When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out -- and let you know our initial impressions, share a few photos, and dish about some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items, and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours).
Restaurant: Pizza People Pub Location: 1326 North Central Avenue Open: About two months Eats: American, pizzas Price: $11 to $30 per person
The first thing to know about Pizza People Pub, Tim and MaryBeth Scanlon's new restaurant in Midtown, is that the pizzas here are more or less equivalent to the ones served up at Pizza People, their food truck.
And if you're are a fan of those pizzas -- 10-inch pies (all around $9 or $10) with a flour-y, slightly crispy, and puffy-edged crust decorated with things like spinach, serrano peppers, and truffle oil -- then Pizza People Pub, in the former home of Cheuvront Restaurant & Wine Bar, is your place.
If not, the second thing to know about Pizza People Pub is that you don't have to have a pizza to enjoy a meal here. The Scanlons have added several other dishes to the menu -- many quite successful -- to pair with a solid selection of cocktails, beer, and wine.
The wings ($5.95/5, $10.95/10), besides being very good -- oven-roasted, meaty, and with just enough sauce -- also come with a small garden of dip-worthy fresh veggies (forget the straggly stalks of celery) that not only provide a nice balance to the protein, but make you wonder why everyone else isn't doing it this way.
Another good idea from the Scanlons comes in the form of their mac 'n' cheese section, a listing of 10 varieties (think jalapeño and sweet-and-spicy Korean) that can be served up in manageable eight-ounce ($3.95) sizes or more shareable 20-ounce ($9.95) ones. The flavor of the smoky paprika mac 'n' cheese probably won't as deep as you'd like, but there are others to try. Perhaps a mac 'n' cheese flight is in order?
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
For sandwiches, you could do worse than the Sloppy Seoul ($9.95), a kind of classic American sandwich by way of Korea. Put together with beef sloppy joe, Korean sweet-and-spicy barbecue sauce, kimchi, and romaine on a toasted brioche bun, it's less meaty than what you might prefer, but the crunchy, sweet, and slightly slicy bites are satisfying nonetheless. And there's a decent cole slaw made with agave and apples to go along with it.
With a solid listing of tongue-in-cheek named cocktails like the Rum for Your Life Zombie and the Turkey Lurkey as well as craft beer and wine, it isn't difficult to pair your pizza here -- or whatever else you may be having -- with a glass of adult liquidity. And Pizza People Pub's easygoing vibe, as well as its amicable staff, make it easy to stick around for a while.
Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Phoenix® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.