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Pizzeria Bianco on Saturday -- how early to get there

We're going to the Chargers-Cardinals game which starts at 7 and would like to finally visit Pizzeria Bianco beforehand. I see they open at 5. How early should we get there to assure we get in when they open so that we don't miss any of the game? I was thinking maybe 3 or 3:30, but those with experience, please let me know!

Thanks in advance...

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  1. Did you check the website? If you are going on the 25th it will be their last day before closing down for a month. They could be even busier than normal.....Just something to think about.

    "Pizzeria Bianco will be closed August 26th thru September 17th for our annual summer break. We will re-open on Tuesday, September 18th at 5pm. We apologize for any inconvenience."

    1. I don't think it would be necessary to get there at 3:00 but I would definitely make sure to be there by 4:00 at the latest. I would speculate that you would be seated by 5:30 and should be able to make the 7:00 game in Glendale ( although that is a pretty hefty hike when you're on a time constraint ).

      1. My thinking is to go somewhere else this time. Depending on traffic, it may take over half an hour to get from PB to the stadium. Add to this the time spent getting a parking place, and then walking from the car to your seat in the stadium, and I would recommend leaving PB no later than a hair after 6 if you don't want to miss any of the game. One hour isn't really enough time to sit and enjoy a really good meal like the ones they serve up at Bianco's... at least not to me. I'd rather take my time and enjoy everything that they have to offer.

        When I go to PB, I'll take a deck of cards and while away that long wait with a few games of gin rummy and a couple glasses of wine. Better still, go on First Fridays when the science museum next door does the free Adults' Night Out and spend the wait time in there. Just let the hostess know that you'll be walking around the area during the wait, they check the wine bar periodically and will cross off people who appear to have left.

        1. Even if you got there early enough to make the first seating, I highly doubt you'd make it to the game on time (w/traffic, parking, etc.).

          1. I recently went to Pizzeria Bianco and was first in line at 3pm. Within ten minutes another party arrived. By 4pm the line was to the wine bar.

            My advice would be to save Pizzeria Bianco for another night when your entertainment for the evening is just dinner. This restaurant is best enjoyed at a slow pace to truly enjoy the experience.

            1. Thanks so much everyone. I'm so glad I asked here first!!

              1. I went on a Tuesday night in June, missed first seating and had to wait, but hurried (a crime, I know) and was back in N. Phoenix by 7:15 if I remember correctly. Point is, you can get through PB pretty quickly, once you're seated in the magical building. (and if you've no objection to rushing an epiphany of a meal)
                Too bad they're closed for another 11 days...

                10 Replies
                1. re: andrewkfromaz

                  You're going to wait 2 hours if you go after 6

                  1. re: AZBconcierge

                    Dont waste your time. The pizza is so so at best and overpriced. Go to Mamma Mia Brick Oven Pizza on 40th Street and Indian School in Phoenix. Great pizza awesome prices. Frank the owner will be behind the counter and will make you whatever you want. 602 508 0444

                    1. re: rdhargro

                      i'd say the 13 bucks for the wiseguy is a great price. cheaper than the medium pizza from zpizza, and much tastier..

                      and way more than so so - excellent crust with a good crumb, mozz made fresh daily on sight, herbs grown onsite, local organic produce, fresh made fennel sausage....

                      is frank growing his own herbs, making his own cheese? ;)

                      1. re: winedubar

                        I have never seen Franks garden so who knows about the herbs. What I do know is that he puts together a good pie and I dont have to wait three hours. Sure Chris has a really nice product, but it is not worth waiting that long for.

                        1. re: rdhargro

                          I agree with you, rdhargro, and am always on the lookout for good non-Bianco, non-LGO pizza choices. My favorite is Classic Italian Pizza in Tempe, but Mamma Mia sounds like it's a lot closer to my home. Can you tell me a little more in terms of type of crust, any specialties of the house, availability of wine and beer, etc.?

                          Pizzeria Bianco
                          623 E Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

                          Mamma Mia Original Pizza & Subs
                          3937 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

                          1. re: silverbear

                            I drove through east Phoenix on Indian School yesterday afternoon (after a delicious cheese steak at DeFalco's but that's another subject) and was thinking of launching a thread inquiring about Arcadia-area pizza joints and alternatives to the foodie pizzerias that have been thoroughly discussed, i.e. Grazie, Cibo, Classic Italian, Grimaldi's, etc.

                            I'm intrigued by Mama Mia's -- never tried it. I heartily endorse A Slice of Sicily at 38th and Indian School for tasty New York-style pie, good home-made red-sauce pasta dishes, reasonable prices and a friendly ambience. I'd like to know about Frank's at 32nd Street, Tomatoes at 48th Street, Fellini's at around 10th Street, DiVito's on Thomas at 56th ...

