We love pizza. What we no longer love is the speedy/DIY type of pizza that is everywhere. It has a place in our busy lifestyle, yet we crave those pies that take time to perfect (And for once, we’re not talking deep dish). To settle those cravings, we ate a trio of round-ish dishes to see what else was out there. The future looks bright, people.
Beef & Blue: The Non-Food Court Costco Pizza
For a fiver (Yes, $5!), we took a chance on the frozen section of our local warehouse chain. We even snapped a photo of the price, in case they argued with us at checkout. Manufactured by Proof Pizza, our fancy meal seemed rather large on our plate, until we realized it was meant to feed four. Maybe four individuals on a diet? Who eats a single slice, anyway? Topped with caramelized onions, creme fraiche sauce, blue cheese and chunks of beef, we were pleased with the hearty taste of this rounded rectangle of a dinner. It also fit perfectly in our toaster oven, which is a winner in our book. You can’t beat the price– even if we were the only ones inhaling it over two meals. They also assemble a shredded pork, pineapple and mango habanero sauce one, if you can locate it. www.proofpizza.co
Cauliflower Crust: The Obligatory Quick Service Chain
We spotted advertisements for Pieology’s new crust while walking to our favorite coffee shop. What we found was not one, but a total of five possible bases: Thin, Whole Wheat, PieRise Thick, Gluten-Free and Cauliflower. Is cauliflower the new Brussels sprouts? We think so. We’re open to having more veggies in our diet (more so if the taste is disguised), so we dropped in for dinner. And while we’re still over the DIY-system, our crust curiosity got to us. For the $2.50 upgrade charge, our biggest concern was whether it would maintain its structural integrity under our custom combination. As a result, we asked for ours “well done”. The end result was fine. Truth was we had better ones in recent months from Fresh Brothers– although you could only order the crust in a medium size, hence our concern. If there’s a next time, we’ll experiment with the PieRise. www.pieology.com.
Tipsy Pig and Truffle Shuffle: The Independent Operator
While the most expensive of the three places, this had the biggest payoff. Located in Downtown Fullerton at the train station, The Bowery is your neighborhood pizza joint with great taste in slices. Out of their lineup, we gravitated towards a pair of pies. Sweet bourbon glaze counterbalanced Applewood bacon, honey cured ham and a sprinkle of chicharrones in our slice of Tipsy Pig. It was good and evil at the same time, pairing well with our draft from Gunwhale Ales. Also a contender for favorite pizza (and kick-ass pop culture reference), the Truffle Shuffle. Featuring black garlic cloves, pancetta, black truffle zest and black truffle pecorino cheese, it’s bursting with earthy, umami goodness. Go when they’ve got a DJ, and your night is set. 112 E. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, (657) 207-0765; www.thebowerypies.com.
A contributing writer for OC Weekly, Anne Marie freelances for multiple online and print publications, and guest judges for culinary competitions. A Bay Area transplant, she graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management from Cal Poly Pomona. Find her on Instagram as brekkiefan.