3804 Morrell Ave.
If you’re gonna ask me to recommend a pizza place to scarf slices in the Morrell Park area, chances are I’m gonna be clueless. I’m at a loss for words with anything above Rhawn Street. So when Plic said we NEEDED to mack on an Artigiano’s specialty pie, I could only reply with a simple “m’kay.” Recently, I’ve been eating an abundance of your standard pepperoni and sausage combos on my down time. A fresh approach to my slice consumption was a definite must on this visit. I was advised by my counterpart that the Arty’s chicken, bacon, ranch and sliced tomato pie was our next opponent.
The inside of the Artigiano’s is nothing to write home about. Delivery drivers aimlessly walking around. Tables and chairs stacked up in the corner. The buzzing of the soda refrigerator seemed to drown out the obnoxious idiot talking about his upcoming tattoo appointment on his cell phone. I really thought today would just be another few notches on the 2012 slice count with no satisfaction taken away. I was dead wrong. This beautiful pizza looked nearly perfect as it slept comfortably in its temporary resting place before it hit the walls of my stomach. Word of advice…let it cool off before you bite into it. I made the classic rookie mistake of trying to eat a slice as I got onto 95. The roof of my mouth regrets such a decision. The chicken pieces were thick and juicy. I’d say probably a half-pound of it on the whole pie. The bacon crumbles were super chewy and super greasy. They complimented the chicken perfectly. I’m fairly certain you can add bacon to any topping collaboration and you’ll come out a winner. The creamy ranch dressing in lieu of red sauce couldn’t have been a better addition to an already star studded line up of toppings. My favorite part was the whole slices of fresh tomatoes. They made this pizza really stand out in my eyes. Time permitting, I’d also like to say a few kind words about the crust. It was fucking spectacular. Thin. Light. Crispy. Semi-charred. Just the way crust should be.
Artigiano’s blew me away with how precise this pie was constructed. I want to take this opportunity to thank the pie slinger in the back who fed me one of the better pizzas I’ve had this month. 5 slices down, 3 in the fridge for dinner. Next time, I’m gonna hit the craft beer outlet right down the street before hand. Nothing bad could come from such a night.
This isn’t the first time that I heard of a pizza with chicken, bacon, and ranch on it. And to be honest, I’m growing a bit tired of some places just recycling the ideas of others. The combination of these three toppings has become increasingly popular over the past 5 years on sandwiches and pizzas alike. This being the most intriguing “specialty” pizza on their menu, my decision was pretty much made for me. But what Artigiano lacks in originality they make up for in taste.
Odds are you’ve had thin crust before, especially since it’s a staple of east coast style pizza and only suckers eat deep-dish. But when I say that the crust at Artigiano is thin, I mean it is thin. Don’t let the photos fool you: although the handles look a bit thick, the base is anything but. Such a thin crust could barely support such a topping heavy pie. Me being an idiot, I attempted to go right from the box to my mouth. Warning: This should be avoided at all costs unless you prefer to eat your toppings off the box with a fork. After letting my second slice settle a bit, I found that the toppings had congealed and the slice was ready for liftoff. Whereas some pizzerias settle for a substitute, the bacon on this thing was real cooked breakfast bacon. That crispiness against the tomato gave it a true BLT taste, with the ranch adding a zing to it. The tomato sauce (if any) was sparse enough to make way for the ranch. This tasted more like a decent sandwich than a pizza, which I didn’t really mind considering I had eaten 12 slices in under 24 hours over the weekend.
The chicken, bacon, ranch pie was pretty decent, and I have to give credit where it’s due. That being said, I have to bash what I think doesn’t make the cut. I also ordered a half pepperoni, half plain pizza and it just sucked. Of course that didn’t stop me from eating about four slices of it, but it will prevent me from ordering anything but the chicken, bacon, ranch again.