“Avoid fruits and nuts. You are what you eat.”
My friend had recommended Spinato’s Pizza so I decided to try it out with her since I had never been and she had liked it. Spinato’s is a locally owned family pizzeria that started in Phoenix in 1974. They now have 5 locations spread throughout the valley. Since I’m not a big fan of chain restaurants, I was more than excited to try this new pizzeria especially since it was Chicago style pizza. The best pizza I ever had was in fact in Chicago.
We arrived around 5:30 on Friday evening and the place was starting to getting crowded. The hostess seated us in the bar area since it seemed like a more ideal place to sit versus the dining room. She dropped off the menus and advised that our server would be with us momentarily. We waited about 15 minutes or so before our server acknowledged that we were in her section. She got our drink and food orders since we had more than enough time to make up our minds.
My friend opted to get the Going Greek salad (side $3.99) and the Tomato Basil Bruschetta ($7.29). I decided on the personal 7” sized Baked Spaghetti Calzone w/meatballs ($5.49). I decided to not drink as I had to drive and I wanted to get dessert.
She got her salad and the bruschetta which she shared with me. When I think of bruschetta, I imagine it on a sturdy crispy piece of french bread or baguette not on a piece of focaccia. Now don’t get me wrong - I love focaccia as much as the next person, but focaccia isn’t a sturdy piece of bread to pile on tomatoes drenched in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The bruschetta was good but did not blow me away by any means. It had good flavor but it’s not something that sticks out in my mind.
Half way through the bruschetta, our server brought the baked spagetti calzone which was enormous and I got the smallest size! I can only imagine what the other sizes look like (out of control). It smelled delicious and had marinara sauce spilling over the top of it. I took my first bite and was absolutely horrified by what I tasted. The sauce was sweet?! Who on earth makes sweet marinara sauce? That should be a crime! It didn’t even have the slight essence of Italian herbs that are a requirement in all marinara sauces and the sweetness was overbearing. I had to doctor it up by piling on the parmeasan and the red pepper flakes before I deemed it edible. I was able to eat half of it before I decided it was time for dessert.
The dessert was Spinato’s only saving grace from getting one star from me. I’m partially lactose intolerant and can’t eat ice cream, ranch or sour cream (I know my life sucks!) they had gelato which I can eat! My friend got two scoops of vanilla bean and chocolate and I decided to get pistachio, raspberry sorbet, and vanilla bean. The gelato was decadently smooth and creamy. I wasn’t thrilled about the pistachio as I could sense the almond extract in it and I’m not a fan! The raspberry and vanilla bean made up for it. The raspberry sorbet was tart and sweet and mixed with the vanilla bean balanced each other out.
We had to be wheeled out because we were so full...it was official - I had a spaghetti calazone baby! Overall, I was not impressed with Spinato’s and there are better pizzerias in Phoenix that one can go to. I like that it’s locally owned, a family owned business, and their gelato.
My review: 2 out of 5 stars
4848 E Chandler Blvd
Phoenix, AZ 85044
Taken from Yelp:
Hours: Mon-Thu, Sun 11 am - 9 pm
Fri-Sat 11 am - 10 pm
Good for Groups: Yes
Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
Parking: Private Lot
Price Range: $$
Good for Kids: Yes
Takes Reservations: Yes
Waiter Service: Yes
Outdoor Seating: No
Good For: Lunch & Dinner
Alcohol: Full Bar
Noise Level: Average
Has TV: Yes