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Phx: Top Pizza Joints

http://www.azcentral.com/flash/ent/su...

The Valley sure has a lot to offer in the way of pizza.

Just curious if any Chowhounder out there finds their favorite pizza joint missing from Seftel's list.

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  1. I like Vincent's pizza, and also La Bocca.

    1. After two visits, I'd rank Parlor ahead of Pizza a Metro or Cibo.

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      The Parlor Pizzeria
      1916 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016

      13 Replies
      1. re: hohokam

        Good to know. I went there today for the duck club and a roasted summer corn soup - very nice. Looking forward to trying their pizza.

        1. re: azhotdish

          i'll be the lone dissenter. it was meh..its like nello's pizza in a wood oven - way too thick of a crust for that method, i think. not a fan

          1. re: winedubar

            Both of the pies I ordered had perfectly cooked crusts. To be sure, the crusts were not ultrathin and crackery, but rather both had a nice balance of crispness on the outside and tender chewiness on the inside. Maybe a tad thicker than what Humble Pie makes, but otherwise pretty similar. Neither was at all like the thick oily crust I'm used to getting at Nello's.

            1. re: hohokam

              the ones i tried were dead ringers. same size, same shape, same thickness, same dough, same texture, same sauce. which, if you think about it makes sense. parlor is the business started by the son of the nello's empire

              1. re: winedubar

                Hmm...maybe we're talking about two different styles of Nello's pizza. I've only had their thick crust pan pizza, which bears not even a passing resemblance to the pizzas I was served at The Parlor.

                Either way, I liked the pizzas I had at The Parlor and look forward to going there again.

                1. re: hohokam

                  I agree with hohokam on this one. I have had 3 pies there in the span of a week, and all were fantastic. Their BBQ Chix is great. The serrano chiles and shallots set it apart. Also, the crust is worlds away from Nello's. It has a much more complex flavor. I have to put it up there with Bianco, Classic Italian Pizza, and Patsy Grimaldi's for great pizza in a valley full or great pizza joints.

        2. re: hohokam

          I would have to agree with the rec of the Parlor, as I too find it superior to both Cibo and PaM, which I found to be disappointing any time that I have tried either. I do agree with Seftel about Vito's for deep dish "Chicago style" as it is truly my favorite of this type in town. One of my favorite take out places (and one that I frequent) for pizza would have to be AJ's at Central & Camelback. Looking forward to ordering Aiello's tomorrow and trying it for dinner! :)

          1. re: hohokam

            After a long break , I took some newbies to Pizza a Metro and it didn't quite deilver.

            The place is still a strip mall gem, the staff and service is fast and friendly. They serve great pastas, salads, etc. The pizza offerings are groovy. But there's something odd with the crust. It's not bad... just different and unique. I'm not saying it's good or bad, just a personal difference. Some hounds I like on here do not like certain pizza joints based on crust and maybe I'm learning from them. I've not really loved the dough as of late, but that's just me.

            To each his own.

            1. re: tastyjon

              Agree on all counts.

              The type of crust that The Parlor makes (similar to that at Humble Pie) is more to my liking than that at Pizza a Metro. I don't hate the crust at PaM, but in my book, it's not nearly as good as The Parlor's.

              Also, from the get-go I had minor qualms with the discrepancies between the toppings listed on the menu and the toppings actually served at Pizza a Metro (e.g., baby red lettuce and spinach instead of the promised arugula, bits of broccoli instead of broccoli rabe). I cut them some slack because they were new, but at the same time, I wondered why the owner wouldn't just send someone out to buy a couple of bags of arugula from a grocery store, or failing that, strike the item from the menu. The Parlor, on the other hand, has interesting topping offerings, all of which (so far) have been exactly as billed.

              I love having a friendly neighborhood pasta and pizza joint like PaM so close to my house for spur of the moment meals, but for a special pizza-centered night on the town, I venture farther afield.

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              Pizza A Metro
              2336 W Thomas Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85015

              1. re: hohokam

                I assume the pizzas at Amarone are the same as those at PaM? I've really enjoyed the pizzas I've tried from Amarone (particularly the meatball pie). I think the crust is a bit too salty. Overall, though, the texture (slightly chewy, crispy) and flavor are there, and are really nice. I think it's definitely worthy of inclusion on the list.

                1. re: crsin

                  Yes, Amarone & PaM pizzas are basically the same. The pizza ovens even look similar between the two locations. The price at PaM is lower than Amarone, last time we were there, anyway.

                  1. re: MesaChow

                    Oops. The site kicked me off in the middle of my reply.

