by Sam Morales
La Piazza Al Forno is a family owned, wood fired pizzeria in Downtown Glendale. Their authentic style of cooking keeps the business coming.
“The father worked in pizzerias in New York. They’re from New Jersey, and they moved here a little over 30 years ago. The son and daughter went to Glendale high school, which is one of the reasons why they liked Glendale. The family owned a restaurant from 1996 to 1999, over on 43rd and Olive. That closed down and they decided to open this restaurant,”said Patty Reinfried, daytime manager at La Piazza Al Forno.
Piazza opened another restaurant in 2013 called La Piazza Phx. The newer restaurant is located in Downtown Phoenix.
La Piazza Al Forno bases their food off of Naples, Italy. Five years ago the business obtained proof of authenticity when certifiers from Naples came by and certified them as a real Napolitano pizzeria.
La Piazza Al Forno’s website, reiterates this by saying “while the square, round, extra thick or stuffed dough may be what you’re used to, it’s just not pizza.”
“Most of our stuff is imported. Our flour is imported. We make our house-made mozzarella every day. San Marzano tomatoes are imported from Italy. Both of our ovens were made and sent from Naples. Everything that says D.O.C. is certified authentic. It’s as Italian as you can get,” Reinfried said.
La Piazza Al Forno was featured on the popular Food Network show “Diners Drive-ins and Drives,” back in 2008. Their most popular pizza, the Italian Stallion, was featured on the show. Along with the Mediterranean pizza.
“The Italian Stallion has all the meat on it. It’s heavy. The Salvatore is my favorite because it’s light. I stick to the same pizza a lot, even though I’ve eaten a thousand pizzas here. However, I love adding arugula to my pizzas,” Reinfried said.
La Piazza Al Forno isn’t just known for their pizzas. Their desserts, pastas, salads, and even bottled sodas leave customers with plenty to choose from.
“The owner makes the most amazing cheesecake. She usually doesn’t do anything on Wednesdays and Thursdays, she just bakes,” Reinfried said.
La Piazza Al Forno is closed from 3 to 5 p.m. during the week. “It’s mostly just for my guys, the bakers. They work all day long. We close at 8:30 p.m. so it still gives them a decent time to spend with their families,” Reinfried said.
Inside La Piazza Al Forno are tables seated with a view of the brick ovens. All the awards given to the restaurant are seen when you first walk in.
“We just changed the interior about seven months ago. We wanted a more edgy, modern look,” Reinfried said.
Saturdays are the busiest day of the week for La Piazza Al Forno. There’s usually an hour to hour and a half wait on Saturday nights. The pizzeria expects to get busy in about two weeks due to Glendale Glitters and the snowbirds.
“Overall, we have ten employees. I’ve been here seven years. Our servers have been here usually three to five years. All of the cooks have been here five to six years. We’re like a family. We yell at each other all the time,” Reinfried said.
La Piazza Al Forno wants to get involved in the events happening around Downtown Glendale. “They’re about to do the Food Truck festival (Glendale’s Best Street Food) here on the 14th (November). ” Reinfried said.
La Piazza Al Forno has received four-star reviews from AZ Central to the AZ Republic. Not to mention the restaurant obtains a four star rating on Yelp.
“One of the greatest things about this place, is that the owners and us as employees care so much about the product. We have so many regulars, and that is our goal to make sure you guys come in and enjoy this authentic way of doing things.” Reinfried said.
La Piazza Al Forno is located on 5803 W. Glendale Ave. Their phone number is 623-847-3301. They’re closed Sunday and Monday. Their weekday hours are Tuesday through Thursday 11a.m. to 3 p.m., and 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Their weekend hours are Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.