Flancer’s Café & Pizzeria has two locations in Gilbert and Mesa. The restaurant features salads, sandwiches and pizzas with unique flare. However, Flancer’s has become a local favorite because of its use of the prickly pear.
How did the prickly pear become a favorite among diners? Owner Jeff Flancer explains that the prickly pear items started 12 years ago with an order of prickly pear syrup for a catering job. The restaurant then needed to use the rest of the syrup after the event, so it ran a special on a prickly pear chicken sandwich. Now, the sandwich is the second most popular item on the menu.
The prickly pear items have extended from the popular sandwich to include a prickly pear caesar chicken salad and the Flancer’s spiked prickly pear lemonade. The restaurant also has made some desserts with prickly pear whipped cream and flavoring.
Flancer explains that the local customers love the prickly pear items and it brings a lot of repeat business. Some people get scared to try the different items, and sometimes even think it is undercooked because of its pink color, but overall the dish is a success. They have entered the prickly pear sandwich into several competitions and even won a New Times contest with the best use of prickly pear.
Flancer’s also makes its own bread and green chile mayonnaise that customers love. The sweet and spicy creates a beautiful blend.
The restaurant participates in the community through charity work such as its annual pizza eating contest. It has raised $30,000 through its charity events and help of customers and sponsors.
Ultimately, Flancer says, that his restaurant is serious about the food yet has fun every day.