In the grand historical tradition of my priorities, when writing the two parter about the delicious things found in Idaho Springs (first part found here), I of course put the dessert post first, despite the fact that, against my very nature, I managed to postpone the eating of the majority of said dessert until after lunch. Or dinner, depending on how you choose to define such things.
It was around 2:00 pm or so, and we’d only eaten breakfast that day. Meaning, as much as I wanted to gorge upon chocolate, real food had to come first. So I have a relative who has a friend who lives in Idaho Springs, who considers the pizza from a restaurant there to be the some of the best pizza around. Now here’s the thing – Drew and I had no clue exactly *which* pizza place she refers to. According to both Google Maps and our walkings about town, the two major contenders in that town are Beau Jo’s and Picci’s.
Drew & I have eaten at a Beau Jo’s before, and it was indeed magical. We have not eaten at the Idaho Springs version however, which could be even more magical, considering it’s the first Beau Jo’s location ever. Nonetheless, we decided to go with Picci’s.
The restaurant was pretty empty, but this is expected when eating lunch at 2. We got to sit right up at the front, by the giant windows facing the main street, so we could stare at all the people walking by as they were staring back at us. High ceilings, a rustic-feeling wood interior, and loads of music from the 90s added to the ambiance.
The salad was quite tasty. No “dumped out of a bag” here! Also, no mozzarella from a bag, either. This is really important. If you are a restaurant that serves pizza, and you also serve salads, you are required to shave mozzarella from a block, because it is significantly more delicious than mozzarella from a bag! It’s amazing how much difference a higher grade of mozzarella can make in a garden salad. Good ranch dressing helps, too. Mmmm…..ranch….
So, the pizza. Drew and I got a small “Cheese Lover’s” pizza to split, with him adding pepperoni to his side.
My primary comment on this pizza is “Ricotta = Yes.” In the world of cheese, ricotta is undervalued and under-appreciated. I’ve added it to homemade pizza before, and it works wonders! So soft and melty with a hearty, chunky texture and mild flavor. Tastes great when coupled with some sharp cheddar, as it was on this pizza! There was also the obvious mozzarella, along with provolone and possibly feta (mmm…feta!). I love cheese so bad.
Anyhow, this pizza was awesome. The crust was a bit crisp and of medium thickness, and the sauce was generous, though not overwhelming. The small pizza, split between two of us, coupled with the salads, was the perfect amount to make us both question whether or not to eat that last slice, say “screw it” and eat it anyway, and then feel a little fuller than we’d like afterwards. Luckily, that extra pizza went to a good cause, as we still had calories to burn via exploring the rest of Idaho Springs on foot!