Chow Bella

77: Lou and Lovey Borenstein

From now 'til we publish the 2012 edition of Best of Phoenix, New Times and Chow Bella present 100 Tastemakers -- Valley residents who make the cut in our culinary scene. Some you'll know; for others, it'll be a first introduction (but likely not the last). While you're here, check out our 100 Creatives on Jackalope Ranch.

Today, the only Tastemakers (so far) with enough chutzpah to both recommend their own restaurants and admit that's where they'd enjoy their last meal in Phoenix.

77: Lou and Lovey Borenstein

Native New Yorkers Lou and Lovey Borenstein met "on the block" in Brooklyn in the early 1950s, married, and raised three children -- Wendy, Mark, and Neal. While Lou worked at a paint business in Greenwich Village and Lovey skillfully cooked up their Jewish grandmas' recipes and many more she creatively developed while a homemaker, their sons learned the bagel-making trade working at a bagel shop near their home in Queens. When Wendy moved to Phoenix in the 1978, the rest of the family soon followed along to bring what was so lacking in the Valley of the Sun -- authentic N.Y. bagels and Kosher-style deli. The first Chompie's opened in 1979 and we've been noshing ever since.

For more Lou and Lovey, check out their four awesome YouTube videos.

We arrived in Phoenix with... excitement and anticipation of a whole new life ahead. We were going into a new family business venture together in the wild wild West!

If we were sitting down to dinner for six, our five dream dining companions would be... Bette Midler, Ben Stiller, Kevin Costner, Jennifer Nettles, and Keith Urban.

One place everyone who comes to Phoenix must eat is... well, Chompie's of course -- and Macayo's.

One menu item this city could do without is... refried beans. Black beans and pinto beans are so much better.

Our last meal in Phoenix would be... at Chompie's, and it would consist of "Jewish Sliders" and/or a hot pastrami sandwich on rye with hot homemade potato knish.

The Tastemakers so far: 100: Tracy Dempsey 99: Craig DeMarco 98: Lara Mulchay 97: M.J. Coe 96: Betty Alatorre de Hong 95: Eric Schaefer 94: Hanna Gabrielsson 93: Shinji Kurita 92: Silvana Salcido Esparza 91: Mike Pitt 90: Christina Barrueta 89: Christopher Gross 88: Jan Wichayanuparp and Helen Yung 87: DJ Fernandes 86: Cullen Campbell 85: Chris Lee 84. Gwen Ashley Walters 83: Tony Morales 82: Lylah Ledner 81: Andrea White 80: Lori Hashimoto 79. Mrs. White 78: Eugenia Theodosopolous

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