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EASY EATZ: New food columnist checks out Brewha

Tyler, Julia, Atlas Matkovich and Nancy and Edd Zielinski dining out.

Tyler, Julia, Atlas Matkovich and Nancy and Edd Zielinski dining out.

My thanks to The Dunnery, Suzie and Jeff, for their friendship and for passing on the fork, knife and most importantly, the wine glass, to me to share my dining experiences with you.

As an introduction, my wife, Nancy, and I arrived in Sedona in 1988 having moved here from New Zealand to fulfill what was then a two-year employment contract in the hospitality industry. As a result of a variety of circumstances and opportunities, our two years in Sedona has extended to 35. Over the years we have enjoyed many a meal and have seen many changes within the Verde Valley dining scene.

Thirty-five years ago, our favorite local spots for dining, drinks and entertainment were the venerable Oak Creek Owl for dinner, Shugrue’s for happy hour, On The Rocks Bar & Grill for entertainment – Sammy Davis and his band came in from Las Vegas on a regular basis and Fizbo’s in the VOC for the best burgers, patty melts, fries, shakes and red rock views from their patio. Since then, dining options abound throughout the Verde Valley and continues to grow.

Many of us living in the Village usually travel to Cottonwood via ‘6 mile’ road through Cornville. At the corner of Page Springs Road and Cornville Road, on the site of the former Casey’s Corner, is one of the newest restaurants, the upstart Brewha, a social eatery and market seeking to fulfill a niche for locals and visitors alike.


Brewha building exterior.

Danny Chavez and his family have realized a dream to open a place where friends meet either for morning coffee, grab ‘n go breakfasts, pastries or later in the day for a variety of New Mexican influenced culinary offerings and hand-crafted cocktails.


Brewha proprietor Danny Chavez,.

Danny and his cousins, Shelly and Daniel Altman, long time area residents and current owners of The Farm in Cottonwood are partners in Brewha, with cousin Emily Altman serving as manager, a true family affair. Hence the strong desire to welcome and serve what they saw as a local void and a great opportunity.

Having met Danny prior to his career move as a talented and successful mixologist to proprietor he shared his dream in creating Brewha and that he and his partners had acquired the Casey’s Corner location. Those readers living in the area in the early ‘90s may remember the filming of a Donald Sutherland, Amy Irving, Graham Greene movie, ‘Benefit of the Doubt,’ with the scandalous temporary conversion of Casey’s Corner to a topless dancer country bar for the movie. While the bar was a popular venue in the movie and gained some notoriety for the area, the film went from theatre to video tape relatively quickly.

Opening at 7 a.m. on weekdays, Brewha offers a variety of fresh scones or muffins, both sweet and savory. On the mornings I have visited they have featured bacon and cheese scones and strawberry, lemon and chocolate scones. Their cinnamon roll, seasoned with pumpkin spice is topped with a whipped cream frosting and warm croissants are served with strawberry butter.


Brewha scones and lattes.

I saw parents coming in for their coffee specials after dropping off the kids at school, some ordering the Hot Grab & Go breakfast burrito for the road. Brewha’s coffee is a blend grinded to their specs including Brazilian Sumatra, Mexican and Peruvian light and dark roast beans. I particularly enjoyed the latte selections offered and can’t decide which I like better, the Pumpkin Vanilla or the Honey Lavender – both are tasty!

After breakfast, Brewha’s menu offerings take it up a notch with a variety of small bites, salads, sandwiches, cheese boards all to be washed down with a selection of draft beers, hand crafted cocktails or wine. It’s amazing what the small kitchen can produce – culinarian’s Trevor Paquin and Ray Oursler were at the stove the times I have dined there.

A recent dinner was enjoyed with our guests, Tyler, Julia and Atlas Matkovich. We were surprised the restaurant was almost full at 6 pm and found the last open table. There was a high energy vibe and great to see everyone enjoying their food and drinks.

We started with the Brewha Bread, a pull apart country loaf, loaded with melted cheeses, seasoned with garlic butter and served with marinara sauce – it was literally finger licking good!


Brewha cocktails and wine.

For our meal we ordered the all-beef bratwurst wrapped in puff pasty served with grilled onions and mushrooms. The Hatch Chili Hand Pie reminded me of the pasties I often lunched on in New Zealand, although I wanted to spice it up a bit and was served a side of fresh salsa and my favorite hot sauces, De La Viuda, both red and green.

We shared an order of the Papas Papas, roasted potato topped with taco meat, hatch chilis and salsa – a winner. The Bougie Goat Cheese salad with mixed greens, fresh berries and candied pecans was crisp, light yet filling. Of note, the bacon on the BLTA sandwich is beef, as Brewha doesn’t have any pork offerings, the bacon is a special brisket cut and smoked to their specifications, very tasty.

After 8 p.m. Late Night Boards offer a variety of choices including cheeses, cured meats, breads and pub pretzels.

Behind the bar is a sign that used to hang in the original store/gas station “Caseys Corner, where friends meet, Cornville, Arizona.” Danny and his family and their friendly team maintain that tradition, offering a hometown experience.


1160 Page Springs Road


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