Ex-De la Cruz Bistro chef Brian Banasek opens Bubba Phatz BBQ in downtown Mesa

BY Jess Harter Wednesday, August 1, 2012

De la Cruz Bistro Mesa AZWhen I talked to Brian Banasek earlier this year, the former S’Bistro chef was running nearby De La Cruz Bistro and negotiating to buy the downtown Mesa restaurant.

Suffice to say, things didn’t go well. After several frustrating months, owner Omar de la Cruz locked out Banasek around the Fourth of July. The bistro has been closed for the past seven weeks.

Banasek, in the meantime, has opened Bubba Phatz BBQ, a move particularly noteworthy for three reasons:

One, Bubba Phatz is located right next to De La Cruz Bistro on the northwest corner of Main and Center (kitty corner from the Mesa Art Center).

Two, the building formerly housed the Sugar Shack, which de la Cruz opened in early 2010 and closed just this summer.

Three, de la Cruz was rumored to be planning his own BBQ restaurant for the space.

(I’ve been unable to reach de la Cruz this week for comment.)

Bubba Phatz Mesa AZBubba Phatz offers oak- and pecan-smoked beef brisket, pulled pork, hot links, baby back ribs and boneless short ribs.

Sandwiches are just $4.99. Plates with two sides and corn bread are $6.99-$10.99.

Side options include potato salad, cole slaw, barbecue beans and corn on the cob ($1.99 a la carte). Baked potatoes are $1.99 (plain) and $4.99 (with meat).

De la Cruz Bistro, meanwhile, is rumored to be reopening soon – some say as early as tonight, although there’s no indication on the restaurant’s door and its website is down.

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