Coming in for his cousin’s wedding and The Monster has only one meal at his discretion in Phoenix. Where does he head? To the best pizza shop in the entire country as hailed by a New York Times writer. A Vogue Magazine writer went one better, declaring Pizzeria Bianco the best in the world.
The small space belies the serious pies Pizzeria Bianco is noted for. There are only six pies on offer coming out of the wood-fired brick oven and the waits can be over four hours at peak times due to the limited seating. The Monster decides pizza for breakfast will be resplendent and arrives at 11 am. Already the tables are spoken for. Grabbing a seat at the bar it’s time to get down and dirty.
The menu is compact. Two small plates are on offer, an antipasto available only after 5 pm and spiedini, Italian fontina wrapped in prosciutto pi Parma, served warm. There are three salads, local organic greens, homemade mozzarella with local tomato and basil with extra virgin olive oil and a farmers market salad. As for the pies, there are six to choose from, three of which are sauceless. For meat lovers there is the Sonny Boy with tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, salami and gaeta olives or the Wiseguy with wood roasted onion, house smoked mozzarella and fennel sausage. For veggie fans try the Biancoverde with fresh mozzarella, parmigiano reggiano, ricotta and arugula. And for the lactose intolerant, sample the marinara, chesseless pie with tomato sauce, oregano and garlic.
The organic greens is just that, a simple salad of lettuces with a few offending olives and light dressing. It’s fresh yet boring so Mama Monster likes it.
The Rosa, with onions and parmesan reggiano is sweet, a touch salty, complimented by the perfectly charred crust that is a wonder in its own right and Arizona pistachios that work magically with the sauceless pizza. Not normally a fan of pies sans sauce, this made The Monster a convert at least for a day.
As for the Margherita, it doesn’t fare quite as well. It is a nice pie, nothing more, nothing less. The sauce is sweet but not overpowering, the in-house made mozzarella cheese is nicely distributed, the basil fresh.
But it isn’t transcendent the way The Monster had hoped. No angels descended down to The Monster to proffer the pizza, no tunnel of white light greeted each bite on the pathway to heaven, no gorgeous maidens fanned The Monster to welcome him to paradise.
That being said, this Neopolitan pie puts places like 800 Degrees to shame and prices are modest given the artisan ingredients and acclaim of Pizzeria Bianco. While The Monster might not agree it’s the best pizza in the country (because that’s Rubino’s Pizza in Bexley, Ohio) he truly appreciates the offerings coming out of Pizzeria Bianco.
Why go? Pizza, pizza, pizza!
Monster rating: 4/5 Monsters
623 E Adams Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004