There are a handful of Grimaldi’s pizzerias in Arizona, owned and operated by sons of the owner (no longer Patsy Grimaldi, incidentally) of Grimaldi’s in Brooklyn. We’ve only visited the one in Old Town Scottsdale (they’ve been expanding: there are now seven in AZ, twelve in Texas, six in Vegas, and more in California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, and South Carolina), but in our experience the pizza in Scottsdale, if you order correctly, is superior to the pies found at the Brooklyn original.
Our first visit to an Arizona Grimaldi’s came about by way of an aborted attempt to sample Chris Bianco’s celebrated pizzas. The process of securing a table at Pizzeria Bianco can be onerous, and we were forced into looking for an alternative. So Grimaldi’s it was.
Grimaldi’s uses a coal-fired brick oven, just like in the Brooklyn store. The pies are built in much the same way, too, from the good crushed canned tomato (not sauce) right down to the sparse scattering of fresh basil. What we most appreciate, though, is the chewy-crisp, smoky pizza crust (but we recommend telling them you like your pies well-cooked, because they’ve learned that the locals are turned off by East Coast burnt spots). For some reason, the Brooklyn crust just doesn’t have the same depth of flavor, and can be flabby-textured, in our opinion. And we always fall for superior fresh bread.
The chunks of juicy Italian sausage are excellent. If you love fresh mozzarella, know that the white pie is blanketed rim to rim with the stuff. We would recommend a request for extra fresh basil (extra charge) so that every slice could feature a fresh bite of the fragrant herb.
Like everywhere in spacious Arizona, the restaurant is roomy, with that shiny-happy midscale-chain aura, and there’s plenty of parking. What Scottsdale’s Grimaldi’s lacks in character, it makes up for in first-class pizza.4000 North Scottsdale Road Scottsdale AZ 85251 480-994-1100 Grimaldi Website Grimaldi on Facebook