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Apr 25, 2010 09:05 PM

Pomo Pizzeria - Scottsdale

Saw some opinions in an earlier thread, but having eaten there this weekend, I thought it was worth it's own unique thread. If for no other reason, the metro area is becoming a pizza mini mecca and places like this are worth a unique discussion and possible pilgrimage.

A visiting Denver friend wanted to stay in one night, ordering pizza. But I couldn't think of a single good delivery place (or takeout) near me, but promised her we had great pizza here... just that most weren't in the delivery/To Go business.

So a few days later we went out for drinks and the promised good pizza. I knew Humble Pie was a safe bet for some wood fired pie. But I also had read about Pomo, and with it being across the street, thought we could do a mini pizza crawl... one pizza at each place. Humble was fine, and we went with the local veggie selection. Then we crossed the street.

Pomo has a modern bistro vibe with lots of black/white decor. I'm working from memory here, but it didn't seem very large (maybe 10-12 tables?), plus a limited bar and another set of seats facing the corner kitchen area. Don't quote me on these numbers - I was there to eat and was not thinking to write a review. We hit the bar and sat right away.

In our experience the staff were very friendly and efficient. We asked a lot of questions and they were quick to respond with suggestions. They seem very interested in steering perception, discussing the 900 degree oven that cooks pies in 90 seconds, their special dough, imported San Marzano tomatoes, etc. It's nice to find a place so passionate about the process, ingredients and philosophy.

In fact they start by suggesting the classic, simple Neapolitan-style pies such as the Margherita - most of which have no more than 2-3 basic ingredients done really well.
Since we went veggie at Humble Pie, my friend wanted a tad bit more, and requested I order "pepperoni and whatever" before scooting to the restroom. So our server suggested the "Diavola" which adds a touch of salty meat via Salame Piccante... American-style pepperoni is not an option.

I enjoyed watching the open kitchen and the crew... next time we'll sit up at the front row. And I thought the pie was almost perfect. A nice thin, but chewy crust with a kiss of scorch. A lovely tomato sauce. And the salame popped with a punch of flavors you can't buy in a store and replicate.

I'm not a pizza snoot and generally enjoy most of the oft-mentioned places in the area, but Pomo might have set a new standard for purist pie. Overall - a special place for a pizza experience.

If only one of these places would open a bare bones, delivery/take out joint!

Humble Pie
6149 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85250

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  1. I believe Pomo is the one and only VPN certified pizzeria in Phoenix (there is another VPN pizzeria in Tucson).

    15 Replies
      1. re: JerryMe

        Verace Pizza Napoletana. True Neapolitan pizza. It's a trade association (a very old one) whose certification essentially means that you're making the most hardcore version of traditional Neapolitan pizza possible. There are specifications for equipment, temperatures, ingredients, etc. etc., and anybody who holds the certification has been visited by representatives who have confirmed the authenticity of their product.

        There are maybe 30 or so in the US. Last I heard, Pomo hadn't yet received the designation but was working on it.

        1. re: Dmnkly

          Hardcore is a perfect description... or passionately focused.

          Not everyone is going to like their pies... but if you do, you'll appreciate the attention to detail.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            Thank you Ipsedixit and others! One of the reasons I love Chowhound - education!

          1. re: andyeats

            This is good news. Thanks for the heads up.

            1. re: andyeats

              Fascinating, and heartening.

              Reading their Rules page suggests it's not a terribly high bar they set:


              I would bet that several places in town could qualify if they changed minor things like the counter surface they work the pies on. Anywhere with a wood fire is an easy-in. I doubt Grimaldi's would give up the coal (nor would I want them to). Bianco or Nello's could make the transition and get an interesting selling point, though. Not like Bianco needs another one...

              1806 E Southern Ave, Tempe, AZ 85282

              1. re: blair_houghton

                I could be wrong, but I doubt it, Blair. The Proper Technique section that ends with "pizza preparation, etc." is a mighty open-ended standard. Reason being that you can use the same ingredients and the same equipment and create a pizza that's nothing like a Neapolitan pizza. Though there are hard and fast rules, I believe it goes well beyond that, down to achieving a certain indefinable style that falls under the category of "the judges know it when they see it."

