Amy's Baking Company: Overcooked Reality and the Decline of Western Civility

Categories: Hahnefeld

Thumbnail image for SamyandAmyABC.jpg
Amy's Baking Company
Samy and Amy Bouzaglo
Editor's note: After the insanity of the last two weeks, we decided that the Amy's Baking Company saga desperately needed some context. New Times food critic Laura Hahnefeld graciously complied.

A tall, thin man with long, gray hair and a pair of saggy but expensive jeans shakes the handles of two doors of a restaurant. Behind him is a handful of onlookers. His wife, in shorts with hands on hips, leans in and reads the restaurant's hours posted on the window aloud: 5 to 10 p.m. They smile at each other.

"They look like they're set up for business," the man says to her, almost too loudly, his hands still gripping the door. "But they're closed. Amy's Baking Company is closed!"

The man chuckles, and he and his wife, shaking their heads, turn to leave. Some bystanders take his place, cupping their hands over their faces to peer into the restaurant. Others linger on the outdoor patio and look over the menu. Some take pictures.

"Curiosity seekers," I think to myself, nearly rolling my eyes. Yet, here I am.

JoelReviewYelpPortion.jpg
A portion of Amy Bouzaglo's repsonse to Joel LaTondress following his negative review of Amy's Baking Company on Yelp.
I went to Amy's Baking Company in Scottsdale last week, weaving my car through the Shea Scottsdale Shopping Center's parking lot until coming upon the suddenly infamous restaurant, the one with the scalloped red banner across from Harkins Theatres Shea 14. The standard reasons I visit restaurants as a critic -- the food, the wine, the atmosphere, the pedigree -- didn't register in this case. Amy's hadn't signaled the faintest of blips on the Valley's radar of must-try dining -- ever. I had come because of the Internet. And I wasn't happy about it.

Sorry, dozens of more-deserving restaurants, you'd have to wait.

On the day I visited Amy's Baking Company, I wasn't a food critic. Like everyone else outside the restaurant that afternoon, I was nothing more than, depending on how you looked at it, a gawker at a freak show or a rubbernecker at the scene of a terrible accident. Probably a little of both.

Although Amy Bouzaglo and her husband, Samy, started their restaurant in 2008, it's difficult, given the events that have unfolded over the past two weeks, to imagine Amy's Baking Company as ever being just a restaurant. But of course, it was. The same year that Tuck Shop opened, Arizona Restaurant Week debuted, and brand-new Noca launched its fried chicken nights -- all bringing dining-scene buzz -- Amy's humdrummed along. People came in (many, most likely, for a pre- or post-movie meal), ate, and left. Employees earned paychecks. Food was served. Dishes were washed, dirtied, and washed again.

Of course, that was before the Bouzaglos and their restaurant appeared this May 10 on the jaw-dropping season finale of celebrity chef and professional malcontent Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, a reality TV show on Fox in which the F-bomb-dropping Brit attempts to the save the mismanaged restaurants of America. It was before the Internet blew up in the wake of the broadcast, before the real got surreal, before the truth became lies and the lies looked like truths, before every hater and anonymous do-gooder, crazy, pontificator, and user became a performer in an online circus -- before everyone, and everything, got so fucked up.

As in most doomsday plots, the catastrophe that would be Amy's Baking Company started innocently enough, much like in the opening scene of the movie 28 Days Later, in which good-intentioned animal rights activists free a monkey from a laboratory only to find out, rather gruesomely, that it has been infected with a rage virus that nearly brings a country to its knees.

In this case, the activist was Phoenix foodnik Joel LaTondress, who posted a bluntly critical one-star review of his experience at Amy's Baking Company on Yelp on August 1, 2010, two years after the restaurant had opened.

In a portion of the 700-word review, LaTondress commented about the pizza he ordered:

"I took a bite and was immediately underwhelmed. The crust had very little character, was slightly sweet but had that store-bought quality to it. The pesto tasted okay, but the tomatoes were completely tasteless and overall, it just fell flat. It's margherita -- the ingredients need to shine to make such a simple pizza. These ingredients were subpar. After two small pieces, I decided I was wasting my calories and just gave up on it."

And, then, about owner Samy Bouzaglo:

"He got very defensive about the pizza, but I hadn't really launched a harsh criticism on the pizza, just said I didn't really enjoy it. So I sat some more, with an empty drink, and realized they wanted me gone. The owner wouldn't make eye contact with me. The server never came back out asking if I wanted something else. And they still hadn't refilled my drink."

