Pizza plays a big part in my family’s life. During the cold weather months, when heating an oven to 425 degrees is a welcome thing, we have Pizza and a Movie Fridays. I whip up a food-processor batch of dough, clean out the fridge of bits of meat, chicken and veggie leftovers, smother it all with cheese and turn out a delicious pizza. We lay out a big blanket on the family room floor, turn on a movie and have a pizza picnic.
On occasion though (like when I can’t fathom heating up the kitchen), we go out for pizza. In honor of our readers who live all over the city, I’ve picked a few of our favorite pizza joints from all over the city.
I bless the day my daughter had a soccer game out near Green Valley Ranch. Starving, we headed north on Tower Rd. in search of lunch. We found pizza bliss that we have been more than willing to drive out of our way for many-a-time. The atmosphere is campy Italian but the pizza is so good. The crust is perfect in texture and flavor. You can create your own pizza from lots of toppings or order one of the gourmet ones. Our favorite is the Tuscany with alfredo sauce, sausage, spinach and roasted red pepper but the humble pepperoni is delicious too. All pizzas are made from scratch, to order, so be willing to wait 20-25 minutes – totally worth it! They also have calzones and Stromboli for those who like their pizza rolled up. Prices vary, depending on the toppings and size.
CiCi’s Pizza (multiple locations)
My husband was a bit aghast when the kids and I raved about CiCi’s. You see, it’s a chain, and a buffet and it’s raucous, filled with families, celebrating youth sports teams and birthday gatherings – all things that make him a bit tense. No, you won’t find a peaceful meal here unless you go at off-times. But anytime, you will find really good pizza with a huge variety including pepperoni, ham and pineapple, vegetarian, buffalo chicken and spinach alfredo. If you don’t see the pizza you like on the buffet, ask them to make the one you want, all for you, delivered to your table and they’ll do it! There is also a modest salad bar, pasta bar and dessert bar with sinful cinnamon rolls. Prices vary by location but are around $5 plus change, per person. Kids under 3 are free. It’s a bargain.
Woody’s Wood-Fired Tavern (multiple locations)
Whereas my husband glazes over at the CiCi’s experience, he lights up over Woody’s. Their website address kind of says it all: PizzaAndBeer.us. Like CiCi’s, Woody’s also has a buffet with an extensive salad area, yummy cheese/beer soup and a variety of pizzas coming fresh out of the oven. Here too, you can also request that they make a certain pizza. My husband loves Woody’s pizzas, every one. Frankly, I find Woody’s lacking which is surprising given the intoxicating smell coming from the wood-burning stoves that envelope you in the parking lot. The dark, shellacked atmosphere inside is depressing and the service is either great or non-existent. They have great chicken wings plus other non-pizza items like burgers. $8.99 for the pizza/salad/soup buffet, per person.
Old Chicago Pasta and Pizza (multiple locations)
Although the ever-present sports playing on screens every where you look get annoying and make my eyes glaze over, Old Chicago is a good standby for us. Just last weekend, when we were in Boulder for our annual tradition of seeing the tulips on the Pearl Street Mall, we ended up at Old Chicago because we knew we could count on it to be good. The kids’ meal menu has all the favorites with decent portions, especially for the individual pizza. I was expecting something oh, english muffin size, which I’ve seen other pizza places turn out (none of the ones mentioned here!). The rest of us ordered our favorite combo of pepperoni, sausage and mushroom, thick crust of course. I appreciate that the meats were well-done, not sopping in grease. The crust is buttery and a treat all on its own.
Where do you like to go for pizza? Post it here so that we can all discover some new favorites!