Cafe Barrio or..
Cafe barrio or FNB. Visiting and need to take 9 people for a thank you dinner. I wanted Mastos but it seems more appropriate to take this group to something more casual, but we are real foodies. Also, my husband tried to get into a pizza place last year he thinks was in/near Tempe. He said it gets filled at 5..anyone know about this and would recommend it? Thanks.
FnB - great food. Small place. A place for foodies. Sometimes the menu might feel limited. Likely would be a successful dinner. Barrio and barrio queen more casual. Barrio Queen has served great food but the last two times we went it was a bit of hit and miss. For Mexican our current favorite is Distrito. Casual. Great favors. Food that will make you pause and appreciate.
Either would be a nice choice, assuming you've viewed the menus online and don't have a preference for which style of cuisine the group may prefer. We've been to Barrio several times and FnB many times and would not hesitate to recommend either. You may end up basing your decision on logistics: FnB has limited operating hours (days) this month (August) and neither has a very large dining area.
If they day you plan doesn't work out with either restaurant's availability, FnB does have a more casual sister restaurant just a couple of blocks away that serves the exact same type of dishes, just with fewer menu items: Baratin.
Barrio Cafe also has a more casual sister restaurant (coincidentally right across the street from FnB) called Barrio Queen. Based on my one visit there, I can not recommend it, although there was a very favorable review in the AZ Republic since then. Another note about Barrio is that they've just opened an outpost at Sky Harbor airport in Terminal 4, so if any of your group will be passing through, there's another opportunity to visit.
I think you're trying to compare Barrio Cafe to FnB. I'll leave recommendations between those two in the hands of those who have been to both more recently and frequently. I've been to each just one time.
The pizza place your husband is referring to is probably Pizzeria Bianco, located in the Heritage Square area of Downtown Phoenix. Reports of long waits are generally out of date. The restuarant added lunch service last year, making the evening crowds more tolerable.