I swear, 2011 has been the year of the pizza in Boulder. I can count, just off the top of my head, at least four new pizza places that have opened up in the last year or so.
Brave timing for New Orleans-based pizza chain Naked Pizza to bring their first franchise to the People’s Republic. But, by every outward appearance, Naked Pizza is pretty much perfect for Boulder: health-conscious pizza, with gluten-free and vegan options, using fresh ingredients at a fast-food price.
But would the product live up to the pitch? Owners Mary Matarazzo and Cindy Dash invited me out to taste a couple of their pizza pies.
The secret to Naked Pizza is in their dough. According to their website, it is an “Ancestral Blend® crust of 10 grains, prebiotic agave fiber and probiotics.” What that translates to is a pleasantly whole-grain-flavored crust with only negligible sweetness, but a pleasant heft and crunch.
Now, I happen to be a fan of whole-grain anything, but for someone used to the sweet, fluffy, cake-like dough one might get from any number of other fast food pizza chains, it might take a little getting used to. In addition, the original hand-tossed crust is pretty thin compared, again, to what you’d get from any other fast food joint; the thin crust, on the other hand, is so thin as to be practically cracker-like. I enjoyed both, but one has to know what one is ordering.
The toppings are generous and seem to be generally high quality. This is American-style pizza with toppings covering every square millimeter of pizza real estate, piled heavy and deep. The Mediterranean (artichoke, sun-dried tomato, red onion, black olive, feta cheese) with sausage was my favorite, and John—the honest-to-god Italian-American, Jersey native who manages the place—said their most popular pizza was easily the Superbiotic (artichoke, spinach, bell pepper, mushroom, garlic, red onion, cilantro). Maybe not surprising in Boulder!
I didn’t sample the gluten-free crust, but any pizza can be made GF, and they’re just rolling out a vegan cheese substitute called Daiya and made of tapioca. I tried it and it wasn’t half bad.
Overall, a solid fast-food pizza option for anyone in Boulder (they deliver anywhere in the city), and a definite step above Dominoes, Pizza Hut or any of that ilk.
Disclaimer: Naked Pizza invited me to sample their pizza and provided the pizzas for free, but I have not been paid for this review and all opinions are my own.