Rica Pizza rolls out an enchilada pie -- and other Mexican pizzas

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After fifteen years working in management at Pizza Huts across the country, Ted Huss was done -- done with the corporate bullshit, done with inferior ingredients and done with chains. "I was frustrated and really discouraged with the way the business was going. It was all about profit, when it should have been about product quality and the customer," says Hess, who recently opened Rico Pizza at 8868 Federal Boulevard, in a shotgun mall in Federal Heights.

But his pizzas aren't quite what you'd expect from a guy who slung dough at Pizza Hut. The crust is scratch-made and the pizzas lean toward Latino, rather than Italian. "I wanted to do something different, and since I'm bi-lingual and the pizzeria is in an area with a large Latino community, I thought it'd be cool to do Mexican pizzas," explains Hess, whose roster of ingredients includes chorizo, green chiies, Mexican queso, chipotle peppers, frijoles refritos and enchilada sauce.

He offers traditional pies, too, with traditional ingredients, but his Mexican pizzas, including a chicken enchilada pizza, are really sliding out the door. "We sell quite of few of those a day, as well as our taco supreme pizza with refried beans, jalapeños and beef," says Hess, whose wife is from Mexico City.

"I didn't want to follow the chains, but there's an opportunity to offer something better and different that's still affordable," notes Hess, whose pizzas aren't much more expensive than those of the conglomerate he exited. "I'm trying to keep my prices down, but still offer great pizzas with good ingredients."

And for the foreseeable future, you can purchase an enchilada pizza, taco supreme pizza or any other Hess pie for full price and get a same-size pizza with one topping for free.

He stocks Mexican Coke, too.

For more info, call 303-900-4102.

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