Word of Mouth

Big Bill's New York Pizza promises a true taste of the Big Apple...in the Denver suburbs

Sometime in the late 1990s, my family stumbled upon Big Bill's New York Pizza, 8243 South Holly Street, a dark parlor that specializes in thin-crust pies.

Because the southern suburbs weren't exactly awash with other options, this spot quickly became our go-to dinner joint, and we spent several evenings a month there under the watchful eye of Bill Ficke, a towering former Denver Nuggets assistant coach who owns the place. Today, he's still almost always in the dining room, watching sports and joking with guests.

The menu had all the Italian-American mainstays, but the real stars were Big Bill's pizzas, which featured a crispy crust, with a light layer of tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. And though we had no basis for comparison outside of Colorado, we knew that the pies were the best around. But after living in New York City -- where I acquired a taste for real New York-style pizza -- I was nervous to return to Big Bill's, fearing that the well-loved restaurant of my youth wouldn't live up to my now nearly impossible expectations.

Did Big Bill's pass the test? Find out tomorrow, when my review is posted here, along with more photos of the restaurant.

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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk