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Here is my (probably not unique) take on Pizzeria Bianco:
Don’t come here on a budget, order away and leave satisfied.
Don’t expect to walk right in, unless you plan ahead (get there at 4 p.m.), and come on an off night.
Life isn’t fair, so pay attention to who is arriving before and after you as you arrive (if early), as we have been placed on the honor system, otherwise you may not make the first wave.
So, on to the grub. They have (über-cold) Four Peaks Sunbru on draft. This beer HAS to be super cold for me to like it, and it was that, and it pairs great with pasta/pizza. We started off with the antipasto, and yeah, we ate it all. The veggies cooked in wood gave it a nice flavor. Not necessarily the best antipasto ever, but different, and an excellent appetizer. We ordered a Sonny Boy (tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, salami, gaeta olives) and a Wiseguy (wood roasted onion, house smoked mozzarella, fennel sausage). The Wiseguy is a white pizza, which I am usually not too fond of, but the fennel sausage and ultra thin crust it was excellent. The real winner in this meal was the Sonny Boy. Literally covered in thin, crisping salami and mozzarella cheese that actually had flavor, this was hands down the best pizza I have ever had the pleasure of eating.
I will come here again, early, hopefully often.
Pizzeria Bianco is located at 623 E. Adams St. (in Heritage Square) in the Downtown District (light rail station at 3rd Street and Washington/Jefferson) — 602.258.8300
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What kind of entertainment in Downtown Phoenix is inexpensive, great for the whole family, gets you out of the heat and is something you may not have considered before, even though it has been around for more than 10 years? Give up?
A Phoenix Mercury basketball game.
The Mercury’s new Chief Operating Officer, Amber Cox, is hoping to reach out to the Downtown community and encourage residents to embrace the Phoenix Mercury as a part of their neighborhood and as a premier entertainment option.
“I think the Mercury has always been about great family entertainment at a really affordable price,” Cox says, adding that tickets for lower-level seats are only $10 each. “We have a great core fan base that’s been with us 13 or 14 years, but I think there are a lot people that live Downtown that haven’t selected the Mercury as something to do on a Friday or Saturday night.”
Cox, a Missouri native and former high school and college basketball player, moved to Arizona in late 2004 to join the Mercury staff after working as the assistant athletic director at Columbia College in Missouri for five years.
When she joined the Mercury, she started working as the director of marketing and promotions, a position she held for six years until she was recently promoted to Chief Operating Officer. As the COO, she is in charge of business operations, budgets, community relations and marketing, among other things.
Cox has played an essential role in driving ticket and sponsorship revenue by developing and implementing advertising, promotions and media plans. She also led marketing efforts for the Phoenix Roadrunners, the Valley’s former minor league hockey team, for three seasons from 2006 to 2009. She currently serves on the Phoenix Women’s Sports Association board of directors.
Although she has been in Arizona for several years, Cox has only lived in the Downtown area for about three years. She first lived in north Scottsdale and says she only ventured downtown for work, but now loves living here.
“When I made the move down here, I just started discovering all of the great restaurants, different coffeehouses; and I think once you move down here you want to see it flourish, you want to see it grow,” she says. “I think all of the progress that’s being made is really exciting for the city of Phoenix, and certainly for everybody that lives down here and works down here.”
Now Cox hopes that the Mercury become a bigger part of the growing Downtown community, which she says already does a great job supporting the Phoenix Suns and the Diamondbacks.
“We’d love to see more people give give (the Mercury) a try,” she says.
The Mercury play at US Airways Center (light rail stations at 3rd Street and Washington/Jefferson) all summer long. For ticket information, visit the Mercury website.
Despite the relative humidity making it rather sticky outside, a large crowd gathered at the CityScape courtyard this morning to hear Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon’s remarks on the first Downtown pharmacy to open in 30 years, CVS/pharmacy. After brief speeches by the mayor, city councilmen, Red Development, CVS officials and U of A, the ribbon was cut, the registers opened and Downtown had a new shopping destination.
