June 15, 2008

Fratelli Pizza

By Angele Sionna

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="180" caption="119 W. Phoenix Ave., Flagstaff, AZ"]119 W. Phoenix Ave., Flagstaff, AZ[/caption]

119 W. Phoenix Ave., Flagstaff
Menu at: fratellipizza.net

The Food (taste/flavor/quality of food & drinks)
>>>> = a favorite, can count on it being good every time

The Atmosphere (environment, wait staff, comfortableness)
xxxx = comfortable

Price (what to generally expect to pay per person per entree)
$= under $10

Value (what you get for your money)
***** = superb -lots of quality/taste for what you pay

When I walked into Fratelli Pizza, I was feeling brave and a little nervous. It was the first time I’d ventured to any restaurant by myself with my two year old and 8 month old daughters. I couldn’t have picked a better spot. The staff went out of their way to help me and the food was served hot and fast.

I strolled up to the counter holding my eldest’s hand and pushing my youngest in a stroller. We ordered one of their fantastic combos – plenty of food for us to share. For six bucks (including tax) we got an over-sized slice of cheese pizza, a fresh salad with ranch dressing, and a drink. You can also get two slices and a drink for the same price. Either combo can be upgraded to add one of the six beers they have on tap instead of a soda for $1.50 more.

After we ordered - we pulled up into a booth at Fratelli's relatively new location south of the tracks downtown. It still has that “new” feel to it. The five tables and four booths look like they could have been installed yesterday. The walls have a relaxing Italian garden wall theme painted on them. Two flat-screen TVs are mounted on either side of the restaurant. I’ve yet to be in here without some sort of sports on both of the TVs. The volume is always muted and instead they play upbeat music at a good level. Enough to entertain you if you’re there by yourself, yet quiet enough to have a good conversation with your fellow diners.

The waitress brought over our slice and salad as I filled up our glass at the beverage station. A nice kid-friendly feature here: along with the all you can drink refills, Fratelli has orange and lemon slices for your beer or iced tea. My daughter loves to snack on a few of the orange slices as her appetizer every time we’re here.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Fratelli's side salad"]Fratellis side salad[/caption]

I sat back down and we started munching down. The salad was not your typical quickie pizza joint salad. It was a fresh, crisp mix of spring greens topped with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, shredded carrots, and croutons. Served with ranch dressing on the side.
I couldn’t take more than two bites of it,though, before I turned my attention to the pizza.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Fratelli's cheese pizza slice"]Fratellis cheese pizza slice[/caption]

It was the size of two normal slices. The cheese was super-gooey with just the right amount of sauce. The dough is home made and hand tossed then baked in a stone deck oven. Perfect if you like New York-style thin crust, which I do. My daughter likes to add a little Parmesan on her part of the pizza. Luckily, Fratelli has that plus red peppers, Tabasco sauce, and garlic salt at the table to add on as you wish. Another kid-friendly feature at Fratelli, everything is served on non-breakable dishes – plastic salad plates and metal pans for the pizza.

Fratelli has more than slices on the menu, though it doesn’t go all crazy like some places with too many choices. Just the right amount of options to satisfy their base crowd: college students from Northern Arizona University, which is just down the street. Everything I’ve had before here has been good. If you’re not in the mood for pizza, I’d recommend the Giant Calzone ($8.50). I like the Veggie. My husband likes the Your Creation, which gives you the option of adding four toppings of your choice to the mozzarella. Note: if you like sauce on the inside, ask for it. Otherwise it’s just served on the side.

Fratelli Pizza has been voted the best of Flagstaff for the last six of the last seven years. I too think it’s the best pizza parlor in town. Whether you’re looking for a great pizza and beer joint or a night out with the family, avoid the chains and head to this small pizzeria. You’ll have a great time with its welcoming atmosphere and leave with a great taste in your mouth and a satisfied stomach.

More Fratelli photos HERE.


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