Why are foods always trying to be other foods?
Pizza is the worst offender.
Every pizza burger Ive ever had is a cheeseburger with mozzarella, pepperoni and some marinara on top. Pizza tacos? Same thing in a shell. It tells you a lot about what people think pizza really is.
On the other hand, pizza can masquerade as so many other foods because its a wide-open canvas to combine flavors. And thats why I looked at the menu at Pizza23 with hope hope that was quickly rewarded.
Part of that comes from 23s greatest asset the crust.
Ive heard it called a butter crust by friends, but until youve tasted it, you wont understand.
about a compact biscuit. Its not tough, but theres a little chew.
Its buttery and layered, a little crisp and oh so very rich.
the best ingredients you can find on cardboard, and itll still taste
like cardboard. But with that crust, Pizza 23 sets itself up to succeed.
way to sample the crust is to try the Rumble Bread ($4) a small round
of dough, brushed with garlic and olive oil and topped with Parmesan
cheese. Its not the cheesy bread of our youth, all gooey and greasy.
This is delicate and flavorful, and thats before you dip it in
Get any of
your old favorites at Pizza23 by picking your own toppings from its list
of 23 including that old standby pepperoni. Or you can let the pizza
place do what it does best and put together some combinations.
do not worry about skimpy toppings at Pizza23. I worry that the
multitude of toppings will fall off before they get to my mouth. These
pies are packed.
Mediterranean ($13 for a small, $18 for a medium, $22 for a large)
starts off with that oil and garlic sauce on the crust with a layer of
spinach and mozzarella under chicken, sun-dried tomato and feta cheese.
Feta is a dangerous topping. Too much can be overpowering. Too little
and you wont taste it at all. But this is a good mix that blends
nicely. No one ingredient dominates.
same cant be said for the Margherita ($11/$14/$18), which is a good
thing. With just the oil and garlic base and mozzarella tying it
together, the real draw here is basil. Its a basil punch in the mouth,
and its excellent. Add in a tart and sweet bite from halved cherry and
grape tomatoes that have been deliciously scorched in the oven and
youve got an all-time classic done beautifully.
pizza is ...sigh. Look. Why not just get a cheeseburger? Its not like
they dont sell them almost everywhere. But the Bleu Burger
($14/$18/$23), at least, does something different. Honestly, other than hamburger
meat, I dont think this deserves that moniker. The marinara base and
the beef take a back seat to the powerful trio of bacon, avocado and
blue cheese. Actually, I think you should eat a slice of this one after
you eat a slice of The Carnitas ($13, $18, $22).
Oh, this is a real
cultural mix- em-up right here. Pizza is Italian. The pulled pork and
the house-made pico are definitely Latin. If thats all there was, thatd
be fine. But take the owners suggestion and put some Sriracha (aka
Rooster sauce) on top. That Asian chili sauce not only adds heat, but it
adds a lot of flavor. The pork crisps up nicely in the oven, so its a
melange of flavors and textures that I found intoxicating.
Speaking of intoxicating: Pizza 23 has 23 different beers, as well. Perfect for enjoying on that lovely patio.
isnt reinventing the pizza wheel, but it is doing something better.
Its elevating the game. Its an improved product, and thats a big plus
for those looking to get away from the ubiquitous pizza mega-chains.