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, a woman with a truly unique restaurant -- beginning with the name.
There are few things in life that make us smile the way uttering the words Beaver Choice do -- and no, we're not smiling because of the unusual name, we're smiling because of the utterly delicious Swedish/Polish/Canadian food Hanna Gabrielsson serves up from tiny this Tempe spot. Born and raised in Poland, Gabrielsson discovered her love for food while living in Sweden where she worked as a waitress in Stadshuset -- Stockholm's City Hall. In 2001, she moved from Sweden to Canada, and by 2010 had decided to open a restaurant in Phoenix. And the rest is (delicious) history.
I arrived in Phoenix with... two dogs, my family and the American Dream in mind.
If I was sitting down to dinner for six, my five dream dining companions would be... President Obama, Bill Maher, Hillary Clinton, Shirin Ebadi [Nobel Peace Prize winner of 2003], and George Clooney.
One place everyone who comes to Phoenix must eat is... Venezia's Pizza.
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One menu item this city could do without is... hot-and-sour soup (tom yum) at Thai Basil -- it's a disaster.
My last meal in Phoenix would be... Yupha's Thai Kitchen -- the best Thai food in the Valley.