George Seres, owner of Rocky River's P'Zazz, has a serious identity problem. How else explain the gregarious shopkeep's multiple monikers: "Cowboy George," "The Director of Deliciousness," and — his current fave — "The Hot-Sauce King of Cleveland"?
He's also been known to appear in public dressed like a giant chile pepper. That was his MO this spring, at least, when he snagged the amateur division title at the annual Chili Cook-off for Autism. Was his black-bean-and-corn chili really that good, you may wonder, or were the judges simply afraid?
Chalk it up to inhaling too much habañero dust, maybe — an occupational hazard when you're surrounded by more than 700 types of salsas, rubs, mustards, relishes, spicy snacks, drink mixes, and sauces.
The native Clevelander took over the biz nine months ago, after tiring of his desk job. Since then, he developed a P'Zazz line of traditional salsas and sauces, and currently is working on a Cowboy George line of envelope-pushers, including a strawberry-flavored hot sauce for ice cream, which he predicts will someday "go intergalactic!"
Meanwhile, earthlings who dig the sizzle of spicy condiments are apt to adore exploring P'Zazz's colorful square-footage. Among Seres' favorite finds, count Atomic Food's extra-hot horseradish, Mingua Brothers' spicy, all-natural beef jerky, and Wake Up Crabby Bloody Mary Mix from Oxford Falls Company.
Seres is happy to provide pre-purchase samples of any of his products. He also puts together a mean gift basket, and welcomes online orders at www.pzazzsauces.com.
Store hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily or by appointment.
P'Zazz is at 19565 Detroit Road, in River Square Plaza. Call 440-356-3211 for more information.
Grecian formula: Chef-owner Dino Tsarnas of The Cleveland Grill (3359 West 117th Street, 216-251-1025) has cooked up a midday lunch deal: Anything on the menu — including homemade moussaka, overstuffed omelets, meal-size salads, and beer-battered striped-bass sandwiches, served with fresh-cut fries — is just $6.95. Lunch is served 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.