Newsletter Archive: The Ultracrepidarian Restaurateur Speaks Again

Monti’s: The Ultracrepidarian Restaurateur Speaks Again

Hello again, friends! Right from the get-go I am compelled to congratulate Eddie Goitia, the stalwart managing partner of our enterprise, who was today anointed the reigning panjandrum of the Mill Avenue District. (That is to say, he assumed the chairmanship of the Downtown Tempe Community Inc., but to provide further details would only endear me to urban policy wonks.) Monti’s is proud to provide leadership for our unique and vibrant Downtown. We enjoin all of you to be vigilant for signs that Eddie has grown (more) drunk with power.

And now, for the precious snowflakes who cannot endure the onslaught of my prose:

HOW TO GET OFF MY LIST INSTANTLY: If you do not want to
receive any e-mail from me ever, please send me (Michael
Monti) a message at “mlm603 AT” and I will gladly remove you from my distribution group. See the end of this newsletter for more detailed instructions.

Perfunctory Advertisement to Justify This Newsletter:

Please take note that we are accepting reservations for Father’s Day, and hope you will join us with your Dad on June 15th. The phone number is the same as it has been for decades: (480) 967-7594.

We do read your comment cards: A recent card from a guest stated that in his travels of the World as a member of the US Navy “he has not tasted food quite as delectable as Monti’s” and that he knows that he is “at home” when he arrives at Monti’s. Of course, another customer’s card simply pointed out that “Monti’s rocks!” and that we are the “oldest restaurant on the planet!”

So, last night was a great evening for ASU Women’s Softball and for Jazz at Monti’s. Our old friend Brad Cesmat, veteran of many 1990s radio shows at Monti’s featuring turkey bowling, car painting and interviews with inarticulate jocks, brought a camera crew in to catch our bar crowd for Channel 3 as we watched the ASU ladies beat Texas A&M. I fervently hope that by the time you read this they will have vanquished the opposition in Game 2 of the series. Meanwhile, Woody, Roy and Stu managed to rope in a capacity crowd for Margo Reed’s show. That’s no mean feat on a hot Monday afternoon in June, even when you have a great talent as a draw. I have pasted in the remainder of the June jazz schedule below my boilerplate disclaimers at the end of this message.

Next Monday night at 7 p.m. I look forward to catching “Arizona Memories of the 70s” on PBS channel 8 (Especially as we seem to be enduring an economic rerun of 1972-79). No doubt this show will provoke proustian moments redolent of the era: Big Surf…polyester…Alice Cooper…burnt orange polyester…The Lakes…Bell Bottoms…100-Year Floods. I have no affiliation with PBS, but this is the kind of remember-when stuff I love. Here is the link

Speaking of the idiosyncrasies of the above-mentioned 1970s, I must take this opportunity to address an egregious spelling error permanently enshrined on our premises. A customer recently took our manager Laura Buis to task because of a wooden sign that she first noticed at Monti’s in 1971, promising in router-engraved letters that customers would find the “Dinning Room” if they stayed on the indicated path. Laura, not being me, was not armed with the requisite knowledge to respond.

Now, technically, “dinning” can be taken to mean “to make a loud noise”, or “to assail with loud continued noise.” And it is true that our joint can be pretty loud when it is banging on all cylinders. Obviously, though, the sign was really meant to express the concept of “this way to chow down” in the DINING room. In fact, the “Dinning Room” sign was proudly created in the workshop by our then-handyman, Jim. Initially the gaffe went unnoticed, and I first had it pointed out to me in the 1980s. Not long thereafter, “Jim” went on to be the handyman at the great restaurant in the sky.

The upshot is that dining rooms are a dime a dozen–but “dinning” rooms are rare. I am a sucker for tradition and character, so the sign stays as long as I have anything to do with it. If you wish to experience a few other strange quirks of La Casa Vieja, ask a host or manager why there is a door to nowhere behind the big booth by the fountain, or where the booth with the secret TV was located. Or which is the “Worst Table in the House.” And then there is the “Passion Pit”…ahhh

It is time to wrap. The annual Tempe Diablo retreat beckons from San Diego. Matters of grave importance are to be discussed. Meanwhile, thanks again for your patronage. Please also take a look at my blog at
Best regards,
Michael Monti
(mlm603 AT montis DOT com)

1 Comment

  1. Mysteries of the Casa Vieja « 100 South Mill Avenue said,

    […] photos above are best interpreted with reference to this link and this previous […]

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