The next day, out of nowhere, came Amy Bouzaglo, firing back at LaTondress on Yelp in a 450-word retort calling him, among other things, a moron and accusing him of working for the competition, even suggesting that he lacked a palate sophisticated enough to tell the difference between homemade and store-bought pizza. When Chow Bella, New Times' food blog, reported on the fiasco, Amy continued her angry assault in the comments section of a blog post and argued with readers.

"You will see the Messiah before you see our doors closed," she wrote.

Shortly thereafter, someone gave Amy her own Twitter account and hash tag. And just like that, Crazy Amy was born.

Location Info

Venue

Map

Amy's Baking Company

7366 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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74 comments
nojailforyou1
nojailforyou1

And now, the latest news from Crazy Amy's.  According to "The Daily News" today,  "Samy, a Moroccan-born Israeli immigrant, may have his residency status revoked."

Quick, pick up the phone and call Sheriff Arpaio!  Just think of all the headlines and interviews he will get out of arresting this illegal.  Oh wait, Samy's not Mexican.  Nevermind Joe, to you it won't count.

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/eats/amy-baking-company-reopens-co-owner-faces-deportation-article-1.1352051#ixzz2U7tE8tOs

dodo125025
dodo125025

"Decline of Western Civility...."  completely far from the truth, she, they are just crazy!

Momo
Momo

Welcome to Amy's BUSTED Baking Company - where the owners steal their servers tips, fire people for asking a simple question, both of the owners are criminals, one is being deported, every word from their mouths is a lie, no "real" baking actually takes place on the premises, the fresh food advertised is actually frozen and/or prepackaged, every photo they have posted depicting "their" food items were stolen from other websites, and even the most famous chef on the planet said there was no hope for them. If you can see past all of this, it is a great place!

aceyamapola
aceyamapola

everything else hardly matters? i think you'd be on firmer ground if you had actually eaten there.

it does matter, and this is why. ramsay can cook, even if he has parlayed it into bullying and superb reality television. he does prey on crazyass restaurant owners -- he was better when the show concentrated on improving british restaurants, which he actually did. owners were just clueless, not monsters of depravity.

about 10 seconds was devoted to amy's desserts, which ramsay said "looked" wonderful. if she's actually baking and not defrosting them, she deserves a real review. whether or not anybody wants to eat them, in what is obviously a hellhole for employees purveying uncooked pizza and costco ravioli, is due to the bouzaglos being willing to game ramsay, who was game to game them. ramsay won.

it matters, because it's about scorpions fighting in a bottle. not the pizza. ramsay is still pretending that it's about the pizza. and so are you.

rightwingrick
rightwingrick

Any business the size of Amy's Baking Company that admittedly runs through 100 employees in that short a time frame is doing something very, very wrong.  Period.  No question.  Undeniable.  Period.

fatjackal
fatjackal

Laura: There is a difference between jail and prison.

Jail is reserved for misdemeanor crimes with terms of imprisonment of less than one-year. Prison is for felonies, which are crimes that are punishable with imprisonment for more than one-year.

Amy is a felon and served time in prison, not jail.

t.oferr
t.oferr

The picture is getting clearer by the hour.

He is a criminal and a self confessed gangster.

She is a criminal and did time in the big house.

We patronizing their establishment so they in turn can con the staff out of their tips and pocket the cash.

The End.

marcy
marcy

I hope Jarrett Maupin is suitably chagrined at pimping for those two clowns. 


marcy
marcy

From the news report it appears that Samy's immigration issues involve allegations of his lying on his immigration paperwork, ie failing to disclose his issues with the law in Europe.  

ie he lied


t.oferr
t.oferr

Editor,

Check the latest news report about my Hebraic brother and his appearance in US immigartion court.

He is allegedly a personna non grata in 2 european countries.

The video shows Sammy tells the reporter to go F_ _K himself while giving him the "international salute."

Oy vay what a mumzer and animal.

marcy
marcy

Samy showed his ghetto upbringing by dropping the F-bomb on a Channel 12 report when asked about crimes committed in Europe.  Samy gave him the international up-you-ass salute multiple times.

The sooner the US sends him packing the better.

marcy
marcy

Very nice video describing Samy's deportation hearing and allegations that he was involved in drug distribution, threats and extortion.  He is alleged to be banned from France and Germany.  It took the government 5 years from the time Amy pled guilty to her crimes before they finally locked her up, Samy's been fighting deportation for two years according to the news report.  Justice isn't swift if you have a good lawyer and some money.



