Before I start packing for a trip, I like to get some background on my destination. The question I like to ask often is: If I have time to eat at one restaurant in the city, where should it be? In this case, I was off to Phoenix for work and the answers I got back was unanimous: Pizzeria Bianco.
My first reaction was… Pizza? In Phoenix? Really? Granted, I knew this place was highlighted in magazines, newspapers, and the Food Network. But I wondered — isn’t this obvious? Couldn’t they be wrong? I soon ate my words.
When I arrived to Phoenix, it was a blistering 110 degrees in the afternoon. I had been warned about the long wait at Pizzeria Bianco so I called ahead to see when the down time would be – she said between 2-4. I really didn’t want to wait in line in the desert heat. I got some work done and nibbled on trail mix – I had to make sure I didn’t get full off the filler food. At 2:00 I walked into the heat to find the famed Pizzeria Bianco. The restaurant was just a few blocks away according to my map but in the desert heat, it felt like miles. When I reached it, I thought it was a mirage because it was an unassuming brick building in the Historic Heritage Square.
When I walked in the door, my face was red from my body overheating in the sun. I staggered to the bar and sat myself down immediately. I got there a little before 2:30 and it was half empty. When I opened the menu, I couldn’t decide what to get but I looked at the guy next to me and saw he was able to split his pizza order – so I copied him.
I ordered a half order of Margherita (tomato sauce, mozzarella, basil) and half order of Sonny Boy (tomato sauce, mozzarella, salami, gaetta olives).
The basil on the Margherita was fresh and flavorful and complimented the tomato sauce and mozzarella. You can taste each individual ingredient before it melts together into one. The elements of this pizza is simple but not all pizzerias can do it well.
The other half of my pizza was taken up by Sonny Boy. This pizza was amazing. The savory salami was so good that I made sure I ate every little piece of it on my place. It wasn’t overly salty – there was just enough salt for me to lick my lips wanting more. The olives also added to the savory flavor. When I finished this side of the pizza, I wished I had a second stomach so I could order another one.
The pizzas are cooked in a wood-burning oven. The orangey glow makes the restaurant feel intimate and cozy.
If you’re in Phoenix, be sure to call and find out the best time to go because you can’t reserve a table and you can’t afford to be waiting in line in triple temperature heat. Since the place now opens for lunch, you should try to schedule a late lunch and let me know how you like the pizza here.
I can definitely see why this place is often named best pizzeria!