Pizza places pride themselves on originality. Some pizzerias have their own special dough they use, others have their own secret sauce. Lots of family run pizza restaurants have their own secret family recipes. The best pizza places in Phoenix all have their own unique angle. What makes’ Mimi Forno Italiano unique however, it it’s own farm.
For five years, Cavallo Vineyard of Laveen has been growing fruits, wine grapes, and other vegetables. Among the things found growing at Mimi’s farm are: onions, zucchini, garlic, basil, and arugula—-quintessential pizza toppings! In addition to all that, the four-acre farm has 300 olive trees which the owner, Domenico Cavallo, plans to begin using to make his own olive oil. Down the road, Cavallo also plans on bottling and selling the wine made from the farm’s wine grapes. Together he hopes all this will help make Mimi’s among the best pizza in Phoenix.
As a child, Cavallo grew up on a farm in Salerno, located in the Campania region of Italy. One thing notable about Campania is that it’s home to Naples, Italy, which is where pizza was first created. Naturally, Cavallo was born to farm and make pizza.
As one might expect, Mimi’s serves a wide variety of Neapolitan pizza. Traditionally, Neapolitan pizza comes topped with fresh ingredients including tomatoes, fresh basil, mozzarella cheese, and olive oil. Typically, Neapolitan ‘za has more sauce than cheese, giving it its unique soggy middle surrounded by its defining doughy crust.
Today, Mimi’s is trying to make a name for itself as a premier pizza destination in the Valley serving some of the best pizza in Phoenix. When launching Mimi’s, now just over a year old, Cavallo said he wanted to mirror his mother’s food, alluding back to his upbringing. “I want to support my people from south Italy,” he said. In fact, many of his suppliers for tomatoes, oregano, and cheese are straight from Southern Italy. Even the oven, which Cavallo laid the tiles for himself is a Naples import.
One Yelp reviewer opined, while tucked away and easy to overlook, “what awaits you when you go inside is an authentic Italian experience.”
Guests can feel as though they’ve walked through a portal and ended up in Europe as they dine on a caprese salad followed by some ravioli and topped off with a glass of Sangiovese. While you may not be able to get liver and fava beans, you can sip on a nice Chianti.
This month, the farm’s pumpkin patch has finally ripened allowing Cavallo to dish up some classic seasonal favorites like pumpkin caprese.
Beyond pizza, from the pasta to the lasagna and even fried calamari, this slice of Naples is quickly becoming a staple in the Laveen area.
Mimi’s is located at 3624 West Baseline Road, #174, Laveen, AZ 85339.
They’re open Monday – Thursday from 11 am to 9:30 pm; Friday and Saturday from 11 am to 10pm; and Sunday from 11 am to 8:30 pm.