It was an interesting layout – we came in between two buildings decorated with the Oregano name, and the thought crossed my mind that it’s not clear which side to go in. Luckily, at that moment, a chipper 22-year-old hostess comes by and greets us, and goes to the hostess stand, which is outside as well. She asks if we want an inside or an outside table, and this being Phoenix, we ask for an inside table. Of course, this being Phoenix, we’re not the only people who think this way, and there’s a 15 to 20 minute wait for a seat inside. She asks if we’ll take an outside table, and since it’s not terribly bad out, and they have umbrellas over there, we decide to chance it. It turns out it’s actually rather cool over there, as they have embraced mister technology wholeheartedly.
We sit down, and absorb the atmosphere, and some diet cokes. The whole place is made to look like a harbor pier in Chicago, and we watch the cars actually drive up and park just 50 feet from where we sit, like we’re on the edge of an alley. The two walls to our right and left were both wonderfully painted to look like the Chicago shoreline, including the John Hancock, and the Drake hotel. Interesting how I come from Chicago to Phoenix, only to eat in a restaurant imitating Chicago, but it was really well done.
We decide on stuffed pizza. My dad wants sausage, to which I say ‘ew’, and order a spinnocolli stuffed pizza. Because the wait for the pizza is 30-45 minutes, we splurged and ordered garlic bread with cheese as an appetizer. Turns out it could have been a meal, it was so large, but it was very tasty.
My dad and I enjoyed the sun, and being outside with the misters, and talked in sporadic bits. We were also entertained by reading the back of the wait staff’s t-shirts, each with a different witty saying: “Menu can trust”(on a couple girls’ backs), “Chicks dig it” (on the back of a guy), etc. The pizza came, and was quite good, but I didn’t eat as much as I might have, because I’d seen on the menu something called a pizzookie, and I was definitely having that for dessert.
What is a pizzookie? They’re similar to a skillet cookie, which is one of the most fabulous desserts on this earth. You take a 6 inch deep dish pan, fill the bottom with chocolate chip cookie dough, bake it half way, so it’s gooey and warm. Then, you add a couple of scoops of ice cream on top, and some sprinkles for good measure. It’s heaven in a pizza pan.
And then, we got fortune cookies with the tab. It’s the first time either of us has gotten fortune cookies at a restaurant, and we’re not sure what the angle is there. But hey, a little mystery is always a good thing, right?
So, anyway, if you’re in the Phoenix area, definitely stop by Oreganos.