Caprese Clash: Pane Bianco vs. Cibo


For this week's battle, we decided to take on the traditional, delicious, simple Caprese sandwich. The combination of tomato, basil, and fresh mozzarella all work so well together it's almost hard to imagine them not being together all the time.

See Also: Chris Bianco: Behind the Design of Italian Restaurant, Pizzeria Bianco, Pane Bianco, and Bar Bianco
See Also: Oh My, Cibo's New Breakfast Certainly Is Good

So we took the Caprese sandwiches from two of Phoenix's most loved Italian sandwich shops, Pane Bianco and Cibo, to see who has the better Caprese. Can Cibo's Saltimbocca beat James Beard Award-winning pizza maker Chris Bianco's simple sandwich?

Let's find out...


In This Corner: Pane Bianco

The Set Up: The sister sandwich shop to the world famous Pizzeria Bianco sits just off Central in a recently expanded stand alone building that shares a parking lot with Lux, a coffee shop. The small eatery cranks out three standard sandwich plus a daily market special, a couple salads and loaves of classic Italian bread to hungry, well-dressed lunch goers.

Pane's Caprese sandwich is a favorite with the midtown lunch crowd, especially with our vegetarian friends who seem to want to eat this sandwich and this sandwich only.

The Good: If there's one thing Bianco's knows how to do it's make bread. The bread on this sandwich was super chewy and if one of the most flavorful breads in town. The mozzarella was mild and soft, the thick cut tomatoes were nice and thick and the fresh basil leaves were nice and green. A great sandwich for a simple lunch.

The Bad: There is absolutely nothing bad about this sandwich but it is a little boring. We know that it's suppose to be simple but every time we eat this sandwich, we feel like there could be something more. Maybe a little more olive oil or some cracked black pepper. Something.

Location Info

Pane Bianco

4404 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Cibo Urban Wine Cafe & Pizzeria

603 N. Fifth Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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My Voice Nation Help

no question... Pane Bianco.  It's honestly not even a fair comparison.  Apples and oranges.


Having eaten at Cibo and finding it one of the most over-rated, over-priced, lack-luster, disappoiningly dismal eating experiences of my life I will never know how mediocre their caprese sandwich is. What a relief.

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