For a minute there, it looked as if the taco would reign as the official food of Boise, but pizza has been battling back. From fresh-fired to Detroit-style, there are new options all over town. But which new member of the pizza community should you visit?
Spitfire Craft Pizza & Pints
Tired of wimpy, thin-crust pizza and generic beer? Spitfire Craft Pizza & Pints sets itself apart by serving the hearty Detroit-style pizza, which was once made, they say, in the metal trays on automotive assembly lines.
Detroit pizza is baked in a rectangular pan until crispy, and then cut into squares. The cheese drapes over the sides of the epically thick crust, and sauce is layered on top of the cheese. The concept of sauce as a topping is fairly ingenious. I found that a nice slathering of marinara enlivened the dough.
Detroit-style will be a delight for supporters of deep-dish pizza. But if you’ve grown accustomed to paper-thin crust, these gut-busting square slices, which verge on gooey in the center of the pie, will take a toll on your body. You might want to put in a few days of training with some midsize pizzas before you throw yourself into a battle with the mighty double-decker-pepperoni Detroiter.
Spitfire is also serious about beer; the place focuses on craft beers and likes to showcase local microbrews. Check its Facebook page for an updated list of what’s on tap.
Should you visit Spitfire? It really comes down to your personal philosophy. If you want a pizza that’s taller than your salt shaker, get in your car right now. If you want thin crust, keep reading.
Address: 2450 South Vista Avenue
Phone: (208) 342-9451
Hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Friday; noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Menu prices: $9-$14 for an 8-by-10-inch pie (serves 2 to 3), $17-$25 for a 10-by-14-inch pie (serves 3 to 5)
Libation situation: 16 tap in house, cans, bottles and wine
Across town, Firenza Pizza is another entry into the growing fast-casual pizza movement. Like Blaze Pizza (Meridian, Eagle, Nampa) and MOD Pizza, which will soon break ground next to Trader Joe’s, Firenza gives pizza lovers the same dining experience they would find at Chipotle and Subway. You don’t just order a pizza – you direct someone as they turn a ball of dough into a custom-finished pie in the space of a few minutes.
I was pleasantly surprised by the crust at Firenza, which was thin, light and crisp. The margherita pizza was slightly greasier than you’d hope, but it made for a good lunch. I also tried the outlandish chipotle chicken pizza, which won an award at the World Pizza Championship in Naples, Italy. It features a groundbreaking chipotle mayo base topped with mozzarella, chicken, sour cream, pico de gallo, and another layer of chipotle dressing. Pico on pizza is as tasty as it is scandalous, and if you like mayo enough to order this beast, you’ll enjoy it.
If you don’t want to try one of Firenza’s recipes, you can test your decision-making skills and orchestrate the creation of your own Masterpie. The assembly line format is a little gimmicky, but the pizza creation process is highly entertaining, and the sense of control you feel over your meal is thrilling. Once it’s built, your pizza will cook in just three minutes.
If you have your order at Chipotle or Costa Vida down to a science, then Firenza is your type of place. But if you’re tired of eating at chain restaurants, there are better options downtown.
Address: 999 W Main St Suite 103,
Phone: (208) 344-5007
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sunday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday
Menu prices: 10 inch pizzas $6-10, 14 inch pizzas $11-17
Americana Pizza looks poised to be the official pizza purveyor of Rhodes Skate Park, and it already seems like a match made in heaven. With the exception of four stools in the corner of the restaurant, it’s exclusively a take-out operation. You can order custom 12- and 18-inch pies or grab pizza by the slice. A galaxy away from the mighty Detroit-style, the crust at Americana is so thin that it might crease when you fold it.
Should you visit Americana? Any big, cheap slice of pizza in downtown Boise is placing itself in competition with the likes of Pie Hole, Wiseguy Pizza Pie and the mighty Guido’s Pizzeria. Though no one can touch Guido’s original New York-style crust, if you’re in the neighborhood or at the skatepark, Americana will treat you just fine.
Address: 304 Americana Blvd.
Phone: (208) 336-6432
Hours: 4-10 p.m.
Menu prices: Slices $2.75-3.50; 12 inch pizza is $10.00, 18 inch pizza is $14 plus $1.75 per topping