51: Stan Zawatski

Stan Zawatski tastemaker.jpg
Lauren Saria
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 man who knows his stuff.

Tastemaker 51: Stan Zawatski

See also: The Doughboy from Cheese 'n Stuff
See also: Cheese 'n Stuff Deli to Sell One Millionth Sandwich This Week

When Stan Zawatski arrived in Phoenix he was only a boy, but already a deli man through and through. He grew up in his father's New York deli and when they decided to move out west to the Valley, they bought Cheese N' Stuff (then just a cheese store) and transformed it into the type of business they already knew and loved. Since then they've served over a million deli sandwiches and subs, from classics like the Corned Beef and Swiss (a Reuben) to the Manhattan Special, and sandwich piled high with extra thick hot pastrami and cole slaw on a sub roll with Russian dressing.

I arrived in Phoenix with... well, my mom, my dad, my sister, and my dog Rusty in the '66 Delta 88 my dad had -- and here we are!

If I was sitting down to dinner for six, my five dream dining companions would be... Nostradamus, because I've always kind of followed what his little writings were like; Einstein probably; Rachael Ray, because I like the way she does her little cooking thing on TV and she was actually born in N.Y. just a couple of miles north of us. That's the first three that come to mind. Really, that's it. There's not really anyone else coming to mind.

One place everyone who comes to Phoenix must eat is... besides here, my wife and I when we go out we go to Manuel's because they make Mexican food, but mild stuff. We went to Garcia's a couple times, and you take a bite and I don't know if they think every bite needs to have that hot spice. But at Manuel's if you want it hotter you can.

One menu item the city could do without it... I'm not crazy about those habanero peppers, but I don't know if that's a menu item.

My last meal in Phoenix would be... I've always been a seafood type of person so I'd probably go with -- well, you could probably get seafood any place but I usually like Red Lobster once in a while. So when it comes to the meal, it'd probably be like a nice lobster with crab, some scallops, a nice baked potato and cheese biscuits slopped in butter. I mean, that'd be my last meal . . . or something like that.

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
77: Lou & Lovey Borenstein
76: Anthony Patafio
75: Carl Seacat
74: Sacha Levine
73: Sharon Salomon
72: Johnny Chu
71: Susie Timm
70: Jason Silberschlag
69: Gina Miller
68: Cindy Gentry
67: Amy Binkley
66: Dave Anderson
65: Mark Tarbell
64: Marianne Belardi
63: Audrey Lasalle
62: Brandon Gauthier
61: Brad and Kat Moore
60: Denise Clayton
59: Nobuo Fukuda
58: Richie Moe
57: Robin Trick
56: Alberto Della Casa and Letizia de Lucia
55: Farah Khalid
54: Dave Andrea
53: Vincent Guerithault
52: Danielle Leoni
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Location Info

Venue

Map

Cheese 'N Stuff

5042 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Manuel's Mexican

3242 N. 16th St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Garcia's Mexican Restaurants

2212 N. 35th Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Red Lobster

4802 E. Cactus Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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