Where: 2705 Larimer Street
When: Open Wednesday through Saturday, 5 to 10 p.m.
For more info: Visit redeemerpizza.com
What we saw: The storefront is on a busy stretch of Larimer Street, right across from American Bonded, and during the July 24 pre-opening pop-up, a line formed quickly in the alley as hungry RiNo revelers waited for their turn at the ordering window.
Redeemer Pizza officially opens today, July 28, and for now, ordering will be done the same way: You'll head to the alley and look for the neon pizza slice sign marking the back entrance. The covered patio will be open; a dining room will come later. The space is sparsely decorated, with pops of red and a concrete floor.
A large sign on the wall by the walk-up window lists the options of the day, but you'll also be able to pre-order online for pickup via Toast. Don't get so distracted by the options that you miss the taxidermy mountain goat to the right, keeping watch on the action. Does he have a name? We propose Pepp.
Dio Mio excels at unexpected noodle-based creations. But much like Dio Mio's simple yet exemplary cacio de pepe, a classic pick is the winner here.
Options on the day of the pop-up included cheese, pepperoni, sausage and shishito, and an olive and mushroom combo, plus square-cut Sicilian-style in spicy red (loaded with extra pepperoni and whipped ricotta) and seasonal peach.
Being indecisive, I got one of each (except cheese) and fully expected one of the less traditional topping takes to be the standout. While each variety excelled, it was the classic pepperoni that was devoured first. The sourdough crust, topped with wilted basil and pepperoni charred around the edges quickly made me forget all about the vending-machine pie I tried last week at the Celtic.
Another major bonus: the two dip choices available on the side. Some may want to argue about the culinary merits of dunking pizza into ranch, but does a really great slice need that? No, Redeemer Pizza certainly doesn't. But did the dill-heavy ranch make me happy as I noshed my way through slice after slice? Definitely.
Next up: hot honey. Drizzle it on. Dunk your crust in it. Lick some off your fingers. If there's one thing I appreciate about Beau Jo's, it's the fact that it's been educating Coloradans about the beauty of honey with pizza for years. But make that hot honey on Redeemer's slices, and you have pure pizza joy.
Prices range from $4 to $6 per slice, which may seem steep, but I split the order with a friend, spent just over $20 and walked away more satisfied than I have from some dinners that cost three times as much — plus I had leftovers the next day. Whole pies are also available, and there are plans to add hoagies to the lineup, as well.
When you compare Denver's pizza scene to, say, that of New York, it might be easy to find reasons to complain, but the Mile High has a plethora of legit pizza options; you just need to work a little harder to find them. And now we have one more.
The next time I leave a pricey RiNo dinner with room for an after-meal snack, I'll head straight to Redeemer.