Pizza is iconic to college students, and Fort Collins’ support of college students’ pizza appreciation is easy to see in their abundance of pizza parlors and Italian restaurants near campus.
There are so many varieties of pizza out there, which can make it overwhelming. Each style of pizza also has a personality, if you will, that can dictate what you should order for any situation. Should you get a deep dish when planning a study group session? Should you order honey crusted pizza on a first date? These are the kind of questions I decided to answer as I ate my way through a slice of Fort Colins.
Like pairing wine to meals, pizza can be paired with several different occasions. Also like suggested wine pairings, people can choose to ignore them and have an interesting experience — it can be more fun that way. In my case, I chose to taste and experience several different types of pizza and, believe me, some were more memorable of an experience than others.
One pizza topping I tried was surprisingly delicious — fried eggplant. It had small bits of eggplant deep fried and put on top of a cheese pizza with spicy marinara sauce. This pizza from Nick’s on College Ave, just across the street from the east end of campus. It wasn’t messy or greasy. This would be a good pizza for a date if you were trying to impress someone, as it’s not the same ole’ thing that you would normally get if you ordered pizza delivery. It spices things up a bit.
If you’re into experimenting and don’t have anything too serious planned, try eating pasta on your pizza. As a pasta lover myself, I was surprised that it wasn’t my favorite, as there wasn’t the same texture as “normal” pizza. However, it was yummy and would go well for a casual friends night out. There were a couple different restaurants that offered some type of pasta-on-pizza pie, including Beaujo’s and Slyce Pizza Co.
Almost every pizza place has a Hawaiian pizza or some variation of it. It definitely doesn’t have the Italian flavor, but it does taste refreshing and tropical. I love grilled pineapple and having the pineapple baked onto the pizza is really good. Although this usually isn’t a go-to choice for big gatherings, it does go nicely for delivery with a beer (or soda pop) and a few friends. I feel like this should also be a must have at any luau party!
Gourmet pizzas, like the honey-crusted or the hand-rolled deep dishes, are amazingly yummy (like “this is heaven!” yummy) yet also, usually, messy. One of the best gourmet pizzas I tried was at Beaujo’s, on the north end of old town — their Mountain Pie crusts are delicious. They even have honey on the tables to drizzle over the crusts. The flip side is that the pizza literally falls apart if you try to pick up a slice and eat it holding just the end (the toppings also had a tendency to slide off). The crust is crispy but just too delicate. Delicious but messy means not great for a first date, but sharing a pizza like this with someone you’re comfortable getting messy with makes for a good low-key date with your partner. I also wouldn’t recommend this type of pizza for an organizational meeting.
There’s also healthier pizzas, some even going to the extent of having practically a salad on the crust, like at Pizza Casbah. Unless you really like salad, though, I wouldn’t recommend getting these pizzas. This is best for when you want pizza but do not want to feel guilty.
Yes, there are probably a hundred different types of pizza still out there, but my stomach can’t eat it all–at least not in such a short time frame. But you can go and try out more pizzas by visiting all the other pizza parlors near campus, including, but not limited to, Nick’s, Beaujo’s, Pizza Casbah, D.P. Dough, Panino, Cosmos and Mama Roni’s . Come up with your own pizza pairings and share them in the comments below!
Collegian writer Anna Hoover can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Hoovanna17. Leave a comment!!