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Weekend in Phoenix: Food

Posted on | February 10, 2009 | No Comments

Although my BFF and I went to Phoenix to do the Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk, of COURSE we also had a few places picked out to eat at! She loves to eat too.. how else would we get along so well?! Anyway, here’s our food diary for the weekend:

Pizzeria Bianco

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Pizzeria Bianco ‘supposedly’ has the best pizza in the US, so of course we had to try it! After hearing about the non-reservation policy, and subsequent long wait to expect, we went straight from the airport to the restaurant. It was only 3:15pm and the restaurant didn’t open until 5, and there were probably 30 or so people ahead of us already! So we waited. And waited. And waited. They do have a bar next door that opens at 4PM, so a lot of people in line were having appetizers and drinks after then. I think waiting in line (when the weather is nice!) is somewhat of a social event. By the time 4:45PM hit, this is what the line looked like behind us, I’d guess at least 100 people were there:

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Once the doors opened we thankfully got in to the first seating, even though I didn’t think we’d make it. The restaurant is TINY! It probably seats 40 or 45 people at the most. The service was fast, and I’m assuming they want to usher as many people in and out as they can.

There were 6 pizzas to choose from (or, you can also pick your own toppings). All have the same neopolitan style crust and most have freshly made mozzarella. We opted for the following.

Sonny Boy (with salami and Gaeta olives):

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Margherita (with roasted crimini mushrooms):

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The consensus? Both pizzas were good, but I didn’t think they were GREAT, nor did I think either were the best pizza I’d ever had in the US. The crust was nice on the outside, but it seemed almost undercooked in the middle. They may have taken them out too early, although the crust probably would have been burnt had they left it in the oven for much longer. Honestly, I think Batali’s Pizzeria Mozza in LA is probably better, and Settebello’s here in Vegas is definitely better. I guess waiting 2 hours didn’t help with my impression. And it probably goes to show, everyone has different taste and different opinions on what ‘the best’ of any particular food item is! But it was a fun experience and I’m glad we went…

Cost: $$

623 E Adams Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004
602 258-8300

www.pizzeriabianco.com

Pizzeria Bianco on Urbanspoon

After finally getting to our hotel, we decided to try a couple of ice cream places I’d read about on PX food blogs. The first we hit was Sweet Republic in Scottsdale.

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I wish they’d build one here in Vegas! This place has a great selection of unique and artisan style ice creams. I think I tried at least 7 or 8 different flavors (and probably annoyed the people behind me). My favorites were the Basil Lime Sorbet (which I ended up ordering), the Mango Lassi, which really did taste like an ice cream version of the Indian drink, and the Salted Butter Caramel. Unfortunately they didn’t have the Earl Grey Tea that night, which I really would have like to have tried. The owners were both there scooping ice cream and the one we dealt with was super nice and patient as we tried to make the tough decision of which one to pick!
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9160 E Shea Boulevard, Scottsdale, AZ 85260
480 248-6979
www.sweetrepublic.com

Sweet Republic on Urbanspoon

Next we trekked to the other side of town to Arlecchino’s Gelateria, which also has a nice variety of unique and artisan gelatos. I tried a few less here, probably from being full, and from the worker seeming to get annoyed with me pretty quickly. The Pistachio was really good, as was the Marshmallow, but it was the Marscapone that I decided on. It tasted just like a sweet, creamy version of the cheese. SO good!

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ag-gelato

4410 N 40th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85018
602 955-2448
www.arlecchinogelateria.com

Arlecchino Gelateria on Urbanspoon

Digestif

For our final meal in PX (we were only here for a little over 24 hours, after all!) we decided on lunch at Digestif, since I’d heard good things about it on some food blogs and through Yelp. They are known for their pastas, and my dish did not disappoint!

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I ordered the Tomato Tajarin, which was basically a tomato angel hair pasta, with braised artichokes and olives, tarragon, pine nuts, and horseradish ricotta. The dish was quite exceptional! The pasta was perfectly al dente. The horseradish may have been a bit TOO subtle, though, as I probably wouldn’t have known there was any in there had the waiter not told me. But the dish was still really good.

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For dessert we chose the brownie and chocolate malted semifreddo, and I enjoyed parts of it. The semifreddo was excellent, with a nice, sticky texture and a rich malty chocolate flavor. The brownie, however, was hard as a rock! I’m not sure it was supposed to be like that, but I have a feeling not. I had to cut it with a knife, and even then I still struggled with it! Plus it was a bit too sweet for my liking. The homemade marshmallows were good, but I almost wish they had been cooked a bit more, maybe even burnt, because that’s how I like my toasted marshmallows.

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All in all a good meal. The restaurant is really nice inside, clean and modern looking, and would probably be a nice place for a date. It was pretty empty inside while we were there for lunch, but I have a feeling dinner service is much busier. Plus, it was raining outside which may have kept people away. Although they are known for their homemade pastas, they also have a nice selection of salads, pizzas and paninis.

Cost: $$

7114 E Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
480 425-9463
www.digestifscottsdale.com

Digestif on Urbanspoon

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