I must admit that it came as a shock to me to find out that Phoenix, Arizona is kind of “on the map” as one of the go-to cities in the US for pizza lovers. I expected it to shine in Southwestern food, but my few visits to my sister over there have left me a little underwhelmed in that regard. So, when a pizza place in Phoenix made it on a Food Network list, I used the next visit to my sister and her family as an excuse to give them a try. We made our way to The Parlor Pizzeria in a caravan of half adults and half kids.
The walkway towards the entrance is decorated with a small garden. According to the hostess, they try to get as much of their pizza ingredients from their outdoor garden. That is one thing that stood out about this place.
We started with a fritto misto (fried calamari and shrimp) and an order of arancini (fried saffron risotto balls). We enjoyed both. The fritto misto had a very light batter and was tender, not rubbery. None of us were fans of romesco sauce, but discovered that it was fanastic when dipped in the pomodoro sauce that arancini were served with. I expected the arancini to be cheesier, but it was a little bit dry and crumbly on the inside. This probably helped the saffron stand out, but I’m used to risotto being creamy and cheesy.
Unlike most pizza joints, The Parlor Pizzeria doesn’t have a “build your own pizza” option where you pick your size and toppings. Instead, they have a fixed menu of available pizzas with pre-selected toppings. I played it safe and ordered a Pepperoni. It came with giant slices of pepperoni, house-made mozzarella cheese, and basil. I can’t begin to describe how amazing it smelled when it was brought to the table. Then I tasted it. I think I finally understand why restaurants boast about local ingredients on their menus. This pizza was unlike any mass-produced pie that I have ever eaten in my life. Even the grease pooling up on top of the pizza was flavorful. It tasted of all of the love and passion that was used to make every single ingredient. It tasted like heaven. Cheesy, greasy heaven.
For the kids, they also had plain cheese pizza, as well as pepperoni pizza without the fancy cheese and basil. The kids, picky as they are, all loved their pizza and were excited to come back when their aunt from Miami asked if there was time for a quick lunch before dropping her off at the airport on the day that she was scheduled to leave. And, I definitely plan on visiting them again the next time that I’m in Phoenix.
For more information on The Parlor Pizzeria, visit their web site at https://theparlor.us/