Best Neighborhood Pizza, Central Phoenix - 2012
The Parlor Pizzeria
Hard to believe this stylish joint has been around for four years already. In a town with so much good pizza, that's a testament to the quality of Dan and Aric Mei's food. And it's still one of the coolest places in this area of the Valley in which to hang out. The former mid-century beauty parlor features a wide-open but intimate dining room, a casual bar area with a few high-top tables and sports on the TV, and a pleasant patio situated next to the Parlor's herb garden, which is regularly utilized in the Meis' (who also own Ahwatukee favorite Nello's) rustic, wood-fired pies. Twelve varieties of signature pizzas come in eight-inch ($10) and 12-inch ($14) sizes, which means you and your dining companions can, and should, try a couple of different kinds. You can't go wrong with the traditional Margherita or the pepperoni, but we suggest some of the less-conventional pizzas, including the roasted corn (with its interesting corn puree, zippy crema, roasted chiles, and cilantro) or the spicy puttanesca (topped with calamari, juicy rock shrimp, capers, olives, and fennel). This place also features a nice selection of red and white wines, craft beers, and cocktails to help you make your dining experience complete.