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“Great Food but Save the Oregano for the Name” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Oregano's Pizza Bistro

Oregano's Pizza Bistro
1008 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85014-3230 (Camelback East)
602-241-0707
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Ranked #84 of 2,593 Restaurants in Phoenix
Price range: $1 - $20
Cuisines: Italian, Pizza
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Large groups, Doing business, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Takeout, Delivery, Late Night
Neighborhood: Camelback East
New Jersey
Top Contributor
292 reviews 292 reviews
275 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
102 helpful votes 102 helpful votes
“Great Food but Save the Oregano for the Name”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013

Their ads, billboards and website are done very well from a marketing perspective which made me a bit suspicious about the quality of the product otherwise known as form over substance. As a result, I went there not expecting too much so that I would not be disappointed.

Oregano’s is primarily billed as a pizza bistro however I went there because Thursday night is my pasta, meatball and sausage ritual. I must say when I read that they offer Chianti in a wicker wrapped bottle I was hooked like a fish that swallowed a treble hook. Lol!

You’ll immediately notice that this location has appeal and spunk to it as you walk through a fictional backyard, which has seating and a bar. If you go left you head into a door that leads to one of the dining areas. They have two dining areas of which one houses an additional bar and the cooking area.

When we walked past the open kitchen area I was thrilled to see a vintage two level pizza oven like we have back east. Based upon what I could tell it was a late 1960’s to mid-1970’s oven … nice. Since pizza was the feature item we decided to get an 18” round plain cheese pie ($15.50), well done, as an appetizer with our first bottle of Chianti ($20). When the pizza arrived I was surprised to see that it was not cut into the traditional eight slices but into small squares. I understand why the rectangular Sicilian pies are cut into squares but not why it would be done with a round pie. The only other time I saw this was a couple years ago in Providence. I have seen round pies cut into 12 slices if you are trying to make the size smaller. Or as Yogi Berra once said when asked how he wanted his pizza sliced he said into four slices because I cannot eat eight! Overall the pizza exceeded our expectations however the bottom crust was “hard” which is usually associated with over worked dough or too much cornmeal. I mentioned this to our friendly waiter who said they press their special dough with a “400 psi” machine and do not use any cornmeal. For fans of “grease” there was a bit of an oil drip from a few of the pieces.

For entrees we went with two orders of the Bolla Pasta ($7) w/one meatball and one sausage for each order, Oregano’s Pasta Basta ($9) and a Big Red Pasta ($9) with two meatballs. Each meatball or sausage is $3.29 … you can order as many as you want.

The Bollo Pasta comes with angel hair pasta in their “spicy” marinara sauce. The sauce was a bit chunky and had good flavor but there was not much of it. For all the dishes the pasta was drained very well so there was no water lurking in the bottom to dilute the sauce. I needed to ask for more which was not an issue. The only negative was that oregano was sprinkled around the bowl which gave it too strong a taste. Sometimes fresh oregano can be overpowering The Pasta Basta came with penne pasta, spiced feta cheese, kalamata olives, pine nuts, sundried tomatoes and olive oil infused with garlic and hot peppers … note there is no red sauce in it. It was outstanding. The Big Rig Pasta was a large bowl of rigatoni pasta covered with a tomato-chipotle cream sauce, basil, diced tomatoes, Parmesan with a spicy infusion. It too was outstanding.

The meatballs are made with a combination of beef and pork, in addition to their family recipe additions and are made on site. They were a decent size and were very “tender” with good overall balanced flavor. They are cooked “raw” in sauce and not browned first in a pan or the oven. The sausage is made in Chicago and again utilizes their recipe. What I like best about the sausage was the taste of fennel and what I didn’t like was that it is deep fried and very salty. So if you want some meat I suggest you go with the meatballs. They also offer chicken which we did not try.

Our waiter Michael sat with us for a bit as we talked about food differences on the east coast vs. Chicago vs. Arizona. He even gave us a history lesson on the restaurant we were in. There are I believe 14 of these restaurants spread across Arizona so there is no excuse for you not to bring in the “famiglia” and have a great, simple and tasty meal.

Total cost was $125 which included tax and a 20% tip.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Omaha, Nebraska
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Good food..Great place!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

You do not have to worry about leaving here and still being hungry. The food we had was wonderful and the waiter was great. Liked the atmosphere here also. Family friendly restaurant. We all left with food to eat for leftovers!! Will definately go back !!

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glendale, Arizona
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Tasty Spicy Pasta”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013

I ordered this my office's lunch today and it was really tasty and nice and spicy. This being my first time trying it, I really enjoyed the food. The chicken was amazing, full of flavor and juicy. The only problem we had was the salad was mostly lettuce, it would have been nice if they had more of the toppings. The spicy bread that comes with Alfredo the Dark was wonderful. From the time we arrived to pick up order to the time we left everyone was very nice and very helpful. The person packaging up our order offered us a drink while we were waiting. I thought this was really great as you don't usually get this kind of service. Can't wait to eat here again and order pizza to try next time.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2013

Wonderful food. Wonderful staff. Had to wait 30 but it turned out to be shorter. Need more mist-er on the outside patio on those 100+ days.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
1 review
“Horrible service”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

We love Oregano's but the location on Cactus & Tatum was horrible. We arrived at 9:45pm asking what time they closed. They informed us they close at 10pm but offered to serve us pizookie. We were thrilled. We sat down, our server was incredibly rude and kept rolling her eyes at us. Every single server that walked past our table glared at us and made a snide remark. We've been to other Oregano's locations and the staff are over the top friendly. They served us our pizookie's and they were complete dough with ice cream thrown on top. When we complained about it, they told us their ovens were turned off. Seriously? They should have told us they were closing and sent us on our way. We asked for the manager and he was too busy to come out. We didn't end up paying or eating the blob of cookie dough. We will never be back.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KristenMeren, Guest Relations Manager at Oregano's Pizza Bistro, responded to this review, July 10, 2013
Dear Tiffany,

At Oregano's we pride ourselves in delivering great food, service and value every day we open. There are times that we fail at some level and we depend on great folks like you to hold us accountable.

We appreciate you taking the time to share your experience and we will take this opportunity to make any appropriate corrections in our operations and hopefully restore your confidence in Oregano's.

Rest assured that I will share your reasonable observations with our Oregano's Paradise Valley management team and hold them accountable to make appropriate corrections. We certainly don't want to disappoint you or any of our other valued guests with poor service.

Your comments were very concerning to us, as we pride ourselves in being your neighborhood pizza joint and always making our guests feel welcome. We take a firm stance on the idea that our guests that come in at 12:30PM are just as valuable and welcome as our guests that come in at 10:05PM.

Do you by any chance remember your servers name from that evening? And did a manager stop by at any point after the initial observation? Any information that you could provide me with will greatly assist in getting to the bottom of this and ensuring that it doesn't happen again.
I hope to hear from you very soon.

Sincerely,
Christina Shaw
Guest Services
Oregano's Pizza Bistro
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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