Mrs. Pie did her usual great job of itinerizing our recent bucket list trip to Arizona’s Grand Canyon. Little did I know that our first night would be spent in Flagstaff where I was quite excited to see the vintage Route 66 remnants. She also discovered the fabulously unique Pizzicletta where I would have my first taste of pizza in the Grand Canyon state. I would soon find it to be the kind of place that should have been on my pizza bucket list to begin with.
Pizzicletta (now say that five times fast) took residence in 2011 along with a bike shop and a brew pub in a refurbished 1924 flat-ironed-shaped building that looks to have been cut to fix the street corner on which it stands. It also happens to be at the intersection of Phoenix Avenue and Mike’s Pike and was on Route 66 before the highway was redirected.
Still not adjusted to Mountain Time, we were eating dinner early local time and luckily found seats at the community table in the center of the small room. If the table is full, there are only a few other spots to sit before your remaining option of having your pie delivered to the adjacent Mother Road Brewing Company. We found street parking and also noticed two free public lots close by.
Pizza here would be of the Neapolitan variety and as usual, we selected the Margherita option ($15). We like some cheese and sauce to go with our crust, which in the case of Pizzicletta, is naturally-leavened and two-days old. It’s said to be a crust creation so delicate that it requires a quick cook in a 900 to 1,000-degree oven.
Five different pies plus a seasonal selection are offered as well as seven addable toppings. Providing free sparling water and serving gelato for desert were great touches.
We watched our pie cook in the wood-burning brick oven, and it looked drop-dead gorgeous on its arrival. The four-slicer was covered with coating of dark rich tomato sauce and only a scattering of a few Mozzarella cheese blotches. The crust looked quite yummy and was graced with char spots on the ends and even atop the few pizza bubbles that popped through. A few basil leaves completed the scene.
N-pies tend to be all about the crust and Pizzicletta’ s pie was no exception. They certainly know how to make it. While the Snob is no crust-hater, I also appreciate good sauce and cheese. Unfortunately, in this case, they were simply adequate and too insignificant to really make much difference. But, I give Pizzicletta kudos for making one of the best crusts I’ve ever chewed. Naturally-leavened dough has a delightful sour taste to it that is just hard to dislike. Overall, it went down light and easy, like any great pizza of any type should.
While this may not be the best N-pie that you will ever try, it’s darn good and Pizzicletta is a charmingly unique place that should be on every pizza lover’s bucket list. It’s a crust-lover’s dream, however in the Pizza Snob’s opinion, man cannot live by dough alone!
PIZZA SNOB RATING **** 1/2 Nearer Perfection
203 W. Phoenix Avenue
Flagstaff, AZ 86601