The vegan black bean burro a la Votichenko.
Alex Votichenko is completely dialed in to Phoenix's downtown art scene. When he's not working various jobs at the Great Arizona Puppet Theatre, the 35-year-old artist and turntablist can often be found at CenPho drinkeries like The Ruby Room or Bikini Lounge spinning up his expansive and eclectic record collection as Djentification. Or perhaps he's busy creating fliers and signs in his signature graf art style, spreading the word about the evils of loftification of downtown, or any number of creative tasks in support of the scene.
Votichenko's also got a yen for whipping up some flavorful vegan bean burros which are available at funky Evans Churchill coffeehouse Conspire (901 North Fifth Street, 602-237-5446), or at one of his DJ gigs. (He's even known to occasionally peddle bags of burros on the street or at various get-togethers around the art scene).
Conspire offers Votichenko's burros for $6.50 each, which includes a side of chips and salsa.
These tortilla-wrapped treats are made from stewed pinto or black beans, as well as mild poblano chile peppers, jalapeños, garlic, onions, and peppers. It makes for a deliciously filling snack where the contents are little spicy, but not painfully so (your scalp will get a little warm). Votichenko also browns his homemade lard-free tortillas, giving each bite a crispy-yet-mealy texture.
The only complaint one could have with the handheld Mexican staple is the lack of cheese. Perhaps Mr. Djentrification might consider throwing a handful of the soy-based vegan cheese substitute Teese into the mix the next time he cooks up a batch of burros. We're sure his fans would dig it too. -- Benjamin Leatherman
One of Votichenko's hand-drawn signs at Conspire.