Pizzeria Bianco: Long Wait, High Expectations

Dear Slice

Slice mail answered.

Editor's note: Digging into the Slice mailbag, we find this dispatch from the (long) front lines at Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix. —The Mgmt.


Line, line. Everywhere a line.

Dear Slice, Letters From Our ReadersI am a longtime reader of your blog and fellow pizza connoisseur. I wanted to report on my recent experience at Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix.

My parents recently relocated to Phoenix after living in New York and then New Jersey for pretty much their entire lives. Our family has been accustomed to eating some of the nation's best pizza, (Di Fara, Grimaldi's, Patsy's, DeLorenzo's Tomato Pies in Trenton, New Jersey). When we read the reviews here about Chris Bianco and his pizza , we planned an evening out to try these locally famous pies.

We arrived at Pizzeria Bianco around 4:30 p.m. on a Saturday (30 minutes before they open) to find a line stretching down the block (picture is attached ). After waiting in line for about an hour, we made our way to the front of the line. At this point we were able to put our name on the list to be seated, the wait time: FOUR HOURS!

We all decided to wait it out and hope that the wait time was exaggerated. Little did we know that the estimate for our wait was pretty damn accurate. So about five hours and six bottles of wine later, we were seated and ready to order. Unfortunately, we were all drunk and tired by the time we sat down, so that took away from the enjoyment of the pizza we were about to eat. We ordered six pies, one of each on the menu. The pies arrived at our table about 25 minutes later. They were good but did not live up to our expectations, definitely not worth a five-hour wait. The crust was special, though. I enjoyed the different texture it had, almost chewy and crisp at the same time. Everyone in the group would have enjoyed the pizza a lot more if the wait wasn't as bad. We were all in agreement that Dom DeMarco makes a better pie, hands down.

Thanks for the recommendation, Slice! It was definitely an experience to remember.

Best Regards, Brian

Dear Brian, Well, at least you've gotten to try it, though I'm sorry to hear you had such a crazy wait. I still haven't been and so can't comment on whether the wait is worth it. Personally, I'm not sure any pizza is worth a total five-hour wait time, but that's me. Eventually I'll have to endure it, and I'm sure I'll pass the time as you did--with plenty of wine.

I wonder, though, if you didn't have an especially long wait because of holiday diners. The last time I was back in Kansas City for Christmas, I noticed the lines at Arthur Bryant's barbecue were especially long--I think everyone in from out of town was trying to get in their barbecue fix before heading out. Maybe you experienced the same with a Thanksgiving rush?

Anyway, thanks for sharing your story, and it reminds me that I've got some Bianco material sitting around that I haven't blogged yet. Later today, later today ...

Hasta la pizza, Adam