It was a Sunday and my second day in Denver. After spending a fun afternoon at the ballpark, I took an Uber over to Wax Trax! Records to browse the bins before my next pizza stop off the Thrillist list at the nearby Benny Blanco’s Pizza. I got real eager to visit this place when the day before, a pizza-knowledgeable driver said that this was his go-to place.
Just a few blocks from the Colorado State Capitol Building, Benny’s takes up a tiny counter-only space in an old building. The only sign is a dim neon one in the window so Benny’s would be easy to miss. If you didn’t know where you were going, you wouldn’t find it.
Not much to look at, the sticker and graffiti-covered place fits right in on this busy street lined with a tattoo parlor, a piercing joint, and a vape shop. These looks made me affectionately dub it “The Punk Rock Pizza Place.” Benny’s aptly is a late-night joint open to 3am.
In the standing-room only space, I ordered my plain cheese slice ($2.50) over the unusually tall counter and found a small space up against the wall from where I thought I could safely, but barely, scarf my slice. This place is so small that I was surprised to see that they had a few menu items other than pizza. More than three people in this room would constitute a fire hazard so it can be said this is more a place to get some food to go or grab a walk-away slice.
My slice was quick to arrive, and I was again amazed to see the long and lean Denver Slice that I was now becoming accustomed to. The one thing I could say about this one is that they were not afraid to cook it. Well toasted, it had char on top of its char, taking that term to a new level. My man burnt the sucker, but to this Snob, that only made it more crisp, crunchy and desirable. It was an enticing fold and crack experience indeed. I was less excited about the cheese which tasted just a little flat and tried to slide off my crust.
Warned by my driver that I would find the Benny slice oily, I found it to be just right in its lubrication. This was yet another fabulous slice of pizza that I thoroughly enjoyed. Long, lean, thin and light – I dig this Denver pizza! Feeling at home with these slices, I am lost as to the relevance of Benny’s tag line “Slice of the Bronx.” This Denver pizza seems to have a style all its own.
PIZZA SNOB RATING ****1/2 Nearer Perfection
Benny Blanco’s Pizza
616 E. 13th Avenue Denver, CO 80203