cheese, offering Hamm's and Pabst Blue Ribbon beers for a buck apiece.
She plans to have a white trash beauty queen contest, as well as contests for the best mullet and the trashiest couple. Meanwhile, she'll also be pouring Sweet Revenge, a wild strawberry, 77-proof "sour mash" that's hot pink in the bottle. Oh, so very trashy.
And did we mention the poles? She's installing a few for pole dancing. Naturally, she's invited Don Sorchych, whom she describes as a "redneck zealot."
She admits that being called names in her hometown paper was "pretty brutal," but adds, "I'm not afraid of Don. He keeps trying to hurt me because he thinks I'm running for town council again. But I'm not. If you don't have consensus, you can't get anything done. I love this town, which is full of free-thinkers and innovators, but if I can't be effective, I won't do it."
Apparently, there are members of the business community who side with Sorchych.
As for the obviously staged Mystery Diners episode, Brennan says:
It's been great for my business. People see Big Earl's on TV and they want to see it in real life. The response from around the country has been crazy. I've gotten love letters and hate mail.
Speaking of hate mail, Sorchych is now getting a taste of it himself. As a result of his vicious and often personal attacks on locals, Sorchych has created quite a few enemies of his own. Longtime Cave Creek resident Paul Diefenderfer (who admittedly hangs out at Big Earl's) says of the columnist, "He used to be a nice guy. He had a nice little local paper and wrote about local issues. Then he turned mean. Now, no one is safe if he disagrees with you."
As of June 2, an anonymously written online news source called The Sonoran Truth has sprung up. Its sole purpose is to discredit Don Sorchych. So far, there are five posts, all devoted to airing Sorchych's own dirty little secrets.
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If you want to see what started the ruckus, Food Network is airing the Mystery Diners episode titled Big Earl's Gone Wild again at 11 p.m. Monday, July 23.