“Oh man, that chorizo just fell down my shirt!”

Claudia at dinner

Never in a million years did I ever think I’d hear my wife utter this sentence, but she did. Let me set the scene for you.

Late Friday night Claudia still wasn’t home from work so I knew our chances of reviewing La Piazza Al Forna in Glendale were slim to none; too far to drive on a Friday night when you can hear your stomach growling.

We decided instead to hit our favorite neighborhood pizza joint, Nello’s in Ahwatukee. The atmosphere is excellent, the staff are welcoming and oh yeah, the pizza is outstanding.

Because Nello’s was one of the first places reviewed for brettapproved, last Friday was a chance to put work on the back burner for a couple hours and enjoy a night out.

We were seated after 25 minutes and the “Market Thin” pizza got our attention because of one unconventional topping – chorizo! Needless to say, this 12″ wood-fired beauty was everything we expected and more. It was so yummy that we playfully debated who would get to have the last piece.  Being the amazing husband I am (not to worry, my tongue is firmly planted in-cheek) I let Claudia enjoy the last slice, and enjoy she did!

Picking it up – the way a first-time mom might gently cradle her newborn – and preparing to savor every last morsel, the unthinkable happened. In the work of a particularly fickle moment, a piece of chorizo went where no other piece of chorizo had gone before (dramatic pause) down her shirt! BOOM! That just happened folks!

Keenly aware that she was living history Claudia uttered the now infamous sentence: “Oh man, that chorizo just fell down my shirt!” I choose to think of the chorizo incident like a lunar eclipse – it’s just something you don’t see every day.

I consoled my wife with the following heartfelt sentiment; “That’s one lucky piece of Mexican sausage!” She didn’t agree.

Then, in a final act of solidarity that would make Lech Wa??sa proud, I let out my best impression of an Ed McMahon impersonator with a resounding: “HEY-OHOOO!” My effort at improvisational comedy cut just above the din of our fellow Nello’s disciples.

“This was”, I thought to myself, “one of my finer moments as both a husband and wannabe comedian”. The reluctant smile that made its way across Claudia’s face was proof! Victory!


“It’s got to be him! They all ordered sandwiches … that’s so California!”

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 7.57.30 PM

Saturday afternoon found Claudia and me in Fountain Hills, a sleepy, albeit well to do enclave nestled in the McDowell Mountains. We’d discovered Sofrita, a Mexican-inspired tapas restaurant, by way of one of my favorite local TV shows, Check, Please!

Since brettapproved has no restaurants reviewed in Fountain Hills yet we hopped in the Flex and 36 minutes later we were enjoying a fantastic lunch. I won’t give too much away since the review will be up soon, but I will say that Sofrita boasts an excellent patio. More importantly, if you like great Mexican food their tamales are amazing.

About halfway through our meal Claudia notices someone she believed to be legendary director Steven Spielberg. She politely asked for my iPhone and compared the image that popped up in a matter of seconds (thank you Google) to the bearded, bespectacled man wearing a once black, now more charcoal-colored, Polo baseball cap sitting across the patio under an umbrella with two companions.

“Oh my gosh,” Claudia exclaimed with tempered, yet purposeful enthusiasm, “I think that’s Steven Spielberg!” “No,” I said mustering up every ounce of doubt I had in me in an effort not to appear excited at the prospect of dining with a pop culture icon, “It couldn’t be.”

Our debate continued, after my review was complete of course, and with each passing minute Claudia grew more and more convinced it was in fact Steve (I can’t imagine his friends call him Steven).

As the conversation turned away from him (ever so briefly it turned out) between sips of lukewarm coffee Claudia exclaimed: “It’s got to be him! They all ordered sandwiches … that’s so California!”

Unfortunately, before I could summon the courage to find out for certain, the party of three climbed into a silver BMW SUV and like a pleasant dream, the famous member of the lunching triumvirate was gone.  Our time together was so magical. Thanks for the memories Steve. We’ll never forget you!


Content, content, content

Big changes on the way

I shared my weekend with you because I want you to know that the key to brettapproved is content. I want to visit as many hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues as possible in metro Phoenix because I want everyone, regardless of the mobility challenges they overcome each day, to enjoy all of the great things the Valley has to offer.

But brettapproved is about so much more than metro Phoenix. We want brettapproved to spread to other cities across the country and around the globe. To make it happen we need to improve our site. So that’s exactly what we’re doing.

In February (if everyone hits their deadlines) we’re unveiling a new site that will look, feel, and work differently. Users will have the ability to create an account and contribute their own reviews. We’re even tweaking our design as well as the algorithm for the brettscore™. I’ve been told time and again to think of brettapproved like my child. Makes sense, I mean, wouldn’t you do just about anything for your son or daughter? As a result, it’s my job to make decisions in the best interest of brettapproved … together with my dedicated crew, I need to do everything I can to make sure as many people as possible discover, use and enjoy brettapproved.

That’s why our mantra is, you guessed it, improve, improve, improve. We owe it to ourselves and more importantly we owe it to you.

I was going to write a post about New Year’s resolutions and how nearly two weeks into January many of us have already forgotten any resolutions we made. But the fact is, brettapproved is too important to be lumped in with things like eating better and going to the gym more often.

Aside from my wife, my family and my dog Woodrow, NOTHING is more important to be than making sure you enjoy brettapproved!

We’re just getting warmed up! We have plenty in store for you. Here’s to a wonderful 2014!

Brett Heising 37 total posts

Founder and CEO of brettapproved.com.