Mangia al ristorante Pacino, Happy Birthday Maven! with guest Frankie Spaccarelli


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Drive Friendly with Steve & Felecia
Drive Friendly with Steve & Felecia
Mangia al ristorante Pacino, Happy Birthday Maven! with guest Frankie Spaccarelli

Guess who’s birthday it was? Yep, it’s Ryan Steckelberg, the Maven of Mortgages from VIP Mortgage, and we’ve got a special guest/present just for him. Frankie Spaccarelli from Pacino’s Restaurant in Mesa.

Pacino’s takes pride in being Arizona’s outstanding home for classic and contemporary Italian cuisine and pizza. Pacino’s is a family style restaurant offering exceptional value to its guests through the many dishes of southern and northern Italian cuisine. Visit them for generous meal portions and feeling like you’re right at home.

Episode Recap

Make-Out Songs

Today is Ryan’s birthday! The big 4-2! Happy Birthday, Ryan!

A few months ago, they talked about “make out” songs on the show. They got more from listeners. How about these make-out songs: Let’s Get it On by Marvin Gaye. Cyndi Lauper’s Time After Time. Adorn by Miguel. Who?  Thanks, Emma and our other listeners for the make-out songs.

Get a Spare Key for Your Car

They talked shop. A car with a key that doesn’t turn. How does a key go bad? You can sit on it in your pocket, or it can wear out. If you have a giant bunch of keys on your key ring, they can pull down and bend your from the ignition over time. Keys can be expensive! You can’t get a duplicate made. You have to go to the dealer and get new keys. Then, Friendly will have to reprogram that new key. So, rotate your keys — use one, then the other, for a year.

Take those extra keys off your key chain! Do you even know what those keys are for? Get ‘em off the key chain and treat your expensive car key right.

Look out when buying a used car that comes with a single key. Get them to make another one, or walk out of the negotiation. Make sure your car has two keys!

What is the Right to Repair Act? It gives all repair shops like Friendly access to the same information about your car that dealers get from the manufacturers. Independent shops won’t be dependent on dealers or manufacturers. For example. Audi has controlled specs on their oil filter. So, you can’t buy one anywhere else. So, if you need an oil filter, you have to get an oil change at Audi! What?! With bad data, shops like Friendly have to go back to the dealers.

Data Privacy and Your Car

Unbeknownst to consumers, there is data stored in your car, and you don’t own it — and you don’t have access to it! Stuff like where you’ve been, how hard you accelerate, how hard you hit the breaks — if you’ve gained or lost weight! A new law is in the works to protect consumers and their access to this data. You think of your car as YOUR car and YOUR data. No. You can’t even access that data. But dealers and shops can. Hook up a scanner, and it’s all there! Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance is taking this up with Capitol Hill — Your Car, Your Data. Got to Capitol Hill with Steve and Felecia!

Steve and Felecia got rid of their Alexa because of data issues. That thing seems to be listening to everything, all the time!

Southern Italian Food at Pacino’s

Time to talk Italian food with Frankie. Steve and Felecia were told there’s no good Italian food in Arizona when they moved here from New York. They were thrilled to find Pacino’s. So, where did the name come from? Indirectly, from Al Pacino. Frankie started at a franchise called Ameci’s in LA. He started his own restaurant and was looking for a name. People used to say they thought he was an actor, like he was Al Pacino’s little brother. Boom! He called his restaurant Pacino’s. And he’s got photos of Al Pacino all over the restaurant.

What’s the difference between the franchise food and his? Actually, the franchise food was good. The owner was from Italy! Frankie took recipes from his own Italian family, from people back in New York, and Ameci’s. Now, he’s got an amazing menu of authentic Italian food. All the recipes are homegrown — from Big Grandma and Little Grandma. The most amazing meatballs, with beef, pork and lamb. Big Grandma’s have raisins and pine nuts! And Pacino’s sells a ton of meatballs! You can order them over whatever you want, even a wedge salad. It’s all Southern Italian.

They also have a really good veal. Yes, it’s not a vegan restaurant, but they have a good gluten-free menu. They’ve been in business since 2013, and Frankie’s been in the business for over 25 years.

Events in Mesa for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve at Pacino’s

Pacino’s is at Power and McDowell in Mesa, pretty close to Friendly. So, why do people love Italian food so well? Nobody ever asks for Irish food or something else. People love Italian food! Why? It’s simple. It’s good food! It’s also a good time. Be loud and have fun. It’s an experience.

Feast of the Seven Fishes is coming up on Christmas Eve. It’s an Italian tradition. Make reservations. They’ll have a nice, romantic live music. That is followed up with a New Year’s Eve Bash, with Mighty Cash Cats (a Johnny Cash tribute act)  and the Silver Threads (a Linda Ronstadt tribute band) It’s a. Four-course dinner and show with all kinds of party favors, a free champagne glass. Call them for reservations.

What’s your favorite Al Pacino line?

Pacino’s also has the best Sunday Brunch.

Fully Trained Auto Shop at Friendly

News from Dull Chris. What’s happening at Factory Motor Parts? They have the Ford Professional Service Network. They track parts and earn credits for purchases and online e-training. It’s another way they help shops like Friendly. Friendly is certified by Motorcraft to service anything with a blue Ford logo on it. That’s what keeps Friendly the best trained outfit around. They are also Bosch trained. The lot is filled with BMWs and Mercedes!

Find Dining in Downtown Phoenix

Steve and Felecia discovered a new restaurant at the brand new Cambria Hotel in Phoenix’s Arts District.  They met the crew there and had a 5-star meal and left the first Google review. It’s globally inspired and locally sourced food, from a local farmer’s market. Great service, amazing service. They also have great drinks — at a roof-top bar! So fun. If you can’t get to Pacino’s, check this place out.

Mortgage Rates and iBuyer Apps

Time to talk mortgages with Ryan. The fed met today and put out that they don’t expect any changes in the rate for a while. They want to keep rates low, as is. People always ask, “Should I buy now? Sell now? Sit on it?” Felecia does not expect rates to go lower. But even if they did, rates are so low! And the prices of houses are not getting lower.

iBuyers took about 3% of transactions. Felecia pointed out that her clients come back after the purchase for advice or new business, including help with HOAs, contractors, etc. You can’t do that with an app. Don’t fall into that “easy” deal trap. If you do, who are you going to call for that seasoned help.

Wrap Up

Eat at Pacino’s and get six layers of love in the Lasagna!

Until next week, Drive Friendly Arizona!


Frankie Spaccarelli

Frankie Spaccarelli


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