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Wednesday, August 20, 2014 | Last updated: 9:32am

The Krazee Chef shovels up college grub



BYOB is the name of the game at the Krazee Chef restaurant, and how convenient is it that a liquor store stands just around the corner?

The once-charming Parisian Cafe, just south of campus and down Park Avenue, is under new ownership. It’s been revamped for the college scene, in case the discounts for patrons who bring their own booze weren’t enough of a clue.

“It’s a relaxed place to come and hang out with free Wi-Fi, TV and cheap food,” owner Daniel Ortiz said.

For sports fans, a flat screen television is the main feature of the dining room. The restaurant invites Wildcat fans to join them for great discounts on game days. The bold red and black walls, speckled gray tables and floor, and the pool table in the back add to the atmosphere. It’s a “new-age mom-and-pop type shop,” Ortiz said.

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Ortiz’s background is in corporate management at Jack in the Box and at a local Chase bank. Executive chef Ryan Jones, the creator of many of the restaurant’s dishes, uses his unconventional approach to cooking as inspiration. It’s corporate thinking and homestyle cooking, Ortiz said — the best of both worlds.

The menu is diverse, with wings that vary from basic barbecue to tequila mango glazed. All burgers are made in-house and cooked to order. The chorizo burger combines ground beef and chorizo topped with bacon and a fried egg.

But more popular than the Sonoran hot dogs, cream cheese stuffed jalapenos wrapped in bacon, and “deep sea” pizza is the “Breakfast of Champs” pizza.

Only the strong should attempt to take this beast on. Instead of red pizza sauce, it’s covered in beans, cheese, eggs and your choice of meat.

Jones’ menu came from bouncing ideas off Ortiz, and was inspired by Tucson’s college atmosphere and Southwest flair.

“I learn by doing and making my own stuff,” Jones said.

The menu also includes gluten-free pizza options, as the restaurant tries to “do a little bit of everything,” Ortiz said.

Ortiz takes pride in all of his in-house items, such as beans, rice, salsa, guacamole and the flautas made from his father’s own special recipe.

“We both care about our food and our customers,” he said.

What goes hand in hand with crazy food? Crazy karaoke. Every Wednesday, you can count on shrieks and butchered melodies emanating from the restaurant.

In the future, Ortiz hopes to extend business hours for those students heading home from the bars at 2 a.m. and hungering for something finger-licking good. Ortiz also intends to knock down a couple of walls and build a bar area that features wines and custom brews.


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