April 28th – May 1st, 2017
This past weekend I took a trip to visit a friend out in Phoenix, without Eric. Since there was only one pizza place that made the Daily Meal’s 101 list (Pizzeria Bianco), and I was planning on being in town for 4 days, we had to do a bit of searching for some new pizzas to try.
We started out back at Pizzeria Bianco, though, because it is so close to the airport and I was hungry for pizza after a long day of travel. It was so nice out and we were able to sit outside and enjoy our pizzas. We almost ordered the same thing that we got the first time (the Margherita and the Biancoverde) but switched it up at the last minute to try the Wiseguy, which was also a white pizza, but has roasted onions, and fennel sausage. It was a good choice. Our one complaint would be that the sausage was a sliced a little too big.
Pizzeria Bianco was the very first restaurant off of the list that we hit on our pizza adventure back in 2015. We didn’t have any of the other pizzas to compare it to back then. Now, after having been to 101+ pizzerias (many that are similar Neapolitan-style), I can see why Bianco gets rated pretty highly. It is definitely on par with many of the NYC Neapolitan greats, although the toppings tend to be more adventurous in NYC. The crust was probably the best of the AZ pizzas that we tried, but doesn’t quite live up to the best that we’ve had. But overall it was a solid start to the weekend.
After taking a break from pizza on Saturday, we ended up wanting more pizza on Sunday night. We decided to consult the trusty Where To Eat Pizza book that was kindly gifted to us. If you haven’t seen it, this book is awesome. It features over 1700 pizzerias from around the world that have been recommended by local chefs and pizzaiolis, with addresses, hours, and short blurbs about each one. It is divided by continent and country, and US city, state, or region . We’ve been making our way through several of the NYC recommendations and have mostly been happy with the pizzas highlighted.
The book listed about 6 pizza places in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area (including Bianco), so we decided to make it easy for ourselves and went to the closest one. This happened to be LAMP Pizzeria.
Again, we took advantage of the sunny-but-not-too-hot weather and sat outside. We started with the eggplant parmesan appetizer, which is a perfect bite-size to share between two people who are saving room for pizza. We had a harder time choosing pizzas here than at Bianco because there is more of a selection, but we ended up getting another white pie with roasted mushrooms, sausage, ricotta, and sliced red onion, and another Margherita, which was topped with arugula and freshly sliced parmesan cheese.
The crusts on these were thinner than Bianco’s, but held up to the toppings and had a nice crunch. The sliced parmesan on top of the Margherita really made the pizza. Again, we weren’t thrilled with the sausage on the white pie. It was clumped sausage this time, but the flavor wasn’t our favorite. A good, solid, pizza, but at the same time they probably “won’t be causing Chris Bianco any sleepless nights”.
Side note: In case you were wondering why the pizzeria is called LAMP (I was, because it is a really strange name for a pizzeria), it is an abbreviation for “Lindsay and Matt Pilato”, who are the owners and chef.
My flight back to NJ was on Monday, and since I was taking the red eye we had time to cram in one last pizza stop. For this last stop, we stepped away from the lists and tried another local place that my friend had heard of, Humble Pie. Again, we sat outside, so that I could soak up as much AZ sunshine as possible before my flight back East. We started with a couple of sangrias (because, happy hour!) and an order of the cheesy bread, which was essentially pizza dough with just cheese.
Since the cheesy bread made me a bit full of cheese, I went with the Organic Local Vegetable pizza (without cheese), and my friend ordered (you guessed it!) sausage. Humble Pie actually has three different sausage pies on the menu, and this was the signature sausage. We have to say that it was the best sausage of the three that we tried this weekend. I liked the vegetable pie, but picked off the olives, of course.
Eric is once again sad that he missed the Arizona pizza, but we’ll be back!
623 E. Adams Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004
LAMP Wood Oven Pizzeria
8900 E Pinnacle Peak Rd
6501 E Greenway Pkwy
Scottsdale, AZ 85254