Florencia Pizza Bistro is one of those locally owned neighborhood eateries. Ahwatukee has a lot of these little hidden gems because most of them are located in strip malls. This one has been around for quite some time and resides next door to the popular Melting Pot. They offer three types of pizza – Traditional, Olive Oil (Garlic, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Mozzarella Cheese with no tomato sauce) and Pesto (Basil Pesto Sauce with no tomato sauce). You can create your own with toppings (over 40 topping choices) or choose from one of their popular specialty pizza creations. Some of the names include the Snow White, Pomodora, Valentinos, Winchester, Clevenger, Malanzane, Bo-Be and the Green-Eyed Chicken. There are many more creations to choose from and they have vegetarian options as well. The dough is house made and their pizzas are thin-crust. I’m more of a thick crust person myself but actually found their thin crust quite enjoyable. They also have panini, calzones, salads and sandwiches if pizza is not on your radar. Their appetizer menu is not incredibly large but they have a nice variety to choose from. I got the mozzarella sticks and felt they were just average. We ordered the Clark’s Classic pizza which consisted of pepperoni and chicken marinated in buffalo sauce. I was a little worried the sauce would soak through the thin crust and make it soggy but it actually held up (even eating it as a leftover the next day). There is a small bar area to the side where you can order a glass of wine or beer. The owner is a Wildcat fan (boo…) and they’ve had fun fundraisers in the past during the annual ASU/UA football game to benefit the local high schools in the area. It wasn’t very busy when I visited but service was pretty good.
Owner and architect DJ Fernandez owns this little restaurant as well as a couple other favorite’s of mine – Tuck Shop and Vovomeena. Astor House is located within the heart of the Coronado District. This cozy house-turned-eatery (next door to Tuck Shop) is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a focus on BBQ. They smoke their beef, pork, turkey and chicken over hickory wood. I got the Combo plate (Brisket & Pulled Pork) and the yummy gooey butter cake. I had a nice experience here and enjoyed the neighborhood feel to this place.
This is a great neighborhood restaurant in Tempe that encourages you to ride your bike to it. They have a nice big patio area where you can park your bike (or inside if you want) and hang out for some good food and drinks. The decor inside has a bicycle theme to it and there is a nice pond next door to the outdoor patio. Spokes on Southern is a great place to watch a game and grab a beer. They have over 24 beers on tap that includes several local favorites. I got the S.O.S. Queso Sauce Dip that has a spoke design on it made from Sriracha. The dip wasn’t bad, but The Carver burger was what hit home for me. I grabbed a Lumberyard Diamond Down Lager (Flagstaff’s very own) to drink. The staff was very friendly and welcoming and I look forward to another stop in.
Jimmy and Joe’s Pizzeria is a fairly new establishment here in the valley. Family owned, they have a fun story of how they came about. They have a simple menu, great customer service and they donate 10% of their profits to charities. I came here with a group of friends before a concert and really enjoyed the pizza. We got the Popeye (spinach, basil, garlic, feta, tomato and mozzarella) and I can’t wait to come back and try some of their other menu items.