Florencia Pizza Bistro

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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.

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Mozzarella Sticks

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Clark’s Classic

“Duel in the Dessert” fundraiser 

Florencia Pizza Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Tempe Public Market Café

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I am such a fan of the Phoenix location and St. Francis that I was pretty stoked to hear that chef Aaron Chamberlin was putting a location in the East Valley (closer to home for me). I thought the decision to put a location in a quiet residential part of southern Tempe with no restaurants within a mile was pretty bold for them. They are essentially sending a message that they are going to own this area and be a cafe for the surrounding neighborhoods. I’ll be honest that my first couple of visits during opening month had its issues. The lines were super long and the customer service was working through many kinks. But after a few months, Tempe Public Market is quietly settling in and becoming a staple in this area. The patio area is dog friendly and very spacious. They have plenty of misters for the hot summers and a killer fireplace for the colder winter evenings. I like that beverages (non-alcoholic) are self-serve. They have counter service for ordering your food and seating is open. These are some of those things that makes this place feel like home. So far I’ve had breakfast and dinner here now. The Blue Corn Pancake is fantastic. It’s pretty large but not too filling for a pancake. The Steel Cut Oats are good but a little on the pricey side for me for oatmeal. They also do a community night for dinner on some nights. It’s a 3-course dinner for around $13 that includes salad, entree and dessert. Overall I can see this as a regular stop for me (especially in the mornings on that patio). I love the Farmer’s Market at the Phoenix location and hope that is something that gets incorporated here someday.

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Steel Cut Oatmeal

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Poptart

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Blue Corn Pancake

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Tempe Public Market Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pizza Muffins

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Pepperoni Pizza Muffins

Having lived by Florindino Pizza & Pasta for many years, I eat their famous pizza muffins quite often. My kids love them! This family-friendly neighborhood Italian pizza and pasta restaurant offers classics like chicken parmigiana, lasagna, and antipasto salads. But they are known for their large calzones and pizza muffins. The calzones can be stuff with your ingredients of choice: pepperoni, ham, salami, bacon, broccoli, black olives, pineapple, jalapenos, and ricotta. The pizza muffins are freshly baked and stuffed with your choice of pepperoni, ham, sausage, and fresh mozzarella cheese. I love coming here and love the great friendly service they offer.

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Traditional Pizza

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Floridino’s Bread Sticks with Cheese

Floridino's Pizza & Pasta Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Astor House

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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.

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Combo (Brisket & Pulled Pork)

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Gooey Butter Cake

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Lemon Bar

Astor House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Spokes on Southern

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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.

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Lumberyard Diamond Down Lager

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S.O.S. Queso Sauce

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Carver Burger

Spokes on Southern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Floridino’s Pizza & Pasta

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Pepperoni Pizza Muffins

Best lunch specials in Chandler – I love this place! This has been a favorite stop for Chandler locals for some time. The calzones are huge and pizza is good! But the must-have is always the pizza muffins. They are amazing! I recommended a friend try them and she quoted “Pizza Muffins have changed my life!” Floridino’s has nightly specials in addition to their lunch and happy hour specials. Family nights are a great deal!

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Sausage & Olive Calzone

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Sicilian Sundae

From their website:

All too often Arizonans discuss their favorite restaurants from “back home” or what they are looking for in an eatery and can’t find in the Phoenix Valley. Floridino’s took the requests to heart and in 1996 we opened our doors with the promise to embrace family-oriented, full-service, true Italian restaurant food in Chandler.

Our menu boasts of oven-baked sandwiches, heaping salads, mouth-watering pizzas, generous portions of pasta and calzones stuffed to the brim. While that is enough incentive to give us a try, a meal at Floridino’s is hardly complete without our renowned pizza muffins or a Sicilian sundae.

2005 brought about Floridino’s unbeatable lunch specials. Starting at $4.75, the goal was to provide a full meal in a timely manner to area working people. The demand was so great, we opened a Chandler banquet facility that can seat up to 60.

Floridino’s is your local Italian restaurant that remains loyal to the community. As always, we support and enjoy giving back to community in the form of food, money and volunteer donations as well as gift certificates for raffles and the utilization of our establishment to house fundraisers.

Floridino's Pizza & Pasta Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato