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Jun 29, 2016

Jedi pizza inspiration via a familar face from the Star Wars universe!


Just when I didn't think I could eat another bite, he appeared to me and said..

"Every pizza is a personal pizza if you try hard enough and believe in yourself".





Jun 26, 2016

Review - Biscuit and Gravy... Pizza! A pie from Folcarelli's Pizza in Greeley Colorado


Folcarelli's Biscuit and Gravy Pizza

The Pizza Chap rating..
4 out of 5 slices


A new pizza restaurant called Folcarelli's has opened up in Greeley Colorado.  And while I haven't had a chance to dine there yet, I did stop in after work last Friday to get a couple of pizzas to go.  Perusing their menu online the day before, something caught my eye.. a Biscuit and Gravy Pizza!  Pizza is already my favorite comfort food.  Biscuits and Gravy are my go-to breakfast comfort food, so it was a no brainier for me to order one up for my inaugural visit to Folcarelli's!  Here's what I found..


Folcarelli's Biscuit and Gravy Pizza

The Pizza Chap rating..
4 out of 5 slices


Upon first look, I was very impressed with the appearance of my pie.  I must admit that it appeared a bit different than I imagined, but I was very excited to dig in.  I don't know why I expected it not to have any cheese, but I'm glad it did.  The pizza had a sausage gravy base, mozzarella cheese, pork sausage, bacon and cheddar cheese.  I wasn't aware at the time, but you can also choose to get either smoked or Italian sausage instead of the pork sausage.




The sausage gravy base was wonderful and paired nicely with the sausage and bacon.  The layer of cheese above mellowed everything out, and made for an incredibly rich and creamy experience.  While there's a chance for the flavor combo to get a bit too full flavored, it did not because of the great pizza crust.

As you can see, while the crust looks heavy and bready from the outside, the inner workings of the crust reveal a beautiful alveolation, which makes for a nice light crust with just the right amount of pull.  A pizza like this also risks getting doughy or soggy, and I'm happy to say it was neither.  The bottom crust was crispy, and there was no gummy layer of crust due to the sausage gravy layer.  

All in all this was a great pie, and I will definitely be feasting on another very soon.  The price was fair at $15.99 for a medium, and is available in all sizes up to an XL which will run you $22.99.

The only reason I didn't give the pizza 5 out of 5 slices, is because of a preconceived notion on my part.  I've had Chicago styles of pizza, where the end crust interior consistency was that of a fluffy biscuit.  I've also had crusts that lacked the fluffy consistency, but tasted just like a biscuit with a nice buttery flavor.  I guess I was hoping for a crust with some or all of those attributes, but I must state that this is still a wonderful, unique and tasty pie!

With two locations in Montgomery Alabama, the Greeley Colorado store is the third in their growing chain.  One can't help but think their Southern roots were the inspiration for the Biscuit and Gravy Pizza, and I for one am incredibly happy that they brought it to Northern Colorado!

Folcarelli’s Pies & Brews
2263 Greeley Mall
Greeley Colorado

Jun 20, 2016

Pizza Near Me - Navagating your cravings with the Pizza Navigator & Pizza Compass App

I don't know how many times a month I type or speak the phrase "Pizza Near Me" into Google while I'm out and about.  Even when I'm in my hometown, I often do this to see if any new pizzeria's have opened up that flew under my radar.  Sometimes you're really not particular in the type of pizza you want to eat, you just know you need to sink your teeth into a pie.. any pie, and quick!  Enter "Pizza Navigator".

Pizza Navigator is a free Android app for devices and watches, that quite simply tells you exactly how close you are to the nearest pizza restaurant.  It's as simple as that.  The app shows the five closest pizzerias to your current location no matter where you are.  A compass points you in the right direction (a gem for when you are walking through a city) and gives an exact distance to said pizzeria.


So as you can see, the nifty little compass arrow is a pizza slice that points you in the direction of the nearest pizzeria. If you're not interested in the first pizzeria, simply swipe left to view the next closest restaurant.   

I learned pretty quick that the compass is approximate, and not always dead on.   However, if you are interested in getting turn by turn directions, all you have to do is click the map icon, and you can get driving or walking directions instantly via Google Maps.

A Pizza app that is looking for pizza even when I'm not.  What a novel idea!  The app is currently free at the link below.





Jun 13, 2016

Review - Cozzola's Pizza in Fort Collins Colorado


Cozzola's Old Town Store
241 Linden Street, Old Town Fort Collins, CO

The Pizza Chap rating..
5 out of 5 slices!

The way I like to describe Cozzola's Pizza is like this..  Picture an incredibly gifted baker and one heck of a cook, that puts his heart and soul into everything he does.  Now imagine that this baker opens a pizzeria.  Cozzola's is the result my firends.  Cozzola's has two locations in Fort Collins, but I prefer dining at the original store in Historic Old Town Fort Collins, that opened in 1987.  


There's just something about the cozy, wood lined decor that I love.  It brings back some great memories, and gets me very Zen, whilst dining on my pizza.  If you feel like doing some people watching in Old Town Fort Collins, grab a seat on the patio, or a table by the window and watch the world go by for awhile.


I absolutely love Cozzola's.  The pizza is not only incredible, but very unique all unto itself.  Consistently winning award after award, and nationally recognized as some of the best pizza in the region, Cozzola's has become a beloved Northern Colorado gem.  Here's what I ordered during my last visit..


The OMNIVORE (on poppy wheat crust)
Italian sausage, mushrooms, pepperoni, green peppers, Canadian bacon, and red onions


Crust options as of 6-08-2016

Wheat Poppy Seed
Deep dish crust, with a hearty texture.

Herb

Thick yet light white dough crust with Italian herbs.

Traditional

Classic white dough crust.

Real Thin

A white dough crust made thinner and without a border.

Gluten Free

(Pizza may contact wheat flour) 12” crust only. Add $4



Something I don't normally do, is to start a review talking about a pizza's crust.  However, I'd be remiss in not doing so this time around.  For those not aware, "Colorado Style Pizza" has become regionally known as having a thick bready crust, and loaded with toppings.  At first glance, I can see how some may lump Cozzola's pizza into this category, but I assure you it's much more than that.



 
I ordered my 'Omnivore' with whole wheat poppy seed crust, and I must say that the crust truly tasted like a skilled baker's creation.  The crust was crispy where it needed to be, aromatic, full of flavor, and very hearty.  In fact, the edge crust that many people toss aside, proves to be a treat in itself.


Bottles of honey that are easily accessible to all, are available to dip your edge crust in, making for an incredible treat.  I actually pile my "Pizza Bones" on the side of my plate, and eat them last with generous amounts of honey.  I pretty much treat it as dessert, as do so many other patrons.

On a personal note, my Dad who is a barber of forty plus years, owned a barber shop in Old Town Fort Collins, and Dave Cozzola was one of my Dad's customers for quite some time.  Dave told my Dad that he had a family history of heart disease, so offering healthier pizza options was very important to him.  Taking a look at their menu today, you can see that these values are still very evident.

Crusts are made with stone ground whole wheat flour, while all sauces and crusts are devoid of refined sugar.  Cozzola's also offer (truly vegan) and gluten free options.


As for the toppings I had on my 'Omnivore', all veggies were fresh and of the utmost quality.  The meats were also very good and full of flavor.  I opted for the Garlic Sauce on my pie, and it worked wonderfully with every other ingredient.  The Pesto Tomato sauce would have been equally as good, and is usually my go-to sauce.  Here are the sauce choices on Cozzola's menu (as of 6-08-2016).


Garlic Sauce
A tangy tomato sauce flavored with garlic and herbs.

Pesto Tomato (Red)
Basil pesto mellowed with tomato sauce.

Pure Pesto (Green)
A light spread of traditional basil pesto.

Spinach Ricotta
Chicago-style blend of baby spinach and ricotta.

also...

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Alfredo

 Barbecue Sauce


As for the pricing, pies will run you roughly from $11.00 to $18.00.  It's definitely what some may consider to be a bit pricey for pizza.  Now I'm the first to voice my opinion about overpriced pizza, but at Cozzola's you are getting quality and value.  The pie pictured above is their 10" pie, and I ended up having to take a couple of slices home because it was so filling.

I definitely recommend stopping in at Cozzola's if you're ever in Old Town Fort Collins.  No other pizza can compare in Colorado, and likely the entire mountain region of the West.





Jun 6, 2016

Blackjack Pizza.. a Colorado staple since 1983

As summer slowly gets into full swing, I find my weekends getting ever more busy.  This last Sunday was no exception, which made it impossible for me to craft some homemade pies.  Enter Blackjack Pizza, the Colorado based pizza chain that's loved by the masses.  Here is the fare I ordered up for delivery last night..


XL New York thin pepperoni and cream cheese pie


XL hand tossed pepperoni and sausage

I'm not going to do a full blown review of these pies this time around.  I'll save that sort of a post for one of their incredible specialty pies.  However, I will take a moment to hip you to these great pizzas we enjoyed.

The NY thin and especially hand tossed crusts, both have a nice pull to them.  The crust is stretched from fresh made never frozen dough, and is truly a pleasure to chew on, with a wonderful flavor and consistency.  The sauce is quite flavorful, and while it's clearly present, it isn't overpowering.

The all natural  toppings are incredibly good as well.  The sausage fills your mouth with flavor, and the same can be said for their pepperoni. The 100% mozzarella is always good, and the cream cheese was rich and delectable.

 Bacon Cheese Bread

By far, this is the best cheese bread I've found on the Northern Front Range of Colorado. Blackjack uses freshly made hand tossed dough coated with garlic butter and spices, topped with fresh shredded Mozzarella Cheese. It also comes with a generous side of Marinara.  I opted to get bacon added to our order of cheese bread, which kicks this delicacy up into the stratosphere.  You can also get , ,

I've been eating Blackjack pizza for years, and even worked for them when I was younger.  I actually learned how to hand toss pizza dough while working at their store in Loveland Colorado. Blackjack is my family's favorite pizza to order in, so rest assured that this surely will not be the last time I sing their praises in the months and years to come.




Jun 3, 2016

National Doughnut Day 2016

I don't have many vices, but Pizza and Donuts rate right at the top of my list. Therefore, I'd be remiss if I didn't at least acknowledge the sacred day known as "National Doughnut Day".  Annually recognized on the first Friday of June, the holiday was created by The Salvation Army in 1938, to honor their members who served doughnuts to soldiers during World War I.

I highly recommend checking in with your favorite Donut shop today, as many recognize this holiday.  I myself am heading to Dunkin' Donuts this morning to get my free donut with any drink purchase.


And yes I know this is a pizza blog, so here is this..



 C'mon, it was just a matter of time right?

Happy National Doughnut Day my friends!