                1. re: blair_houghton

                  That is exactly why the New Times is barely good enough to wrap fish in.

                  A better description -- and the precise rules -- can be found here:

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Yeah, that's where I got it:

                    "3. Proper technique: Hand-worked or low speed mixed dough, proper work surface (usually a marble slab), oven temp (800° F), pizza preparation, etc."

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      A more detailed excerpt -- looks like the full shebang isn't available online:

                      "Art. 5. Characteristics of the final product
                      a. Description of the product: «Pizza Napoletana» is an oven made circularly shaped culinary product , of a variable diameter which should not exceed 35 cm, with a elevated border (crust) and with the central part covered with toppings. The central part should be 0.3 cm thick, and the crust 1-2 cm thick. The pizza as a whole should be soft, elastic, easily folded as would be a pamphlet.
                      b. Aspect: «Pizza Napoletana» is characterized by a raised crust of golden color, typical of oven-made products. It is soft to the touch and taste, especially in the center of the toppings, where the red of the tomato stands out, and to which the oil or for the pizza marinara, the green of the oregano and the white of the garlic has perfectly amalgamated; In the case of the pizza Margherita, the white of the mozzarella should be in patches more or less close together, with the green of the basil leaves, more or less dark from the cooking process. The consistency should be soft, elastic, easily foldable. The product should be soft to the touch, with a characteristic taste deriving from the crust, presenting the typical taste of risen and cooked bread, mixed with the acidity of tomato, combined with the aroma, respectively of the oregano, garlic or basil, and with the flavor of the cooked mozzarella. The pizza, at the end of the cooking process, will emanate a characteristic aroma, at once perfumed and fragrant."

                      Point being, they're trying to preserve a very, very specific style of pizza with a very unique character. It's not a big tent.

                      1. re: Dmnkly

                        In many ways, it's probabaly more marketing glam than anything else. But that said, the criteria they use are still pretty exacting. Anal, also comes to mind.

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          Anal? No disagreement there :-)

                          But on the other point, I'm inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt. A traditional Neapolitan pizza is a venerable and historically significant foodstuff, and as somebody who tends to be annoyed when culinary terms are debased, I can understand the compulsion to defend its integrity.

                          The people who lose me are the ones who get into the rah-rah type of thing where Neapolitan is the *best* or the only *real* pizza. But if the goal is simply to honor and maintain a well-established tradition, from a cultural and historical standpoint, I see merit in that.

                          1. re: Dmnkly


                            VPN is not meant as a badge of "best pizza" -- only as a designation of a certain "type" of pizza.

              2. These guys all sound like they just arrived from the motherland. Fabulous ingredients and a beautiful crust on the pizza. Had the margharita pie and a salad of arugula, shaved parm, salami and prosciutto. Humble Pie is pretty damn good, but this pizza was a serious notch above. We were there on a slow lunch day last week; I don't know if they can handle the crush of a busy Friday night. Sure hope so.

                1 Reply
                1. re: wrightp

                  BTW, the Phoenix Fiat/ Lancia / Alfa car club is going to roll into Pomo this Saturday night around 7:30pm.

                2. Ate at Pomo tonight and it was really delicious.

                  We had the Caprese salad which was simple and tasty. My boys had the kids pies which they enjoyed and I thought were very fairly priced at $5.95.

                  There were two options marked on the menu as house favs so I ordered those. The diavalo was as described by OP very tasty. The Parma was quite different much more heavily dressed with a lot of fresh arugula, plenty of prosciutto and Parmesan.

                  I preferred the simplicity of the diavola but the wife preferred the freshness of the Parma both we'd order again.

                  The place has a bit more of a European feel than places like Humble Pie, Oregano's, Grimaldi's and it was perfect weather to eat outside tonight. All in all fun times :)

                  Humble Pie
                  6149 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85250

                  1. Btw if you like spicy be sure to ask for the chili oil. I was tempted to make a break for the door with a bottle :)

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