                            1. re: misohungrychewlow

                              Hi miso -- I work right there in Arcadia, and of the more obscure ones you mention and that I've tried, my ranking is that A Slice of Sicily takes both Mamma Mia and Tomatoes. However, we're only getting these take-out for lunch, I've never dined in any of the restaurants.

                              La Grande takes all of them, but of course they don't serve pizza at lunch, damn their eyes.

                              1. re: themis

                                I heartily agree with that assessment. Having just been in NYC last night, I wanted to compare some pizza to the Famous Famiglia (http://www.famousfamiglia.com/, which I had no idea was such a large chain) that I ate. For some reason I was expecting Mamma Mia (http://www.mammamiaphoenix.com/) to be coal brick oven pizza (the website doesn't say how they cook their pies), but the crust was pretty chewy with very little crispiness. Slice of Sicily is far, far better, IMHO, with an excellent crisp crust and better tasting red sauce. I haven't been to Red Tomato since they switched from Western Pizza, so I cannot say.

                          2. re: rdhargro

                            "Sure Chris has a really nice product, but it is not worth waiting that long for."

                            I disagree. The two times a year I go to PB, I go:
                            -As a willing participant and aware of the possible wait
                            -Knowing I will have a fantastic dinner with my dining partners, all sharing the antipasto app, wiseguy, and mushroom pizzas.

                            Will I go every week and stand in that line? Uh, no. But for those few times a year, the wait it worth it.

                        2. re: rdhargro

                          " Dont waste your time. The pizza is so so at best and overpriced. "

                          Wow. This is just my opinion but that's pretty harsh.

                          His pizza is renowned all over the country. Overpriced??????? $11 for a Margherita that is out of this world? Hardly. Let's not forget the anitpasto at $12 with some of the best wood-fired vegetables I've ever tasted.

                          Maybe I'm partial but I think the food is outstanding at PB.

                    2. After the difficulty of getting a reservation at El Bulli some diners are disappointed after trying it. Some find it ludicrous to plan a meal a year in advance and others find the idea of molecular gastronomy ridiculous and trendy.

                      Same applies to the French Laundry. Again the difficulty in getting a reservation. The two month wait. And in the end some are turned off by by the choreographed ballet type service. Or the food is a bit more traditional then their liking. In both examples I've seen people wondering why the hype? Getting to the point of this analogy these are subjective opinions and I accept them regardless if I agree or not.

                      But when were talking about pizza it's entirely another beast. We are all familiar with it regardless of the type. And we all have a preference and a opinion on the matter.
                      Yet 95% of what Americans regard pizza is made in corner pizza shops using mediocre ingredients. Don Pepino’s commercial sauce, Sysco shredded mozzarella cheese out of bag etc etc. Then it is put in a cardboard box to take home.
                      Comparing Chris Bianco's pizza's to those products are comparing apples to oranges. It is a fact that he uses San Marzano tomatoes and makes his own mozzarella. It is a fact he makes his own dough by hand each day, grows his own herbs and in general is fanatical about ingredient sourcing. There is little doubt that this attention to detail produces a better product. Which is fact and no longer subjective.

                      So I am puzzled by those who say it is not worth the wait. Am I wrong in assuming the more appropriate answer should be something like... I really can't recognize the difference in quality? Or if I do recognize it, I still can't justify waiting two hours?
                      Some people are willing to wait for a better product and others won't. Without making that personal distinction is to apply the product is poor. Which simply is not the case.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: oysterspearls

                        here, here oysterpearls.

                        i wish there was only a 2 month wait at french laundry, more like 5-6 months during the dot comm years i was in the bay area, but i digress.

                        you touch on an important point - whats chris's alternative? its a tiny spot, doesn't seat more than 60. but if you get there before 9, he's GOING to feed you.

                        what if they started taking reservations? would you really be willing to make a reservation 4 months in advance for pizza?

                        yes, its a wait, but its workable - put your name on the list, or get a party of 6 together because you'll get a reservation for that!!!

                        the caliber of the ingredients, the quality of the workmanship, for me, its worth the time and the wait, every time. it's an event i prepare for, and i've yet to be disappointed.

                        1. re: oysterspearls

                          I have eaten pizza in Naples and have eaten at numerous VPN pizza places in the united states> I recognize the quality of PB, but I also dont want to wait three hours to eat. I hear there is a VPN place in Oro Valley I wonder what their wait is?