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As a long-time fan of Neapolitan pie, and someone who's been known to search out pizza temples in cities I visit at the expense of higher-end fare, I admit I was skeptical of whether I'd like my friend's supreme, with mushrooms, long coils of green pepper, pepperoni, sausage and red onions but I did. Yes, the millimeters-thick crust sagged under all those toppings, but no more than it did with the simpler basil and cheese. (This is pizza to support with both hands.) And the build-your-own option, the one you'd never see in Naples? That worked out well, too, but it's hard to go wrong with choices such as capers, pork meatballs (which can also be ordered sauced as a side) and grape tomatoes. Too bad I couldn't craft a cipollini and speck and replicate my favorite pie from the Boulder location; cipollini isn't offered here, nor are ricotta, mozzarella di bufala or squash blossoms.

Another seemingly small difference is that pizza is sliced at the Denver restaurant, while it's not in Boulder. Traditionally, hot pies head straight from oven to plate to guest, trapping the steam escaping out the bottom and exaggerating the dampness of the crust. This texture is one of the reasons I love Neapolitan pie, but apparently enough diners disagree that an intermediate step was added in Denver: a perforated steam tray, where the pizza lands after it comes out of the oven. There steam escapes so that the pizza is slightly less moist and can be cut without tearing. "In Denver," Patterson explained, part of the mission is to "teach people how to eat Neapolitan pizza." Hence the tray, which he calls "teeny training wheels."

Denver may not be Boulder, but there are lots of foodniks in town who don't need those wheels. I like sitting down to use a knife and fork with my pie, and I prefer crusts that are less evenly tan, with the char and bubbles that are more likely to develop when a man, not a machine, moves my pizza around the flame. So do I wish the Denver Locale were identical to the original? Yes. But I'll take what I can get, which is a reliably delicious, affordable way to get my Neapolitan fix. And I'm not the only one who thinks so, judging by the grandmothers, young dads rocking infants, and groups of friends who crowd the place both day and night.

Location Info

Map

Pizzeria Locale

550 Broadway Blvd
Denver, CO 80203

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Central Denver

Details

Pizzeria Locale
Margherita $6.50
Mais $8.50
Bianca $8
Maiale $6
Cheese $5.50
Supreme $9
Pork meatballs $3.50
Budino $1.50
550 Broadway, Unit C
720-508-8828
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily

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Besides, it's hard not to be happy when you can end a meal with budino, a rich butterscotch pudding layered with caramel and chocolate. In Boulder, where the portion is six ounces, the dessert costs more than an entire Denver pie. But in Denver, two ounces are more than enough — and seem almost free at $1.50. (Pizzas in Denver are less expensive, if slightly smaller, too.)

Sinful it might be, but the concept behind Denver's Pizzeria Locale sure has its strong points. How far can Patterson, Stuckey and crew take it? God only knows.

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9 comments
dinergirl
dinergirl

I'll miss that frutti di mare...spectacular. Although, I did find the service at the Boulder location a bit stuffy and condescending.

dizmi123
dizmi123

The crust definately gets soggy after 5 minutes of eating. Sauce is delicious, but overall i'd much rather go to Fat Sullys just a couple blocks down.

milehighjoe
milehighjoe

It's called "crust" for a reason.  This was more like "mush" with the occasional char spots.  Sorry, no.

Denver Dave
Denver Dave topcommenter

I have to agree with jrojasaboc - we hated it.  If this is an accurate representation of real Neapolitan pizza then we're not fans of the genre.  Didn't care for the salads either - enough with the arugula already.  Perhaps we are just Denver rubes who don't know any better but we know what we like and this ain't it.

jrojasaboc
jrojasaboc

Oh and by the way. Frasca's is one of my top 5 best restaurants to eat at.

jrojasaboc
jrojasaboc

Worst pizza I ever had in Denver. I live in this neighborhood. Go to Pie Hole or even Fat Sully's. The service is fast but the dough is undercooked at a mere 2 minute cook time. Reminiscent of the Amy's bakery featured on kitchen nightmares. So if you like chewy ass dough and undercooked watery veggies and scant toppings. By all means go. Plus the limited green options is just crappy. I love arugula but come on!

Chelly Serna
Chelly Serna

Really yummy pizza. I just wish their salads weren't so expensive.

ginbearit
ginbearit

@jrojasaboc How does Frasca Food and Wine become Frasca's? Why the need to show possesion? Can somebody at Westword wake Jen W up so she can address this Denver phenomenon - hopefully in a real snarky tone? Stueben's I get, but Cho Lon's or Old Major's ... come on D town!


 
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