Girls About Town: Pepperoni Crawl
It seems like every day in social media, you hear it’s one national day or another…National Doughnut Day, National Cheeseburger Day, National Margarita Day. When we heard National Pepperoni Pizza Day was coming up, we decided we could not let this one go by without celebration! We’ve gone on pub crawls before, but we decided to create our own crawl…a pepperoni pizza crawl around Indy, aka #peppcrawl2015!!
When it comes to pizza, I think we would all agree that it is one of our favorite foods. It contains all the food groups, so in itself, it is a complete meal, right??? Our group did a little bit of research and narrowed down our crawl to the top six pizza spots on the northside of Indianapolis. Then we teamed up with Monarch Beverages who provided us with their Coors Light RV to drive us safely because let’s face it, beer and pizza just go together!
Our shenanigans began with choosing a leader for our peppcrawlers, creating a Facebook event and then inviting our fellow lovers of pepperoni pizza to join us in celebrating National Pepperoni Pizza Day! Our mission: visit six popular pizza joints on the northside on September 20 and see who reigns supreme as the winner of the best pepperoni pizza.
Our leader created score sheets for us where we rated each location’s pepperoni pizza based on the following criteria: crust flavor and structure, sauce flavor and quantity, pepperoni quality and quantity, and cheese quality and quantity.
We all met up early and boarded our RV. We were briefed on the mission and scoring sheets. Without further ado, we headed out in grand fashion to Broad Ripple and our first stop of the day, Union Jack Pub.
Union Jack Pub – Broad Ripple
Located in the heart of Broad Ripple Village, this English pub with an American twist is famous for its award-winning deep dish pizza, Shrimp Bloody Marys and 21 rotating taps of your favorite beers. Since we were on a schedule, we just ordered the UJ Authentic Regular-Style Pepperoni Pizza.
UJP has several pizza sauces to choose from including their signature Italian tomato, chunky sweet, Napa tomato, sweet BBQ, Italian pesto and Buffalo hot sauce! Wow! We’d never seen so many sauces! They also have all kinds of cheeses to choose from including blended mozzarella, provolone, feta, white ricotta, cheddar, cottage cheese (what??), pepper jack, swiss and bleu cheese crumbles! Whew, that was exhausting!
Bottom line at Union Jack, whatever you order, we are certain it’ll be DELIZIOSO! We headed out the door and down the street to our second stop.
Originally opened in Broad Ripple in 1986 in an old decrepit house that had been the home of the gravedigger for the town cemetery! Despite their “interesting” beginnings, Bazbeaux pizza quickly became famous in Broad Ripple Village for its freshmade pizzas! Garnering its name from a 15th century court jester who cooked creative and whimsical culinary dishes for the court of Lorenzo de Medici, Bazbeaux Pizzeria is a true Indianapolis original in “Create Your Own” pizzas!
All the pizzas here are made with a special blend of hand-grated provolone, mozzarella and pecorino romano cheeses. True to their name, their pizza sauces are homemade, and their dough is made fresh daily. We all really enjoyed their pepperoni pizza and award-winning garlic bread outside on the patio. FANTASTICO!
The Coors Light RV drivers awaited us as we exited Bazbeaux and headed further north for our next few stops. Our fearless #peppcrawl2015 leader did roll call and called in our next order…stuffed pepperoni pizza from Chicago’s finest, Giordano’s!
The recipe for Giordano’s now-famous stuffed pizza is one that has evolved over 200 years. The double crusted cheese-stuffed pies are truly masterpieces and take over 30 minutes to bake, so plan accordingly! Thomas Weaver, the awesome assistant GM, knew we were on a mission to discover the best pepperoni pizza around these parts, and he proceeded to show us exactly what differentiates Giordano’s from the rest.
Not to be mistaken for pan or deep-dish, this is a stuffed pizza pie! What went into making our stuffed pepperoni pie? First, fresh dough is laid on a 2” buttered pan. Next, 14 oz. of fresh, in-house cut pepperoni and 16 oz. of fresh melt-in-your-mouth mozzarella from happy cow country, Wisconsin! Add their light sauce and another layer of fresh dough, then bake. This ooey-gooey, double crusted concoction is what has earned Giordano’s its title as “Chicago’s Best Pizza” by NBC, The Today Show, Chicago Tribune, The New York Times and more! AMORE!
Stuffed as we were, we had to continue our quest for the best pepperoni pizza! Next stop…Castleton and Ale Emporium!
Many in Indianapolis say that not only is AE the home of “honest pizza,” it’s also some of the best around. With your choice of pan style, regular style or thin style pizza, you’re sure to be satisfied! Their dough is made fresh as are their sauces!
We chose the regular style pepperoni pizza and were not disappointed. The crust was light and crispy, and the pepps were anything but regular! They use massive pepperoni slices which are sure to please the most discriminating of pepp lovers. The atmosphere here can’t be beat. AE is extremely popular, and their outside seating complete with fire pits and outdoor furniture is very inviting. OTTIMA PIZZA!
We caught up with a few extra peppcrawlers at the Ale and boarded our ride for the next stop…Chuck E. Cheese! Why not, folks? They serve pepperoni pizza and beer too! Imagine the fun you could have with a crowd of your best friends at Chuck E. Cheese?? I’m not saying we did that or anything, but imagine!! Haha! Time to head towards Fishers and check out Rockstone. Roll call!! Our fearless leader had his hands full at this point!
Rockstone Pizzeria and Pub
Rockstone is a locally owned and operated pizzeria and pub serving wood-fired pizzas. The wood-fired oven serves their pies up HOT and FAST! The dough is made in-house, and many of their specialty items are created with house-made ingredients. The quality of their pizzas is evident! Not only did our pepperoni pizza look amazing, it was delicious! For those preferring a thinner style crust, Rockstone certainly satisfies! Not only is this pizzeria proud to be local, they’re also proud to offer 12 rotating taps on draft that are handpicked from local and regional sources.
At this point, our peppcrawlers were getting a little rowdy! We literally devoured our pepperoni pizzas as if we hadn’t been eating all day, washed them down with our fav local brews and tumbled out the doors to our ever-so-patient ride! Roll call, do we have everyone?! BRAVO! Our fearless leader has somehow become our most rowdy crawler!! Ooopsie!! Onwards to the last stop of our #peppcrawl2015…Saxony, we’re coming for ya!
South of Chicago Pizza – Fishers
Located in the quaint ever-popular Saxony development, South of Chicago Pizza offers everything from deep dish pies to the thinnest crust possible! Their super friendly staff is committed to your best pizza experience! Local ingredients, fresh dough and toppings are what make the pizzas here scrumdidiliumpcious!
Want something that’s not on the menu? Just ask for it! These kind folks literally baked us a gluten-free pepperoni pizza for one of our crawlers, and it sure wasn’t on the menu! Not only were the pizzas super cheesy and tasty, but the buttery crust was one of our top favorites. The atmosphere and company were PERFETTO!
We met up with about five more late crawlers at South of Chicago and finished our day laughing and celebrating our quest for the best pepperoni pizza around! Truly a memorable day was had by all.
With over 175 days recognizing food and drink in the U.S. as National Days, it’s hard not to find something to celebrate!
Hmmmm…we’re feeling a little rumbly in the tummy. Isn’t National Donut Day just around the corner? Oh, SNAP! It’s November 4! Yep, there’s a day for that!
As always, SALUTI and go create your own crawl…BUON APPETITIO!!!…