This past weekend we went out to Phoenix for a concert (Muse, with Silversun Pickups opening). Both bands were pretty good, and I’d say the 6 hour drive across the desert in blazing heat was worth it. We made a weekend out of it, ate some food, sat by the pool, got a tan, saw desert life, and nearly suffered from heat exhaustion.
(It was good to know that our temperature gauge in the car actually went up into the triple digits.)
Unfortunately, after walking in the unbearable dry heat with the sun beating down on my head covered in black hair and my body covered in extra ‘insulation’, I couldn’t imagine waiting 2 hours in an outdoor line in front of Pizzeria Bianco. It will remain one of my biggest regrets in life. I was almost willing to bear it, but my husband for some reason thought my life was more important than pizza (he needs to sort out his priorities). I made him promise that if we didn’t go this time, then we will have to go sometime in our lives.
His response: “You want me to promise you that we’ll stand in blazing heat for two hours to wait for pizza?!”
Me, very matter of factly: “Yes.”
Him: “No I can’t promise that.”
We did, however, manage to check out Pane Bianco. Pane Bianco is a sandwich shop owned by the same guy (Chris Bianco) who owns Pizzeria Bianco. And if the pizza is anything close to these sandwiches…then I really really will regret not waiting in line for 2 hours. We waited 10 minutes for this place to open its doors at 11am, and were the first in line to order. I felt special.
The pane bread is a flat bread baked on the spot in a hot wood-fired oven. The hot, crispy and slightly chewy bread is sliced open and ingredients are added into it immediately. Ingredients are fresh, some are even house made (the mozzarella). One thing to watch out for would be the price. $19.49 for two sandwiches and a bottle of water. The quality was definitely high up there for this place, but $8 per sandwich – well, I want to complain but it was just too good. I mean…if there was a subway next door selling $5 footlongs, or Pane selling $8 sandwiches, I’d still do Pane every single time. Unless I only had $5. Not that you can compare Pane to Subway, of course. I just meant by price.
Soppressata with Aged Provolone & Roasted Peppers sandwich. Soppressata is a salami, similar to pepperoni. The roasted red peppers are sweet and not bitter at all. The ingredients complemented each other very well. Very filling and the soppressata was flavorful in each bite.
Housemade Mozzarella, Local Tomato & Basil sandwich. The one I was waiting to try for weeks. What does housemade mozzarella taste like? It’s as if you’ve eaten mozzarella for the first time. Like fresh milk in a sandwich. The creaminess went well with the fresh basil and tomato. I could’ve eaten two of these, if I didn’t eat half of the Soppressata sandwich. The bread was what really made this sandwich though. The sandwich overall reminds me of my own panini recipe, the one inspired from paninis I’d eaten in Europe 45728 times.
The selection is small (4 kinds of sandwiches), but why make more if you’ve already accomplished perfection? Sometimes simple is best.
If you’re ever in Phoenix, and don’t want to wait in line for 2 hours at Pizzeria Bianco, give this place a chance.
Pane Bianco is Located at:
4404 N Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85012