Several years ago I noticed that USA Today had crowned a pizzeria in Phoenix of all places as the location of the best pizza in the U.S. Needless to say, I was skeptical.
I had to try it out! So I finally make it to Phoenix, the daytime temperature is approaching 120 degrees and I decide that I need to try Bianco's pizza for dinner. Since I live in the Eastern time zone my internal clock was a bit messed up so I made it to Bianco's in time for their opening at 5pm. Before the doors were even unlocked there were dozens of people sitting on picnic tables outside, having wine at the wine bar next door, or just milling about waiting for the door to be unlocked.
Pretty strange for 5pm on a weeknight. Finally the doors are unlocked and the stampede to the door begins. I just made it for the first seating, capturing the last seat at the bar, never have I been so thankful that I was dining alone.
Pizzeria Bianco's menu is very basic. A few pizzas and salads. I wanted to get the true feeling of this place so I kept it simple and ordered the organic greens salad and a margherita pizza.
The salad was outstanding, each ingredient was fresh and tasty, and topped with a refreshing vinagerette. Wow.
Then my pizza came, always a skeptic my expectations were controlled.
The crust was puffy, a little char, and wonderfully chewy. The tomato sauce was applied lightly and tasted as though the tomatoes were in the garden just moments earlier. The cheese was fresh and creamy. Just the right amount of chopped basil made this, I know it's even hard for me to say, about a perfect of a pizza as I have had.
I was a believer. Chris Bianco makes each of his pizzas himself and clearly takes pride in locally sourcing the freshest ingredients and providing a high level of quality control to every item leaving his kitchen.
As I was eating Mr. Bianco and I made eye contact several times as if it was important to him that me, a lonely eating alone guy at the bar, received the best possible product. After my first bite, I made eye contact in a way that clearly showed how impressed I was!
There is no takeout or delivery from Bianco's. Quite simply because Mr. Bianco does not want to risk ruining the integrity of his as perfect as you can get pizza.
As I was leaving I decided to introduce myself to Mr. Bianco and verbally tell him how much I loved my Pizzeria Bianco's experience. I was a little worried thinking that Mr. Bianco is so involved in his food that he may rival the soup nazi. I couldn't have been more wrong, he was a great guy, and quite gracious in his reception of my pleasure.
You'll probably think enchilada's or some other Southwestern food item when you are in Phoenix. But you should think Pizzeria Bianco, no doubt about it.
623 E. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004