Picazzo's Organic Kitchen: Happy Hour Report Card

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Picazzo's meatballs with fresh marinara are good at any hour, but the price is great at happy hour.

The Spot : Picazzo's Organic Kitchen, 440 W. Warner Rd., Tempe, AZ 85284. 480-831-5823

www.picazzos.com

Picazzo's has four other valley locations: The Esplanade; North Scottsdale; Paradise Valley; and Goodyear. Check each location for variations in menu and prices. Other AZ locations include: Casa Grande, Tucson, Sedona, Flagstaff, and Surprise.

The Hours: Picazzo's has a happy hour every day of the week. Sunday through Thursday happy hour pricing is available from 3-7pm and Fridays and Saturdays from 3-6pm.

The Details: With endless opportunities for organic, gluten-free, meat-eating, or the non-meating eating guest, there is something for everyone on Picazzo's menu. During happy hour, all appetizers are half price, and so are all 'organic beverages', which really means all of the cocktails, wine, and beer. Most of their cocktails are made form organic liquors and they offer gluten-free beers as well as your standard picks of microbrew and domestics. Everything here is fresh, tasty, and good for you. If you are on a gluten-free diet and you are dying to sink your teeth into pizza, this is definitely the place for you. If you are not on a gluten-free diet and you love really good pizza, this is the place for you. Try the meatballs or an order of BBQ Chipotle chicken wings for $4.75 during happy hour.

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Kiva James
Cucumber and Gin or Basil and Vodka? Tough decision, tasty results.
The Interior: The Tempe location has a large comfortable patio, an enclosed bar area with large television screens usually tuned to sports, and a modern dining room that is rather dimly lit, giving it an upscale feeling, though making it hard to read the menu.

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The brie didn't stand a chance at our table.
The Cost: At half price, the enormous meatballs in fresh marinara with artichokes and basil are $4.75 and are served with your choice of gluten-free or gluten-y bread. The wings here are juicy and organic and come in a variety of creative and delicious sauces. Our server was helpful and attentive and let us split our two orders of wings into four sauce varieties; we tried the BBQ Chipotle, BBQ Maple, Buffalo, and Spicy Thai Peanut. Each order of wings is $4.75. The Caprese Salad (also $4.75) includes a generous amount of fresh tomato, mozzarella, basil, and sun-dried tomato relish. The sun-dried tomatoes are a tart and refreshing departure from the standard drizzle of balsamic most places use on a caprese. Most of the signature organic cocktails are $4-5 throughout happy hour as are the organic wines. The "Basil Burst" is bursting with flavor for $4. For less than $20 you can fill up on wings, salad, meatballs, and a refreshing organic cocktail.

The Conclusion: If you are looking for a fresh alternative to standard happy hour fare with an Italian flavor palette, or if you are on a strict gluten-free diet, go to Picazzo's right away. Boasting a seal of approval from the Celiac Society for their gluten free practices, they keep utensils and kitchen space separate for their gluten-free cooking. The food is fresh, organic, with many local products. Another happy hour stand out was the Roasted Garlic and Brie for $5.25, which did not last long at our table. The Organic Cucumber Gin Fizz went down smooth at $4 as well. The wings and meatballs are heaping in portion size and in flavor. If you have a loved one who is suffering on a gluten free diet, take them to Picazzo's immediately. We love that they offer happy hour seven days a week.


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