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.
Tonight I went to Obadiah Parker’s CD release party of The Tip Jar, Vol. II at Kazimierz World Wine Bar (one of my favorites for late night music). Mat has been a long time friend and I’ve been attending his shows for years. The new EP is great so check it out!
I love the Film Bar in downtown Phoenix. FilmBar is a twenty one and over beer/wine bar dedicated to screening new, classic, cult and local independent/foreign films in a microcinema setting (about 70 seats). FilmBar is a unique place in Phoenix and caters to the local downtown Phoenix culture. I saw a movie called The Ambassador tonight. I love noir feel to it and the local art displayed on the walls.
Tonight I stopped in at a little coffee shop called Urban Beans. I’m just loving exploring downtown Phoenix and all these little restaurants and coffee shops that are tucked away in these old strip malls and warehouses. There are so many unique places with amazing food and drinks to check out. Plus majority of these places use locally grown products – so there is a sense of community around Phoenix with a sharing of products.
Urban Beans cooks up fresh breakfast and lunch everyday. They have a bar called Bar Urban that serves up locally and internationally crafted beers as well as wine. I got a Hot Mocha and a bag of beans tonight. I really enjoyed my conversation with my barista. For me, great customer service is just as important as the product. She is a student at Grand Canyon University and is studying to criminal justice. Being a toxicologist, we had a lot in common and it made for an enjoyable conversation. I enjoyed my time and my drink at Urban Beans and look forward to my next visit.
I’ve been doing Restaurant Week for years. It’s my way to check out new restaurants at a good price. I’ve had a few on my list that I have been wanting to go to and the hard part for me planning them throughout my already busy week. But Beckett’s Table came highly recommended and my friend Lisa Marie was available to join. You get a choice from a 3 course dinner menu for $30. I started off with the achiote citrus poached n chilled shrimp with avocado puree and black beans. For my main course, I tried the cola braised pulled pork with cole slaw. This was amazing! The meat was so tender and I loved the cola aftertaste that followed. For dessert, I tried the bacon chocolate s’mores with caramel sauce and peanut butter mousse. Now I’m not quite getting the bacon flavor trend going on, but I can see how bacon and chocolate are paired up. You get this rich chocolate flavor at first followed by a bacon aftertaste – very interesting. I loved the peanut butter mousse. This was an amazing experience and I look forward to visiting again.
* – From Restaurant Week website
Beckett’s Table is a new class of American eatery with chef driven food, an awarded wine list, and exemplary service. Chef Justin Beckett pairs sophisticated comfort food and international wines with genuine hospitality in a relaxed urban ambiance at an exceptional value.
Pesto’s Pizza & Wine Bar is a little establishment in Chandler that serves up gourmet pizzas and a large selection of wines. The restaurant has some unique decorations and has a fun atmosphere to it. I love the pesto dishes and the calzones. I attended a party tonight where everyone had to wear white.
Picazzo’s Organic Italian Kitchen is a health conscious restaurant in Scottsdale. They serve up organic Italian foods that all have gluten-free options on their menu. The food is just as good as any other Italian restaurant and I had a fun night with some good friends.