Pie Fight: Pizza a Metro vs. La Piazza al Forno

Sauce. Cheese. Dough. Pizza-making might seem like a simple endeavor, but there are  dozens of factors that go into determining what makes a quality pie. Most are personal preference: wood fired versus oven baked; thin crust or deep dish. Hand tossing, sauce consistency and type of cheese also affect the final product.

Whew! For this week's Battle of the Dishes, we decided to go easy on ourselves by comparing two Italian style wood-fired pies with similar toppings at two of the Valley's most reputable 'za joints.

In One Corner: Pizza a Metro

Pizza a Metro's pie is good, but greasy.

"Are you sure this is it?" my companion questioned as we pulled up to the seedy strip mall housing this Phoenix favorite. In New York City you wouldn't think twice about going into a pizza joint like this, but here in Phoenix it can signal either a hidden gem or a biohazard in the making. Luckily for us, Pizza a Metro is the former.


Inside, the small restaurant is homey and warm. Literally warm. Pizza a Metro is tiny, with just a handful of tables all within view of the blazing pizza oven. A painted mural of the Italian countryside fills one wall.

The landscape is pretty, though the Commedia dell'arte performer with the long-nosed mask is almost as creepy as the clown from Stephen King's It.

Owner Maurizio Benforte makes pretty much everything here from scratch, even the sausage and pasta. At the suggestion of our server, we ordered the housemade lasagna and a pizza. Not the three-foot-long monster the shop is named after, but a small pie with fennel sausage, broccoli and mozzarella.

Cute, or creepy?

​Our pie arrived a little extra crispy, with black char streaking the underside and crust. That's the downside of the wood-fired oven. I slid out a slice and the middle nearly collapsed after becoming soggy with grease. Good thing it tasted better than it looked.

The mozzarella was salty and fresh, the sausage sweet with a pungent anise flavor. Unlike most other pizza places offering broccoli, which burn the poor florets to a crisp, the broccoli here was perfectly cooked.

Pizza a Metro's pie was pretty tasty, but couldn't compete with the amazingly light lasagna, homemade noodles stuffed with ricotta and a sweet tomato sauce that tasted like fresh picked tomatoes.

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lover of food
lover of food

I totally agree with you, La Piazza hands down wins but I agree with the other comments that La Piazza Al Forno is as good as if not better than Bianco's. Been there 2 times and had to wait hours I say why wait when you can go to La Piazza the pizza is excellent and they have something that Bianco's doesn't......great Italian Food. Try their Chicken Pesto Lasagna.

pizza critic
pizza critic

I agree with you that La Piazza Al Forno is the winner but seriously you really think that Bianco's is better or are you just agreeing with the hype? I have been there, waited 3+ hours only to be disappointed. My advice, don't listen to the hype go t La Piazza Al Forno.


You really got this one right. Le Piazza Al Forno is without a doubt one of the best pizza's around. I do disagree that Bianco's is better, I've had both and my choice is La Piazza Al Forno.


I couldn't agree with you more --- except I think you're wrong about it being Plan B. I've waited that 3 hours to only be disappointed. La Piazza beats Bianco, IMHO.

Michael Escoto
Michael Escoto

I couldn't agree more with this one. I've had both and La Piazza al Forno is hands down the winner.


Seriously! Let the pizza war begin! LOL

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