Brian C Inman
Brian C Inman

One things is consistent; every Amy I know is crazy.

Travis Potts
Travis Potts

Where might we find a copy of Special Ed's magazine? He's a top journalist ya know.

Phoenix New Times
Phoenix New Times

I'm seeing them. They haven't been marked as spam by us. Sometimes Facebook will automatically mark something as spam if you have a bunch of capitalization etc.

Brian Dunkle
Brian Dunkle

Added value. At Amy's Baking Company you get dinner and a show.

fireserphent
fireserphent

Very, very well-written and human. People should be nicer to Amy. She's a human being and deserves love just like the rest of us, even if she isn't very nice herself. Great job Laura.

Edward Anthony Green
Edward Anthony Green

I never reported you Joe....I'm not a douche bag, I believe in the first Amendment, and support your right to comment on anything I post. Sorry if someone reported on you, thats just not my style.....

Albert Wayne
Albert Wayne

Poor Eddie is an attention starved troll!

Joe Kennedy
Joe Kennedy

Ed reported my posts as spam. I'm guessing he has no debate skills or is just a pussy. One of the two.

Joe Kennedy
Joe Kennedy

Why are my posts coming up as spam on this page?

Edward Anthony Green
Edward Anthony Green

Let me guess, Joe is a California Transplant, Liberal, voted for Obama, smokes "medical marijuana" for back-pain & migraines.....and believes in UFO's! LMFAO!

Phoenix New Times
Phoenix New Times

Edward, we're happy we could put a smile on your face, or is that ... oh, shoot.

Joe Kennedy
Joe Kennedy

That was a good comeback... until you added the asinine laughter, now it's just a lame ass comment.

Joe Kennedy
Joe Kennedy

Well there ya have it. An Arpaio ass clown. Now it all makes sense. Next you're going to say Arpaio does his job so leave him alone.

Edward Anthony Green
Edward Anthony Green

Nah, I like to comment New Times.....I'll keep you in my FB feed, so that I can Troll your sorry "Liberal Asses!" Besides, as long as you folks keep writing BULLSHIT about AZ, Sheriff Joe, etc., I'll keep on giving you a dose of your own CRAP! Enjoy the pain! :)

Joe Kennedy
Joe Kennedy

The memo from the TeaTards? Nope missed that one.

Phoenix New Times
Phoenix New Times

Our updates "pop up" in your news feed because you've liked our Facebook page. Feel free to unlike us if you don't want to see our news updates, Edward.

Edward Anthony Green
Edward Anthony Green

Joe anyone that sides with the "New Times" is a Liberal, didn't you get the memo?

Joe Kennedy
Joe Kennedy

Wow Ed what makes you assume everyone is a Liberal?

Edward Anthony Green
Edward Anthony Green

OMG! I opened up a whole can of LIberaltard WORMS!!!! SJHTF!!! BUHAHAHAHAHA!

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara

You want positivity, but you call them "parasites" and "ass clowns." That's rich.

Edward Anthony Green
Edward Anthony Green

Hey Brenda, STFU....it pops up in my Facebook News Feeds....besides was I talking to you? ya nosey troll! ...mind your own business!

Joe Kennedy
Joe Kennedy

Edward you must not read the New Times on a regular basis because I've seen many positive stories in it. If you hate their journalism with such passion... Why post? Sort of asinine really.

justinkatz
justinkatz

@aceyamapola you may have missed when Amy admitted that her desserts are purchased as well on facebook (then removed the post a little while later).  You may have missed this too: on the show, Ramsey ate some of her desserts while sitting down and talking with them - where Amy gleefully lied to his face and said she made them.

jeffj7
jeffj7

@rightwingrick ....yeah its called Withholding wages  a Department Of Labor big time no-no as an employer.  You end up paying back wages, with interest, fines and taxes.....Good times

marcy
marcy

@fireserphent 

Nobody needs to be nice to a delusional bitch or her over-the-hill sugar daddy thug

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@fireserphent  Yes, she's human, but realistically, how nice people should be expected to be to her is tightly related to how nice she is to others.   When her self-image as having a god-given gift to cook is challenged in any way, she becomes irrationally abusive of others.

She needs therapy.  Possibly medication.  She's not going to get a lot of sympathy unless she changes.


aceyamapola
aceyamapola

@justinkatz @aceyamapola 

hi justin i did miss that. so they're fake to the bone. impressive.

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