We spent a week in Scottsdale and Phoenix, with an excursion up to Sedona and the Grand Canyon. (Lots of driving!) My favorite eating of the week was in Guadelupe, a neighborhood in between Phoenix and Tempe -- Thanks to Jim Dixon for recommending it! San Diego Bay, in the shopping center on the corner of Calle Guadelupe and Ave. del Yaqui, was excellent; also the other restaurant in that shopping center, Del Yaqui, makes great tacos and tamales (and I assume everything else is good, I didn't have time to try it all).
A few blocks north is Panaderia Flores -- wonderful cookies! It is a style of cookie that I had previously thought must not be any good, because I haven't liked them at any of the NY panaderias where I've tried them. But here they were stunningly good. Sort of round or triangular thick cookies, crumbly, with a cinnamon flavor. In NY they are either so hard you can't bite into them or fall apart when they touch your teeth; at Panaderia Flores they achieve the correct balance between crunchiness and crumbliness.
Outside Guadelupe... we ate at Pizza Bianca and were less than blown away. But I think, based on the number and quality of recommendations I have seen for PB, that we must have come on an off night. We had been wanting to try Mary Elaine's, but we never got it together. Cocktails at The Phoenician were very pleasant.
On the road, we had really top-notch homefries at Nick's Corner Cafe in Sedona (on 89A, at the north end of town), and a great chocolate-chip cookie at Cafe Espress in Flagstaff. (But awful, watery coffee -- good coffee doesn't seem to be available in Arizona.)
We were in Phoenix in December and ate at Pizzeria Bianca. It was at the end of the lunch crowd and we had wonderful friendly service and spectacularly good pizzas ( four different ones). It sounds like you may have experienced a bad night. It is really worth trying again.
re: Jeremy Osner
Pizzeria Bianca is definitely worth it. Usually quite steady, while not spectacular. Reasonable prices & always fresh, organic produce utilized. Not a long menu though. Just a few appetizers, salads & interesting pizzas. A salad of sliced fennel bulb, navel oranges, dandelion greens, oil & freash peper was excellent.
Such is Life - southern Mexican (not tacos, etc.)
Vincent's - French with southwestern flare
Lon's @ Hermosa Inn - gourmet continental with southwestern touch in a hidden old hacienda
Eliana's - Salvadoran; inexpensive, byob
Old Town Tortilla Factory - mexican, southwestern; nice outdoor patio for afternoon or evening meals
Christopher's La Fermier - French, continental mix
RoxSand - Gourmet fusion, continental
Durant's - great old steak & chop house in heart of downtown business corridor