I had no idea that pizza is technically a pie. But honestly, if I had to choose between McDonald’s apple pie and a slice of Domino’s cheese–the cheese would win. Hands down. And the best moment of eating pizza is lifting up the box lid to unveil the pie in all its bountiful cheese and tomato sauce glory. Always. Behold the puffy, charred crust and the oozing trails of mozzarella–that euphoric feeling never gets old.
Houston is no stranger to excelling at pie making, too. At Bollo Woodfired Pizza, these folks don’t mess around in the oven. It’s a new restaurant in Houston, and the interior is accented with bright red and notes of rustic charm here and there. The place was abuzz when I went on a Sunday night, with a Italian group of friends powwowing at a long table nearby and cooks frantically shoving pizzas in and out of the grand brick oven with practiced grace.
The menu is split into two kinds of sauces, white and red. Of course, I tried both. The Salsiccia hailed from the white sauce side, featuring a light, thin dough with a delicate smattering of toppings–hunks of Sicilian sausage, dustings of oregano, roasted red peppers, and a thick layer of buffallo mozzarella on the bottom to support everything. The pie tasted exceptionally savory and rich, with a creamy taste from the sauce complementing the sausage’s vibrantly spicy flavor. Usually I don’t prefer white sauce, but this was delicious. (The only experience I’ve had with white sauce is Papa Murphy’s garlic chicken pizza, which drastically pales in comparison to Bollo’s.)
The Diavola (what an elegant name) was my favorite–a tangy, sweet marinara sauce smeared on the bottom, then covered with generous splotches of buffalo mozzarella hiding slices of salami. A sprinkle of arugula added a hint of bitterness as well as a beautiful pop of color to the dish. This pizza showcased a simple array of ingredients, but it still created a satisfying balance of comfort flavors.
The crust of the pizza is the most underrated part of the pizza, but it’s a major deciding factor for me. Bollo’s crust presented a wonderfully airy, spongy dough with little browned ridges that created a knobbly yet attractive look. I could eat this crust for breakfast. And now I’m salivating again.