                    Looks like MesaChow has the skinny. :-)

                  2. re: crsin

                    I haven't eaten at Amarone, but given that the pizza menu is the same as that at PaM, I too would assume the pizzas are at least very similar, if not identical, across the two restaurants.

                    Again, in general, I like the pizza at PaM, but I just happen to like the style of pizza at The Parlor more.

                    ps. I notice that the menu description of Amarone's "Saporita" pizza now includes broccoli, rather than broccoli rabe. So, perhaps there was a translation error that they eventually corrected.

            2. I have been to all of those except Pizza a Metro. Two of my standbys, Florencia and Amano, did not make the cut. They are on par with La Grande or Classic Italian, I'd say -- for my tastes, below Bianco, Cibo, and Grazie. I doubt he has been to either. But Parlor is now on my radar, thanks to hohokam's rec --!

              I don't have the love for Classic Italian that everyone else seems to. Fresh out of the oven: amazing; but ten minutes on the table, nothing much special. I do rate their crust in the top five, but in that case, the knots they serve are more appealing than their pizza. They deserve a very high ranking for being so passionate about their ingredients, but the product, for me, puts them on the tail end of that list.

              1. Redendo's, with locations in both northeast Scottsdale and Fountains Hills, seems an omission.

                I'm also fond of Pat's Pizza Plus at 12th St. & Northern, but I consider it more my neighborhood pizzeria than a destination pizzeria.

                I'd never heard of Vito's before, but I've got to give it a try. It's near my mother-in-law's residence.

                4 Replies
                1. re: silverbear

                  At Vito's, call your order in ahead of time. Otherwise, you'll end up spending half your time chatting with the owners.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    True that. The time I went, I knew that it would take 45 minutes to get a pizza, so we brought some good beer (It is a BYO place; I don't know if the article mentioned that) and settled in for our wait. Well, they were particularly busy with call-in orders and it took an hour and a half for our pizza to arrive. It was so good, though, that I couldn't even be mad. The crust is a tad flaky, buttery and golden; the sauce, simple crushed tomatoes reduced to a slight sweetness.

                    It is a very small dining room, 4-6 booths and a table or two. The vast majority of their business is call-in because of the long wait. So be prepared, it's a little odd to dine in-house there. They are friendly as can be and will take the time to entertain you, but it is not their normal mode.

                  2. re: silverbear

                    I agree on both counts with Pat's but I think that its not a destination has more to do with the deor than anything else. I think its the best of its kind of pizza in the city.

                    1. re: silverbear

                      i concur - redendo's makes a great pizza. and marinara. and garlic knots. i like them alot

                    2. I think Pino's deserves a mention (corner of Thomas and Central, near St. Joe's).

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        I second the nod to Pino's. My favorite place to pick up a pie to go.

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                        Pino's Pizza Al Centro
                        139 W Thomas Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85013

                      2. Cafe Pino has excellent wood-fired pizzas - my favorite in N Scotsdale at least. Have not been to the new Humble Pie yet in Desert Ridge, hopefully there's no fall-off from the original.

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                        Cafe Pino
                        7000 E Mayo Blvd # 1070, Phoenix, AZ

                        1. The only places I've tried on Seftel's list are Humble Pie and Cibo. I enjoyed pies at both places, but they are not my go-to for pizza when I visit my hometown. I refuse to stand in lines, other than for concert tickets, longer than 45 minutes, so PB is out.

                          Caveat: I am a plebian pizza lover and do not pretend to have a sophisticated palatte. However, as a former and native Tempean, my favorites have always been Nello's and Rosati's. It's not just nostalgia, I really find their pizzas to be delicious yet simple. Also, I don't like anything fancier than jalapenos on my pie.

                          Let the criticism of those choices follow.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: ginael

                            Just noticed this post. I'm several weeks late with the expected criticism.

                            j/k

                            As a "former and native Tempean," have you tried Classic Italian Pizza at Rural & Baseline? That's probably my favorite within Tempe city limits, although the much newer La Bocca on Mill Avenue is also good.

                            1. Phoenix has gotten plenty of props for pizza lately. Top or near of many lists. All great.

                              Curious to know, however, if anything is unique to Phoenix? And when I say unique, it's regarding the food. What's the unique Phoenix-specific twist? NY has the sclices. Chicago has the deep pies. California does the multicultural mix.

                              It seems to me that PHX needs to nurture some unique chiles, spices, protien, cheeses, etc. New Mexico kind of did this, and now claims a unique cuisine.