At Giordano’s, pizza is the main event. Yes, the menu includes other offerings, but, as Giordano CEO Yorgo Koutsogiorgas explains, they support the main course. “Giordano’s is narrowly focused. Our business is pizza.”
Serving the Chicago-style deep-dish dish pizza, Giordano’s has its own distinctive style: stuffed. In its version, “stuffed” does not mean an overly bready product but, rather, ingredients as the central layer between thin layers of crust, with the tomato sauce as topping. Koutsogiorgas likens it to a souffle; ultimately, the top crust essentially disappears in the baking while helping keep the filling of cheeses and add-ins moist and lively.
The cheese is what really sets Giordano’s apart. It’s fresh and flavorful, and does not have the common salty after-effect of a residual thirstiness that leaves the diner craving something to drink for hours after eating. According to Koutsogiorgas, Giordano’s cheese is the most expensive in the market; it is an artisan cheese sourced directly from its producer in dairy-famous Wisconsin.
Attention to Giordano’s “true ingredients” promise of all-natural includes pizza’s other main ingredient: tomatoes. Giordano’s’ come from Mendocino County, California, chosen for their lower acidity and higher moisture content — making them noticeably sweeter in flavor.
Rounding out the menu are salads, sandwiches, appetizers and a few classic Italian dishes that include spaghetti, lasagna and chicken parmesan.
Giordano’s first came west to Arizona four years ago, with a food truck traveling cross-country from Chicago to Mesa to be part of the Chicago Cubs’ spring training. It opened a standing restaurant two years later, in Peoria, and recently opened one in Phoenix near Paradise Valley Mall. The new location even boasts a revolving door at the entrance (with a single-door entrance next to it, for the more faint of heart).
Inside is bright and cheerful, with a window that lets patrons watch the pizzas being made. There’s bar-style seating (no, there’s no bar) and a spacious dining room as well as patio seating.
While everything is made from fresh — not frozen — ingredients, there are frozen pizzas conveniently at hand by the cashier’s stand to pick up and take home for another day, in addition to the standard hot take-out option.
12811 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix • (480) 666-8160
16222 N. 83rd Ave., Peoria • (623) 208-4330
Giordano’s Seasonal Specials
Oct. 4 – Dec. 31
Street Taco Pizza, exclusive at Arizona and Nevada restaurants: taco-style ingredients layered over a light, crispy, extra- thin crust.
Pepperoni Pizza Fries: a savory blend of pepperoni, house-made meat sauce, a melted mix of four cheeses and herbs over a heaping serving of Parmesan shoestring fries.
Apple Pan Pie: roasted apples baked into a flaky pastry crust, topped with a drizzle of caramel and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.