Pizza, Pizza Pizza it’s not all the same. There’s Chicago, Deep Dish, Stuffed, Thin Crust, Thick Crust and New York just to name a few. They all have their different flavors and textures, and ultimately most people find a type they love and look for it wherever they go. In my case my favorites are the pie like consistency of a Chicago style where the ingredients are layered below the red sauce or the New York, super thin and crispy crust, usually with a few simple ingredients. So whenever I’m in Phoenix, Arizona I always do my best to stimulate the economy and visit Pizzeria Bianco, famous for their wood fired oven and New York style pizza.
This place is just heavenly, it’s a small restaurant with maybe 40 chairs inside and about 20 outside. With usually long long long lines to get a table. I’ve waited 2 hours before for a seat at the bar, yes it is that good. On this occasion I must have hit a sweet spot, because at 7 PM on a Tuesday night the place was ½ full and the bar seating was empty. I waked in and was worried it was closed. Thankfully it was not, just a lull between the storms of guests I guess. By the time I left an hour later it was packed and people were waiting for a seat.
Pizzeria Bianco, is located downtown 3 blocks from the basketball and baseball stadiums and close to several major hotels. It’s in the business and convention district, in Heritage Square and this little ray of sunshine sticks out because it’s just so good and makes such great pies. I was lucky enough to be staying 4 blocks away so I could walk there, but there is plenty of paid parking in the complex if you’re not downtown already.
This very popular restaurant established in 1988 was featured on one of my favorite food shows “Diner, Drive-ins and Dives” many years ago and is the only reason I knew about the place. I find on most occasions Guy Fieri is spot on in his recommendations and in this case again didn’t disappoint. Although there was that one time I tried Mexican in Omaha what a disaster, but I digress that’s another story.
In any event I started out with an organic salad topped with blue cheese, bacon and house made croutons with a light vinaigrette. It was incredibly fresh, tasty and yummy and got my tummy yearning for my pizza. Sure I could have dined on pizza alone, but hey I need my greens and vegetables.
Secondly I had the ever popular “wiseguy” pizza. All their pizza’s come in one size and can easily be shared with your best buddy, if you like to share. Or like in my case take half home and eat it for breakfast in the morning. The “wiseguy” is a very simple yes incredibly delicious white pizza, with fennel sausage, caramelized onions and very thinly sliced fresh mozzarella. Because the crust is so thin it stays supper crisp and the ingredients get to shine. It’s hard to describe why this pizza is so so good, but it just is. I think between getting a pizza with only three toppings on homemade fresh dough, made the way it is in New York has a lot to do with it. The cheese just adheres to the dough and creates this cheese skin that the other topping just stick to. Add that to the char that the wood fired oven creates on the dough, and you have pizza perfection. Plain and simple.
Sure there are a ton of quality pizza joints in all the land, but when in Phoenix Pizzeria Bianco needs to be on your top five list of places to see and eat, for sure.