4700 N. 16th Street (Northwest corner of 16th Street and Highland)
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Open only for lunch (10-4 Monday through Friday), Pugzie’s makes sandwiches like I’d make at home, only better! Everything seems to be extra fresh. The bread is soft, the tomatoes tasty, and the lettuce leaves whole. The dill pickle, chips and cookie served alongside give me a feeling reminiscent of when my mom packed a lunch for me in elementary school. Pugzie’s is like that, like a Working Mom: supremely busy all the time, but they still try to make you feel like you’re at home. Two sisters own it, Lynn Pugliano and Lisa Pugliano-Wright, and, according to their website, their goal “was to provide fresh, healthy lunches with friendly, fast service.”
The restaurant is hard to miss, painted turquoise, with a yellow toucan up high. What the apparent loudness of the exterior hides is a quiet interior grassy courtyard. There are chairs and tables with umbrellas out on a concrete patio area to sit out and enjoy the weather (when it’s nice here in Phoenix, that is). If it’s too hot (or cold, I suppose), there are chairs inside that face the wall of windows which look out to the courtyard. It’s all very pleasant, and a nice change of pace from the bustle of the Camelback Corridor and the movers and shakers that do business there.
Other than being a nice little escape in the middle of a workday, Pugzie’s food is great, too. They offer classic sandwiches, like Oven-Roasted Turkey (my personal fave), Roast Beef, and Chicken Salad that they proclaim is a “Favorite on the menu!” They also offer the always wonderful combo of a half-sandwich with a choice of soup, chili, or a salad. The salads are varied, ranging from pasta salad to potato salad and even fruit salad. All are served in good portions that are surprisingly filling. And, the soup is really delicious, too, with offerings like Cheese Broccoli (my other personal fave), Tomato Basil and Clam Chowder.
Pugzie’s has vegetarian options and gluten-free menu items as well. And, the prices are very reasonable, given the quality of food and the location.
I would say the Pugliano sisters have succeeded in reaching their goal!