CVS/pharmacy is open seven days a week, Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. It is located at 50 W. Jefferson Ave. on the corner of 1st Avenue and Jefferson Street — light rail stations at Central/Washington and 1st Ave/Jefferson.
For the Arizona Diamondbacks, the first half of the season was one that they would like to forget. As the team gets ready to play the second half, there are some new faces rising to the occasion and some familiar ones hanging around.
After interim team manager Kirk Gibson won his first game, the tide turned as the team was unable to hold onto leads to win games. After the All-Star break last week, the D-backs headed to San Diego to face the National League West-leading Padres. In a series that promised to be a difficult one, the D-backs were swept once again. With the opening game of the series against San Diego rather lopsided, the two that followed were close, but without victory. After spending time in California, the team returned to Chase Field to play a couple more teams that have had successful records.
On Monday, the D-backs faced the New York Mets. The Mets are in second place in the National League East, all but assuring a tough series. For those of you that don’t know Ike Davis, the former Arizona State Sun Devil has earned his position as the starting first baseman for the Mets. Davis, a graduate of Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, has proven himself extremely well in the Big Leagues. In the first game against the Mets, the D-backs manufactured a convincing victory, winning the game by a total of 11 runs — most certainly a fun game to watch. The following evening was a little closer, as the D-backs edged the Mets by a score of 3 to 2 with Barry Enright gaining his second win as a D-backs pitcher. The third and final game of the series was even closer, as Arizona took part in a marathon game going 14 innings to beat the Mets with a walk-off RBI single. This marked the first time that the D-backs swept a three-game series since last August. The team swept a two-game series against the Giants earlier this year.
After the series against the Mets, the Diamondbacks played Thursday night against another solid National League West competitor, the San Francisco Giants. The Giants’ ace pitcher had the team’s number, as he was able to shut out the D-backs. Into the weekend, the D-backs will continue to face the Giants as Gibson’s record now stands at 6 and 11.
A reminder that Friday night is fireworks night after the game (weather permitting), and it is also singles night, sponsored by 102.5 KNIX and Sauza Tequila. Sauza will host a complimentary tequila tasting before the game. Tickets are only $15 for the event, and can be purchased at dbacks.com using a special promotion code.
Saturday’s promotion has been challenged due to a production error in the Mark Reynolds replica jerseys. The first 15,000 fans will receive vouchers for the jerseys to be redeemed at a later date.
Finally, on Sunday, the first 5,000 kids ages 12 and under will receive a Diamondbacks back-to-school binder. A post-game concert by the Wiggles is included with the ticket price, so bring out the kiddos!
|Last Week’s Games|
|Fri, 7/16||at Padres||L, 1-12|
|Sat, 7/17||at Padres||L, 5-8|
|Sun, 7/18||at Padres||L, 4-6|
|Mon, 7/19||Mets||W, 13-2|
|Tue, 7/20||Mets||W, 3-2|
|Wed, 7/21||Mets||W, 4-3|
|Thu, 7/22||Giants||L, 0-4|
|This Week’s Games|
|Fri, 7/23||Giants||6:40 p.m.||Fox Sports AZ|
|Sat, 7/24||Giants||5:10 p.m.||Fox Sports AZ|
|Sun, 7/25||Giants||1:10 p.m.||Fox Sports AZ|
|Tue, 7/27||at Phillies||4:05 p.m.||Fox Sports AZ|
|Wed, 7/28||at Phillies||4:05 p.m.||Fox Sports AZ|
|Thu, 7/29||at Phillies||4:05 p.m.||Fox Sports AZ|
Despite unfavorable economic conditions, Downtown Phoenix continues to be the spot for new restaurants. The rest of 2010 will feature many notable openings, as listed below.
