Archive for the ‘Crazy Stories’ Category

Quick 5: NYC cocktail bars I loved. Which is the best?

Sunday, July 11th, 2010
See, I told you I was drunk when I told this story...

See, I told you I was NOT drunk when I tweeted this story...

After a limited 5 days in the city, I’m woefully under qualified to declare a “Best Bar”… but I’m gonna do it anyway. So there.

Don’t expect detailed descriptions… after all, I was drinking like a champ.

Death + Company

Took me three tries to get into this place! No rezzos, but if you show up and give them your number, they’ll buzz you when a spot is open. Worth the 1.5 wait? Yes. (Tip, go around the corner some badass brooklyn style pizza. Seriously, go.

The graphic design nerd in me fell in love with the playful menu. The alcoholic in me loved the drinks and service. Dark and mysterious.

Angel Share

By far, this was the most-recommended bar by all tweeps and peeps. Walk up narrow stairs into a busy little Japanese restaurant. Make a sharp left turn and pull open the unmarked wooden door…. bingo. One of my favorite drinks of the entire trip was a cinnamon and fuji apple laced take on a classic. A soft shell crab salad was a perfect light nibble, ordered from the restaurant next door.

No Website


I can’t say much about this place. Seriously. (Stands for Please Don’t Tell). Think hotdogs + phone booths. Secret spot hidden in the most unlikely of places.

Order a bacon infused Old Fashioned with your hotdog. Don’t expect big blowup of  bacon flavor in your mouth or a stick of bacon bobbing in the drink. This a beautifully balanced and boozy drink.

Pegu Club

Drumroll…. THE WINNER. By far, the cocktail king of this trip was Pegu Club. In fact, I went a second night because it was just that good. Every single vessel was victorious and drew dramatic sighs of bliss from our group.

Best cocktail of the trip: The Earl Grey MarTEAni. The body shutters with each sip of this sexy love potion. This may have been the best drink of my life. Shout-out to Kenta behind the bar. You are a god among men.

má pêche

Although it’s not a bar, honorable mention goes out to má pêche of the momofuku restaurant clan. Our prix fixe lunch was terrific, but the cocktails left us buzzing. (literally). My traveling companion made it a point to seek out the bartender and give thanks for the splendid sippers.


Mom & me.

Saturday, May 8th, 2010


Yep, that’s me and mom.

Folks at the Phoenix New Times let me ramble about her in a recent story.  She was a good sport, always is.

In fact, she’s a tough old bitch. I like to think I inherited that gene. I always say,  “She kicked cancer’s ass but barely survived raising me.”

Seriously though, she’s great. I’m heading to Glendale to visit her today.

P.S. – Look how insanely happy I am with that fish.

“Ty Largo Dishes On His Mom’s Fry Bread, Tongue and Salad

An epic “Food Fight” on the Tempe High School tennis court.

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

I’m a little behind on my posts lately. Valentine’s week is always killer busy for our industry so cut me some slack and enjoy this soon-to-be literary classic. Please contact me directly for movie deal proposals.


So who was the real winner? Probably Robbie Fox’s Public House who took our money in exchange for some post-match beers. Big thanks to @ChowBellaPHX, @JessHarter, and @ChefGwen for their unwavering support of my athletic career. I would share the trophy, but it was eaten along with a frosty Guinness.

I’ve been “outed” by social media.

Monday, January 18th, 2010


It’s no big news that folks are getting more savvy to monitoring their brands on social media. Even the little guys.

On a recent food-binge Sunday (Metro, The Mission, Caffe Boa, Classic Italian, Caffe Boa again,) we chose Classic Italian Pizza for dinner. As usual, I checked in via Brightkite (which updates both my Twitter and Facebook statuses.) I happily tweeted praises and photos of our perfect pies.

Halfway through the meal, a young waitress stops by our table and asks, “Which one of you is Ty?”

I sulk in my seat and slowly raise my hand.

She smiles and explains that the owner was monitoring my activity from home. He called and asked her to find out who I was. Yikes!

Another example: This past weekend, I was downtown at Hanny’s during another binge night (Hanny’s, The District, and St. Francis.) I checked in with Brightkite and ordered a classic Sidecar.

The drink earned my signature and dreaded “Cocktail Abortion” tweet (too much Cointreau turned it into a froo froo sweetsie drink.) It’s a nasty tweet, I know.

Disclaimer: Here’s where I speculate… but my observations were confirmed by my cocktailing friend.

A few minutes after the tweet, we saw the server and bar staff pointing our direction and talking. Sure enough, the server appears minutes later with two new cocktails for us.

His explanation was awkward as he nervously set down the glasses. He claimed that the bar mistakenly made extra drinks of our exact order. No charge.

We thanked him and he walked back to join the bar staff as they watched us drink the reattempted offerings.

Coincidence? Or maybe I was just over-sensitive from my recent “outing” at Classic Italian. I’ll never know because I didn’t ask. I was pretty freaked.

Regardless, I’ve prepared myself for future incidents resulting from my public eating & tweeting. I’ll be ready to stand by my comments. I’m sure as hell not a journalist, but it’s probably a good idea for me to establish ethics and rules of engagement with businesses, owners, etc.

I’ll be ready next time. Bring it on.

Do you have a similar story?

P.S. Jay W., I know you stalk me too. :-)

I buried my Grandpa today.

Monday, January 4th, 2010

Grandpa Gipson and me

Despite the title, I’m not fishing for sympathy. It was a tough day for many reasons so I just thought I’d share a nice memory about him.

When I was a little kid, he came to live with our family in Glendale for a short while. With a plan to stay for a few months, he parked his tiny trailer in our back yard. (Very cool.)

One afternoon, I was in my room practicing my sax. He knocked on the door and asked to sit in. As a shy kid, my music was usually a very private thing.

But I couldn’t say no.

He sat next to me and tapped his foot to the jazzy standards I was noodling around with. I played my goofy amateur heart out. I faked a little here and there, but I did it with conviction. He loved it.

As an adult, I don’t “blow the notes” frequently enough and I regret not playing for him since those early years. He often asked, “When are you gonna bring your sax and play for me again?”

The Lesson: Never stop playing.


New Mexico and back. In 24 hours.

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010


As you read this, I’m on the road back to my hometown of Shiprock in the Four Corners area of New Mexico. It’s a sudden “family matter” trip so it will be a quick turnaround. I don’t have the nicest memories of the town but maybe this visit will inspire more frequent returns.

I’m not driving (thankfully) so I’ll be Tweeting photos and blips from the passenger seat (@JuxtaPalate.) Because I’ve made this trip hundreds of times, I know there are plenty of interesting stops and things to see.

The destination is a small desert valley town named for the monolithic volcanic rock nearby. The town borders on the reservation and the population is mainly Navajo.


What about the food?

Glossy fast food restaurants diminish the rural look of the dusty town. Sadly, they are a major cause of health issues in the community.

However, if we get there in time I can check out the weekend shanty town (literally) flea market where I might score childhood favorites like mutton stew, fry bread, Hopi cookies, Hopi bread, steam corn, mutton sandwiches and more.

Goodbye Arizona. See you tomorrow.