Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Phoenix, The Pizza Destination

Maybe we’d have better luck with the pizza cravings in Phoenix. Even though it is a long haul from Marfa to Phoenix, we decided to do it for one reason: Pizzeria Bianco. Bianco has been called a master pizza maker and his pizzeria is recognized as one of the best in the country. But there’s a twist. No reservations. No take-out. And Signore Bianco makes every pizza HIMSELF.

After grabbing a couple of drinks at the hotel bar, we took our gypsy cab (nice car, but we’re convinced the desk clerk alerted him and took a cut) to dinner. We thought we were arriving early enough to minimize the wait, and give us some time to maybe explore the area or have a cocktail.

The nice hostess informed us that our wait would be three-and-a-half to four hours. HUNH?!?! We looked at each other and said, “what else are we going to do,” and sat our asses down, thinking surely it wouldn’t be more than a couple of hours. That long wait time is a scare tactic, right?

The nice hostess also informed us that we could leave the property, but should check in every hour, by phone or in person, to maintain our spot on the list.

We wandered around a bit, only to realize that downtown Phoenix on a Tuesday is a whole lot like Marfa on a Monday. Dead, dead, dead.

So back to the bar at Bianco we headed. A lovely glass of wine later (it’s so much fun traveling with a sommelier!) I returned to the hostess to secure our position.

Now, let me describe the restaurant. There are approximately four tables for four. Two for two and a couple for five or six. The bar in the restaurant seats eight. As I approach the hostess, I am in line behind a young man checking on his table for two. His name is on the first page. Mine is well-down on the second. She informs him that there are 5 parties of two AHEAD OF HIM! Jeebus, where does that put me?!?!?!

“It’s looking like right at 10:35,” she says.

Did I mention that we had started the day in Central Daylight Time and ended the day in Mountain Standard? That means that 10:35 p.m. was going to feel like 12:35 a.m. to this old fucker. Damn you Bianco! Damn you and your fresh-daily mozzarella and perfect-every-time crusts.

Gardog was sweet about it. “I want you to enjoy this experience, not fall asleep in your pizza.” So back to the hotel we went, in search of a room service menu and a generic French Dip. Mmmm.

The pizza gods did not shine brightly on us this trip.


hokgardner said...

FOr a wait like that, the pizza better be damn good. I don't think you could ever convince me to wait like that.

Anonymous said...

It is so much more then just pizza.
I have been from Babbo in NY to the French Laundry in CA. And Pizzeria Bianco was my most memorable restaurant experience ever.


O'Pine said...

DANG Robert! Why you gotta make me feel bad? NEXT time, I'll have it all figured out. I'll put my name on the list BEFORE I go have cocktails, then scoot back in time for the luscious pizza. The smell was incredible and the place was as cute as could be.

Thanks for the endorsement!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, more than one show (!) on Food Network has commented that their pizza is the best in the U.S. Both times it was acknowledged that this was a bold statement, and still true. You have GOT to tell us about it when you make it back there. Annie MK