Bliss — The former Fate and Nine|05 location is getting a new spin as Bliss (with its companion bar concept reBar). Set to open at the end of August, cuisine will be comfortable and casual, with both food- and drink-focused menus. Welcome to your new Roosevelt Row hangout.
Blu Burger Grill — Opening this winter (possibly after the first of the year), Blu Burger Grill is bringing its upscale sandwich concept (already successful in Scottsdale, Chandler and Peoria) to CityScape on the northeast corner of Central Avenue and Jefferson Street.
The Breakfast Club — An Old Town Scottsdale tradition, this breakfast spot will open its second location late this fall near the 1st and Jefferson streets corner of CityScape.
BrewPublic Craft House — Downtown has been enamored with craft beer for a while now, and Jason Doyle (who is opening Rasputin Vodka Bar, Huey’s and Le Crepe Nanou in CityScape as well) is bringing it in the form of BrewPublic Craft House, set to open in November.
Brick Pizzeria and Wine Bar — UNO Pizzeria closed this spring at the Arizona Center, but never fear, Brick Pizzeria and Wine Bar will be filling the void in the same space later this summer. Expect rustic pizzas and a good bottle selection before your movie date at AMC.
FilmBar — Indie flick hounds, the wait is over. At long last, Phoenix will open its first independent cinema meets beer and wine bar concept this November. Garfield and 2nd streets is where the screenings (and sipping) will take place.
Five Guys Burgers and Fries — An East Coast standby, Five Guys’ critically acclaimed quick-serve burgers, hot dogs and fries will reach Downtown Phoenix in CityScape. Five Guys’ sixth Valley location should be the first food concept opening at CityScape, set for an August debut.
Huey’s 24/7 Diner — You read it right: Finally, 24/7 dining in the heart of Downtown. Huey’s has cropped up locations on the East Coast, and diner fans are rejoicing — this is true, cheap comfort food, whenever you want it. Opening this fall.
La Crepe Nanou — The Big Easy comes to CityScape, in another Jason Doyle concept. Crepes, seafood and other café items highlight the menu, set to launch in October or November.
LGO Public House — Seemingly every Phoenician is familiar with LGO’s many concepts, from La Grande Orange to Chelsea’s Kitchen. This highly anticipated “gastropub” will open its doors in October at CityScape on the corner of 1st and Washington streets.
Nobuo at Teeter House — After months of anticipation, chef Nobuo Fukuda’s izakaya concept in the historic Teeter House in Heritage Square opened this week. Expect an expanded menu and longer hours in August.
Pita Jungle — A Valley Mediterranean mainstay that started on the edge of ASU’s main campus 16 years ago, Pita Jungle will open its tenth Valley location in the historic Gold Spot building on 3rd Avenue and Roosevelt Street at the end of September.
Rasputin Vodka Bar — Think Mother Russia here: caviar, crepes galore and a staggering vodka selection. Jason Doyle’s CityScape bar will be open in October.
Sam Fox Chop House — We knew Valleywide restaurateur Sam Fox couldn’t stay away from the promise of CityScape. This Chop House, a different concept from his widely popular Modern Steak in Scottsdale, is “Beverly Hills style,” so bring your Benjamins. The Chop House will occupy the 1st and Jefferson streets corner of CityScape this fall.
Silk Sushi — If you’ve been to Humble Pie, Blue Wasabi or Cajun House, you know Jimmy Carlin can do food in the Valley. Here is his second take on sushi and other classic Japanese dishes. Opens this fall in CityScape.
The Tilted Kilt — Yet another pub concept coming to CityScape, this Irish-themed sports bar will open its fifth Valley spot in November.
Vitamin T — Every time we turn around, it seems Aaron May is opening a new Valley restaurant. DPJ spoke with him back in March, where he spilled the beans on this Mexico City-style tacos ‘n tequila hole in the wall, opening in September near 1st and Washington streets in CityScape.
*Please note: Schedules are approximate and subject to change.