Pizza is the one food I never turn down, even in this time where it pretty much dominates meal planning with two tween kids. Of course, the kind of pizza they like and what RAS and I like are two totally separate things.
They’re satisfied with Domino’s (still crappy, even with the so-called “improvements” in the last few years) and the ultimate stringy mozzarella and tomato water on frozen cardboard brands, Tombstone and Totino’s.
We have to pursue something a little more sophisticated.
But here’s an irony…RAS does not like California Pizza Kitchen, the original creators of pizza outside the (flavor) box. He doesn’t mind having the Thai chicken and BBQ chicken selections, but he will wince a little anytime I mention it as a possible option for dining out. Maybe it’s because he knows he can get these pizzas from King Soopers, our local supermarket, just heat them up at home, and they’ll taste almost as good as the restaurant…and he’ll pay about a third of the price he would otherwise.
We recently went there, and he ordered something called the Works, which is the standard meat-fest that you could get at ANY pizza joint – pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, peppers, olives and onions. Boorrring!
Unlike my hubby, I love CPK, but not as much as I used to. They’ve taken away some of my favorite varieties (rosemary chicken potato, tandoori chicken, garlic chicken – hmm, notice a pattern here?) and replaced them with middling non-pizza dishes like cedar plank salmon, quesadillas and Tuscan hummus. I guess something had to give, but it’s too bad it had to be some of their better combos.
Now we may have found a pizzeria he wouldn’t mind going to. I think part of the appeal is in creating your own, then having it ready within minutes, like a…Chipotle burrito. And no surprises there, because the guy that mega-successful food haven is also responsible of this place.
The owners of the original Pizzeria Locale in Boulder (which I wrote about last year), Lachlan Mackinnon-Peterson and Bobby Stuckey, teamed up with Steve Els, the founder of Chipotle. Together they’ve created another in Denver that’s decidedly different from its sister establishment. At this Pizzeria Locale, you line up in front of a glass enclosed cafeteria line…
And see someone rolling out the fresh dough that makes the pizza awesome.
You then choose one of the combos, or create your own with these beautiful ingredients…
…it bakes to perfection in this wood-fired oven (it seems like the same one that’s at the Boulder location and imported from Naples, Italy)..
…where you then get your too-beautiful-to-eat pie, like this…
It’ll be damn hard to settle for Dominos now.