About half the time when I'm craving something, I'm craving a good New York slice. What's weird is that I almost never end up satisfying that craving. It's in part due to my own pickiness—if pizza's gonna enter my mouth, it better be good. So I always hold off and figure I'll eat pizza whenever I'm back in NYC, but whenever I am back in NYC there's always so much else to eat I never get around to it. Sadness.
KS, on the other hand, has eaten pizza nearly every day since she started working at Cozzola's, a pizza restaurant in Fort Collins. The day before her first shift, she invited a few friends to have dinner there with her family, and so we were all able to try several different pies.
The interesting thing about Cozzola's is that the pizzas are nearly fully customizable, with several options for size, choice of crust, choice of sauce, as well as choice of toppings. Crusts can be one of the two specialty crusts on the menu (whole wheat poppy seed or herb) or traditional; sauces can be sweet basil, fresh garlic, pesto, or spinach ricotta; toppings range from veg to meat to fruit.
With that many decisions to make, sometimes it's easier to stick to established combinations, so we ordered the Barbecue Chicken Classic: tomatoes, chicken, applewood smoked bacon, and onions buried in mozzarella and cheddar cheese and sprinkled with fresh cilantro. It was pretty good, especially because we asked for this one to come on the whole wheat poppy seed crust. The soft, braided crust was substantial and doughy, and went beautifully with a dab of clover honey.
Honey, you say? Yep, folks in Colorado dip their pizza crusts in honey. Sounds strange, but it's actually rather brilliant; the crusts become almost dessert-like with that touch of gentle sweetness.
We also got an all-veggie pizza—fresh garlic tomato sauce on a traditional crust, topped with mushrooms and peppers…
…as well as a basic pie of mozzarella and marinara, also on traditional crust. On the menu, the traditional crust is said to be "thin and chewy 'New York Style,'" but it's way too puffy and doughy, I think, to accurately bear that description.
All three pies were pretty good, and I definitely liked the cozy, local vibe of the place. But I'm still holding out for true New York-style pizza….