Were you thinking I would make it through the month of March without a pizza update? Thinking I abandoned my blog? Nope. Just a had a lot going on. Specifically, switching jobs. So I know I said that Fish Creek, WI would be next, but I really just need to stop declaring what’s next. I was going to try to make it to Fish Creek on my last trip, but my new job will allow me to spend a lot more time in Milwaukee, so there was no need to rush that one. Instead, I’m out at my new company’s home office just outside of Denver in Westminster, Colorado.
So, I took this new job for personal reasons, as I loved my old company dearly, but it wasn’t long after accepting the job that I realized what this meant. I now cover over 10 states… which means I have access to MORE PIZZAS! Today, I’m on my 3rd day with a great new company, and I’m having to explain to my new coworker why we have to go eat pizza tonight. It went something like this:
Elizabeth: Let me know if you want to get together for dinner tonight.
Ashley: [Awkwardly staring at feet…] Well… um… this is going to sound weird, but Zagat posted an article about the 50 best pizzas, one in each state, and I’m trying to eat my way through them. There’s one close to here, so I was going to go tonight. You are more than welcome to join, but I understand if you don’t.
Elizabeth: Awesome! Let’s do it!
I think we’re going to get along just fine.
So around 6PM, Co-pilot Elizabeth and I Uber’ed on over for the 7.4 mile and $84 ride to Beau Jo’s in Arvada. Now, let me paint the picture for you here. Beau Jo’s might just be the most redneck place in Colorado, and trust me… I know redneck. This place was filled with the same clientele that would frequent the Pizza Hut buffet in my hometown. Little League teams, senior citizens, families… This was the CiCi’s Pizza of Colorado. That said, the pizza was much better. Since Elizabeth and I just met this past Monday, I won’t give her the hell that I generally give my co-pilots. She was perfectly well behaved, and the bulk of the conversation centered around work. So… The menu… I wasn’t quite sure what I was walking into with this pizza, because the description was so vague. I’m pretty darn sure at this point that Zagat did no homework on this list of 50 pizzas. I think it was some staff writer who posted to his (or her) Facebook page for everyone they know in each state to post a pizza. Any pizza. Damn you, Zagat… if this blog ever gets traction, I’m going to ask to see the research on this. Here I am committed to running all over the country to chase down your pizzas and this is what I get? A build-your-own-pizza? What am I supposed to build!? Not wanting to seem like a whiny little thing, As I’m clearly confused, I asked the waitress if she knew about the Zagat pizza. Of course not. Why, because this was the description (and obligatory photo post from Zagat):
In a land where everyone stereotypically skies, hikes, snowboards and goes white-water rafting, it’s only fitting that Colorado’s iconic pizza isn’t a thin, plain slice but rather a hearty, deep-dish pie filled with energy-giving ingredients. The hand-rolled thick crust – choose between honey white, honey wheat or gluten-free – nicely contains the filling, and any leftovers make a nice dessert when dipped in honey. First choose your sauce – homemade standard red sauce, pork green chile, ranch dressing or even fresh salsa. Next, pick as many topping as you want, with options including turkey pepperoni, red-hot chicken, green chiles, three types of olives, ricotta, feta and even Swiss. Even if some of the additions sound strange, Beau Jo’s must have had the right idea because now they have seven statewide locations, all selling these filling pies
As much complaining as I have done, I actually figured out what they were telling me to do, and my pizza was awesome. #3 thus far. In case you were wondering… Georgia’s is 1, Kentucky’s is 2, Colorado (this one) is #3, South Carolina is #4, and Chicago is #5… be default. I’m going to go ahead and bet that Chicago ends up somewhere between #40-50.
So here’s the deal. Pick your crust. Pick your toppings. Pick your cheese. I chose Mountain Hand-Rolled Thick Crust-Honey White, with the Beau Jo’s sauce (red sauce) with turkey pepperoni, red-hot chicken, and pepperoncini topped with Swiss cheese. It was great. My ruffled feathers aren’t over the pizza. It really was great, but rather the lack of direction here. The pizza is really, really doughy, so I ordered a side of marinara (different from—and better than—the Beau Jo’s sauce). I’m not a sweet eater, so the honey thing wasn’t up my alley, but I am sure if you are, the crust was excellent. It was quite similar to a Mellow Mushroom crust with the thick dough. All in all, a great pizza and a great choice, but I’m disappointed in Zagat’s lack of direction. If you’re looking for atmosphere and menu cohesion, skip this one, but if you want a darn good slice of pizza, do it!!
Next up: Fish Creek, WI. Let’s see if this happens like I say it will.