Pilgrimage to Pizzeria Bianco – Phoenix, AZ

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!

Pizza Farm Tuesday in Stockholm, Wisconsin!

A couple years ago when I was living in Minneapolis, my friend Sanden invited me to his birthday party at the Pizza Farm. The first image that popped into my head was a field of pizzas sprouting from the earth. I was snapped into reality when he said the farm was a couple hours away in the town of Stockholm, Wisconsin and the pizzas were made in a brick oven with ingredients from the farm. Brilliant, right?

When you drive to the Pizza Farm, you have to appreciate the scenery. The landscape from Minneapolis to Stockholm changed dramatically in the hour and a half drive. We went from flat plains to rolling hills and plentiful fields of produce.

Be forewarned that the Pizza Farm is open only on Tuesdays from 5 to 9. I recommend you get there early because there will be a line and it will take some time for the pizzas to bake. They aren’t open  yearlong – they close up shop when fall sets in and open again in late spring.

After you park your car on the dirt road, you begin to hear the voices behind the trees and you come upon this…

Get in line and don’t waste time – order your pizza immediately! Take your number and then walk around – pizza is priority.

After we ordered our pizza, we walked around the grounds to kill some time. Here are some of the sights from the farm.

But after the walk, we needed to check on our pizza. Here’s the brick oven that the Pizza Farm is known for…

We waited almost two hours for our pizza but it was well worth it. We ordered a vegetarian pizza and also one with the homemade sausage. Both were served on a thin crust and I could taste each ingredient because it was THAT fresh. I admit, the most memorable thing about that Tuesday summer night was the adventure of getting to the Pizza Farm and waiting around for the food. This was one of those nights when the experience was on par with the food that we consumed. Thanks, Sanden, for having a birthday at the Pizza Farm!

Quick Tips:

  1. Bring your own napkins, plates, utensils, and beverages (water, sodas, wine… etc). They ONLY sell pizza and some granola (if there are any left!). Most importantly, clean up after yourself and don’t leave a mess.
  2. Bring a blanket or a foldable chair while you eat because it is just you and the open land. Some people even bring their own foldable poker tables!
  3. Bring board games. You can walk around the farm but if you get bored, it might be fun to bust out some Bananagrams to pass the time until you get your pizza.
  4. (Optional) If you end up getting there late, bring a flashlight. Our group got there an hour before sunset and by the time we got our pizza, it was pitch black. Fortunately we did have our cell phones but it would have been nice to have a flashlight.
Pizza Farm is located at:
N2956 Anker Lane
Stockholm, Wisconsin 54769
Phone: 715-448-4802