Cacti living in the desert is no surprise but other plants survive as well. I read that the creosote bush is the most drought tolerant perennial in North America using strategies such as leaves that taste bitter (don't get chewed on often), waxy (preserving the rare rain water) and that fall off during extreme drought (uses less energy). Some are thought to be as much as 11,000 years old (not a typo!).
Of course the plants in the medians and along the road allowance are a little more pampered but are chosen for their climate appropriateness.
But let's eat! Today we drove downtown to Pizzeria Bianco, the flagship restaurant of a guy who started making pizzas in the back of a local grocery store in 1988.
We have no business reviewing anything Chris Bianco does. He has won a James Beard award and his creations have been rated as the best pizza in America by more impressive food people than I can list. All we can do is describe our wonderful experience and confirm what the experts have already declared.
They started us with complimentary crusty wonderful bread and rich fruity olive oil. I would have left here delighted if this was all that we ate!
The menu here is very limited. There are two starters, three salads and six pizzas. We started with Spiedini which is Fontina wrapped in Prosciutto and served over Arugula. We were instructed to slide the whole affair off of the skewer and eats bites of everything together including the arugula. It was salty, creamy, rich and offset by the slightly peppery green that was lightly dressed. A wonderful delicious experience.
Next up was the house made Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil Salad.Its not the first time that we have had fresh mozzarella but it was equal to any other being rich and slightly squeaky in texture! Also, where can we get tomatoes like this? And more of their exquisite olive oil!
Next was a near life changing pizza. Start with house made dough that has fermented 18 hours. Add more fresh Mozzarella, Parmigiana Reggiano and Ricotta and more arugula and olive oil and bake it for 90 seconds (I'm guessing) in their wood burning oven and you have the Biancoverde. Now I know why I came to Phoenix in August. We devoured this crispy crusted creamy cheesy wonderful thing like we had been starving. If this is not on your bucket list, it should be.
People have been known to line up for 4 hours for this pizza. Marie and I and our usual slightly weird schedule arrived at 11:40 on Friday morning and were seated immediately. All tables were occupied by 11:55.
There is seating at the bar also which is listed as Bar Bianco. Our servers where wonderfully friendly and efficient. Another amazing thing is that this was an affordable experience. The best pizza in America doesn't seem to cost any more than any other brick oven pizza restaurant. They are choosing not to cash in on their name and reputation by charging a fortune.
And OMG, I almost forgot house made Nutmeg Italian Ice!
Not that anyone is asking but we give Pizzeria Bianco 5 out of 5.