There are a few places that everyone talks about, when talking about the best pizza in America. Apizza Scholls in Portland, Pizzeria Mozza in LA and Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix. (I know I’m leaving Chicago out…but its a different style of pizza. I’m also leaving NY out, because I’m not really sure what is NY-Style pizza of the big places or something that would fit in with the three above.)
A friend of mine works for an airline and is from Phoenix, so we were able to take a quick overnight trip this past weekend. My first thought was, “Can we go to Pizzeria Bianco?” We hopped on a flight to Phoenix a little before noon on Saturday and were on our way. After dropping off our stuff at her parents house, we headed downtown to get on the list for dinner. The blogs all talked about the 2 hour average wait, so we were prepared for a little wait (or at least I was). We arrived at the restaurant around 5.30pm, where there was a line just to put your name on the list. Once we got up to the front of the line, we were informed that we were looking at a three and a half hour wait (though depending on turnover could be sooner). So we walked around downtown Phoenix some, had a couple beers at Bar Bianco next door and waited. Shortly before 8pm we were seated (a little over an hour earlier than estimated).
We started our meal with a salad and appetizer.
The Farmers Market Salad of the day was Arugula (tossed in a
Vinaigrette), Apples, Pomegranate, and (Fontina?) Cheese. The salad
was quite tasty. Pomegranate makes a great salad ingrediant and the
cheese gave the salad a little “meat” to its bones.
The Spiedini, was a skewer of Italian Fontina wrapped in Prosciutto di Parma. I was looking forward to this after reading a blog entry from a friend of one of my housemates. It did not disappoint. Wow, just yum!
For pizzas we got the Rosa and the Sonny Boy.
The Rosa is Red Onion, Parmigiano Reggiano, Rosemary, AZ Pistachios. I
surprisingly liked this pizza despite the presence of Pistachios (I’m
not a big nut person). The crust was well cooked, the slice held up to
the center, and the flavors of the toppings complimented each other.
This was a sauceless pizza, which probably helped the slice’s stiffness.
The Sonny Boy is Tomato Sauce, Fresh Mozzarella, Salami, Gaeta Olives. I liked this pizza quite a bit. The ingredients were top notch (as expected). The only negative was I thought there was perhaps a little too much Salami on the pizza. Because of that, there was enough excess moisture that the center of the slices were a little flimsy (and that first bite needed the aid of a fork).
Was it worth the long wait? Definitely. I already want to go back, so I can try some of the other pizzas. As compared to the other two, its actually pretty difficult to compare. Mozza’s pizza are a little more untraditional in topping choice, but the same size as Bianco’s. In terms of standard toppings, Apizza Scholls and Bianco are most alike. But Apizza Scholls serves pies that are about twice the size of the pizzas at Bianco and Mozza. In the end, I don’t think its that important to pick one as “the best,” because each Pizzeria has such good pizza it really doesn’t matter.