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Perceptions of Picazzo’s – featuring world’s worst wordplay

September 9, 2010

My sweetie and some friends hit up the newish Picazzo’s location (Oracle & Magee) this Labor Day weekend for some hangout time for Happy Hour.  The deals looked pretty dang good (half off organic cocktails, wine, and appetizers) so I was looking forward to a place that specializes in organic, local, and gluten-free options.  None of our group have any problems with wheat or gluten, but I was still curious about the gluten-free (GF) options.

Picazzo’s is an Arizona-based chain that began in 2002 in Sedona.  Now just 8 years later, they have locations in Flagstaff, Sedona, Lake Havasu, Casa Grande and six in the greater Phoenix metro area.  That’s some pretty fast growth.  As alluded to above, they specialize in organic, natural, preservative-free, and gluten-free options.

We took seats out on the patio and waited a while for someone to come out for our drink orders.  Kristine had the house white, while Luke and I opted for a couple of the gin-based cocktails.  Mine featured sage and agave nectar, and Luke’s was a twist on a sloe gin fizz with cucumber.  Both were good, and probably the highlights of our visit.  Lucinda, being waaaay pregnant, opted for a sparkling lemonade.  Baby Rain enjoyed her ice water from a sippy cup.

So here’s the deal (and the really bad wordplay): Picazzo’s was not so hot so… I decided to write about it.  The food was, well, fine.  There was nothing that really got me excited, nor was there anything awful about the food.  The baked wings with spicy thai peanut sauce were nicely cooked (and I was happy to have wings that weren’t fried), but the sauce wasn’t all that spicy and there could have been a little more of it.  The spinach/artichoke dip was tasty, but the bread was sort of dry and tough.  Was that from not using wheat flour?  I’m guessing that had something to do with it, but again I’m not really familiar with GF food so can’t say for sure.

So the food wasn’t bad, but there were some problems with the service.  Our server was nice, and chipper, and chatty.  He was also slow, and made excuses for it.  A couple of times he blamed how slammed the kitchen was, but there weren’t that many people there.  When the veggies didn’t come with the spinach/artichoke dip, he said that the kitchen was still prepping them.  He then came back a few minutes later with a couple of baby carrots and celery sticks on a plate that was too big for the few that were on there.  I’d much rather hear that a server or the kitchen forgot something than an excuse that’s pretty obviously untrue.

So the recap is that the cocktails were good, the food was unspectacular (although we didn’t have a broad variety of things), and the service was lacking.  I’m certainly not going to say that I’d never go back – in fact I would like to try some of their pizzas – but it’s going to be a while before I make it back up their way again.

-TFD

PS: Sorry I didn’t get any photos of our trip to Picazzo’s.  I know how dull an image-free blog post is!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Morgan permalink
    September 9, 2010 9:07 pm

    Kevin–Am I the only one who thinks it’s annoying that from Ina to Magee on Oracle there are 5+ pizza places? Magpies Pizza, Sauce, La Madrina, Mamas Pizza, Picazzos and Papa John’s. Come on! Oro Valley needs much better variety.

    • September 12, 2010 9:40 pm

      You know, Morgan, I’d never really even thought about the number of pizza places on that stretch! And isn’t there also a Peter Piper right over by Saffron??

      I guess the take-home message is that Oro Valley loooves it’s pizza!

  2. morgan permalink
    September 17, 2010 4:29 pm

    haha you’re so right. I think it means OV needs to step a little bit outside of the culinary box and experient with something other than pizza. Think about it, in that same area, there are 5 grocery stores! Safeway, Whole Foods, Sprouts, Trader Joes and Wal-Mart Grocery store.

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