BEST GOURMET PIZZA Phoenix 2007 - Pizzeria Bianco
Just because it's gourmet doesn't mean it's pretentious. On the contrary, Pizzeria Bianco's menu is streamlined and simple, with only six kinds of pizza and 10 add-ons. These rustic pies don't try to show off with outlandish combinations of exotic toppings. Instead, they're all about the best, freshest ingredients available, from handmade mozzarella to local, organic vegetables. And the crust? Just incredible, the perfect balance between crisp and chewy. Chef-owner Chris Bianco mans the wood-fired oven himself, so every pizza's up to par. Clearly, the guy's turned pizza-making into a Zen art, and that's why foodies from across the country are clamoring to get here. Among locals, though, Pizzeria Bianco's surprisingly controversial besides crowds of adoring fans, there are plenty of folks who get their panties in a bunch about the lengthy wait (sometimes an hour or two, sometimes three or more). "Why should we wait that long for pizza when we can get something just as good in our own 'hood?" they say. Well, we've tried all the alternatives, and though there's plenty of decent pizza in these parts, none of it could take the place of Bianco's distinctive pies. There's just no comparison. And really, the wait ain't so bad if you go next door to Bar Bianco for a cheese plate and a bottle of wine. At least there's hope of getting a table if you hang out long enough. Just imagine if Pizzeria Bianco required reservations then the waiting list would probably be a month or two! We can't stand the thought.