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Top 5 Phoenix Eateries

In Which To Break A Heart

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Whether You Are An Uncouth Rude-Boy, A Cold-Hearted Ice Princess or Or Simply A Sociopath, These Downtown Phoenix Restaurants Can Serve Your Palate As You Get Down To The Business Of Breaking Someone’s Heart


By Ian Murdock
Special for Modern Times Magazine

Feb. 12, 2015 — So just in time for Valentine's Day, you've finally decided to end your romantic relationship, and you would like to drop the news in a public place. If so, you are probably a sociopath and want to make sure that this is easy for you, and that the other person bears all the emotional weight while feeling worthless. Maybe you want to feed your self-esteem with a pairing of their humiliating public breakdown with you sitting there looking calm and rational.

Or, perhaps you want them to feel obligated to hide their utter devastation so you don't have to feel bad. Maybe you won't rest until everybody's only claim to existence is their their ability to hold a grudge. Whatever your motivation, downtown Phoenix has plenty of options, all of which have afternoon hours if you're evil enough to dump them on their lunch break.

The Angel's Trumpet Ale House With A Filmbar Dessert
You can start a good stupid argument over the selection of your beer flight. "You're getting a 12%? Great, looks like I'm driving us home. Again. No really it's fine." "Sure, order the chili ale again, maybe I'll like it this time." "Another one? No that's cool, I'm getting really good at you not being able to have sex with me."

The acoustics make it so everyone can hear your conversation, eliminating even the illusion of privacy. Then, when they ask if you can talk about this somewhere more private, ask why they're so obsessed with what other people think, maybe even the classic, "You care more about what strangers think than about my happiness!"

The potato tacos are a good appetizer, and they serve three of them so you can passive-aggressively offer them the last taco with maybe a sly barb about their weight or selfishness. Also, Filmbar is right across the street, so you can go there to see a movie and they won't be able to follow you if they want to keep talking/sobbing/saying goodbye in a meaningful, personal way.

Good pizza, so the night won't be a total loss. Loud music, so when they're trying to express their pain, you can just keep telling them to repeat themselves until they give up. You may also need to repeat yourself, so you can watch the anxiety crack into their eyes several times, letting you really feel that power you have over them.

Also, if they ask the server about lowering the volume, they actually say no! As if they weren't already overwhelmed with a sense of powerlessness. While they are quietly processing the news and searching your face for any discernible remorse, you can talk about how "they really know how to cut the prosciutto", because that really is hard to find out here and they do it right.

Hanny's is generally full of attractive people so your eyes can wander while you're telling them that they no longer stimulate you. The $5 martinis are good if your strategy is to pretend to have a drunk epiphany. You seem less culpable in spontaneity, so by the time they realize you never offered a coherent explanation for why they have to move to Tempe and make new friends, you'll be able to say, "You need to stop dwelling on the past. Your obsession is unhealthy, and that negative energy repels people. Maybe that's why I left you." It's gas-lighting 101!

Bonus: The bathrooms are unisex, so if they go to the bathroom to weep, you can stand right outside the door and listen.

The Arrogant Butcher
I haven't eaten there, but gotta love the name. I've heard it's good. Also, it is right around the corner from Gold's Gym, so as soon as they stop sobbing for longer than a minute, you can go get a workout in, maybe even find a rebound.

And, as they walk back to their car alone, they can see all the toned bodies confidently strolling by and reflect on how they have let themselves go a little during their time with you, and that they should probably just settle down with the next person that pays attention to them, someone likely less attractive than you. This is especially useful if you're a heterosexual male who doesn't trust any female orgasms you believe you didn't help create.

Bonus: The menu looks pretty pricey, so maybe you can stick your victim with the bill. That'd be pretty solid gloating material for your sociopath friends later.

The Crescent Ballroom
The nachos are both a culinary delight and a wonderful allegory for the trust and abundance you will no longer share. Crescent is loud because of all the people, so if they complain about the noise you can say, "Why are you against people having fun and expressing themselves? You're such a downer. This is why I just need to be on my own."

To further crush self-esteem, as ‘the dumped’ waits in line to cry in the bathroom, they will be surrounded by people the Internet tells them to both despise and aspire to be: uniformly attractive tall men in plaid and women in their farm-chic finest who are likely all on molly, laughing and waiting to fuck in the bathroom. The cognitive dissonance will make the dumpee feel like an envious judgmental ghoul, plunging them into an identity crisis.

Try not to make them too angry though, their chile de arbol salsa is made of the unused wishes of lost civilizations turned into liquid grace and it'd be a tragic waste if they dumped the chips and salsa onto your lap. Seriously, you'll miss the salsa more than you miss the relationship. Not that that's saying much...

Carly's Bistro
If you go on the right day of the week, you can unceremoniously slaughter someone's dreams to a good soundtrack of live sad bastard music. Perhaps it's a testament to the talent of Leonard Cohen as a songwriter that you are actually able to imagine yourself as the "worldly gambler/serial seducer/competent lover they'll look later back on with fondness" side of his songs as you ineptly explain the unmet needs that you just made up.

"You never encouraged my DJing career." "You never wanted to be a DJ." "Yeah, well maybe I would have if you encouraged me!" You can liken your lackluster sex life to the menu... though to be fair they do pretty well considering that their entire kitchen seems to consist of a food processor and a panini press. Also, the staff there doesn't take any shit, so if they have to deal with your insignificant other's crying they might season their dish with a little "personal saffron" if you know what I mean*.

Ian Murdock is the head writer for First Friday Night Live. He can be reached at
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