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Mar 12, 2007 04:36 PM

Lunch w/the grandkids in Phoenix and Mesa

We'll be visting the g-kids and have planned excursions to the Az Puppet Theater (at 5th Ave. in downtown Phx) and the Youth Museum in Mesa. Any kid-friendly restaurants near either of those locations?


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  1. I've never met a kid who doesn't like pizza. Z Pizza is about 1.5 miles north of the theater on Thomas just west of central.

    There's also Cibo, a pizzeria just a few blocks from the Puppet Theater on 5th Avenue, but it's not designed for kids. That's not to say they'd be unwelcome, but they would have to be well-behaved and somewhat adventurous to enjoy it. It's more of an upscale, "artisinal" pizza place.

    Also within walking distance of the Puppet Theater is the Old Spaghetti Factory, which is just north of Hance Park. I don't care for it, but it is very popular with families:

    I can't help much with Mesa, but I'm sure others can.

    2 Replies
    1. re: silverbear

      I went to OSF not too long ago due to morbid curiosity. The thing to get is the spaghetti with browned butter and mizithra cheese. Everything else is about the same quality as what you can get at Fazoli's. Thankfully, the price point is not too far off from Fazoli's.

      1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

        I agree completley, and if I end up going there regularly via minivan in a few years, please put me out of my misery. Nevertheless, a lot of families like it, so I thought I'd at least throw it out there for consideration. As you suggest, it's best to keep it simple when ordering there.

    2. It's attraction isn't the pizza but I've never met a kid that didnt' love an outing to Organ Stop Pizza. The big Wurlitzer IS loud so do be warned if that bothers you. And actually for the type of place it is, with the focus on the entertainment, the pizza isn't horrible either. It's in Mesa at I believe Southern and Stapley.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ziggylu

        I will admit, even though I was dragged there kicking and screaming, Organ Stop was entertaining and of course the kids loved it. The guy won me over when he played Bohemian Rhapsody and did a darn good job of it.

      2. OSF is about as family friendly as you can get. I go there, primarily because I live down the street and I need to take the beasties out every now and then. Would I go if I didn't have them in tow? NO. But I would recommend it to you, gran. It's a nice friendly atmosphere and every meal comes with a scoop of spumoni so the kids love it.

        And it's a hop skip and a jump away from the puppet theater.

        Silverbear - it's inevitable. :)

        1. I will out myself as a childhood lover of the place. I thought it was magical; I still thought it was pretty good when I took a nostalgic outing to one back in college. Yes; the spaghetti ala Homer is the thing to order. I've actually learned to duplicate this at home/

          1. didn't even know they had these in az. used to do go there for lunch work colleagues when lived in ca & always got the ala homer. definitely not bad. good on you themis. i wouldn't mind knowing how to replicate that!

            1 Reply
            1. re: ccl1111

              It's a piece of cake. While the pasta is cooking, melt butter in a saucepan over medium high heat. When the butter has turned medium brown, take it off the heat. Toss the finished pasta in the browned butter, and then top with lots and lots of finely shredded mizithra cheese.