Location: Ian's Pizza (State Street)
Date: July 29, 2017
Pizza isn't sandwich. Nobody thinks it is. There is no reason to discuss this further.
A better topic might be to discuss the validity of "breakfast pizza". Breakfast pizza has been around for awhile (I know that is vague but I'm simply not going to do any research on this) and it's popular enough to warrant several options in the freezer section at your local grocer, but I feel it is a relatively new offering at local pizzarias. I believe it is new to Ian's, but it's also available at Glass Nickel, and there is a pie at Salvatore's called "Carbonara" that has soft cooked eggs on it. I've heard Echo Tap has one as well but it's not shown on their menu. There are probably others, but again, I just don't care to do the research. You should though. Please do, and report back with your findings. You have an assignment now. This is fun. I have faith in you.
Straight out of the gate I have to reveal my bias. I think all pizza is breakfast pizza and am firmly in the camp that believes cold pizza is a good breakfast. I've always felt this way and have proudly and happily munched on cold pizza for breakfast hundreds of times. This will never change.
I can't remember when I first heard about breakfast pizza, it was likely many years ago, and honestly, I can't recall what my thoughts were at the time. My opinion now, as I sit here as a respected (not true) and renowned (also not true) reviewer of breakfast sandwiches, is that it's somewhat gimmicky. It strikes me as an attempt to mix two different foods to create a new Superfood that is somehow better than the sum of it's parts, e.g. Taco Pizza. (Note - I have had tasty Taco Pizza but ultimately I want either tacos, or pizza, in their traditional form.) I suppose this says more about me than anything else and I am not categorically against blending of foods if that's what you're into*. If you want a Turkey Club Pizza I think you should have it. That's wonderful. There will be no pizza or sandwich shaming for that. I reserve sandwich shaming for terrible sandwiches, which are sadly all too plentiful.
With that in mind I biked up to the Farmer's Market on an absolutely perfect Saturday morning with the sole goal of trying some breakfast pizza. I wanted to make the trip worth my time so I ordered two slices.
Denver Omelette - Tator Tots, Bell Peppers, Onions, Pepper, Ham, Eggs, & Cheddar Cheese. Those little tater tot bites pretty much sealed the deal on this one. Anything that reminds me of Potato Ole's is going to make a strong case for itself although the taste of the tots kind of got lost in everything here. I expected this to be salty due to the ham and tots, and while it was, it also had a slightly sweet flavor. Maybe that was the crust? The peppers had a nice crunch to them and the peppers and onion are the predominant flavors. The egg is supposed to take the place of the tomato sauce but it just doesn't work for me. Maybe it's a mental block on my part - expecting the regular saucy flavor and texture and not getting it. It's not an omelette and it's not pizza. Omelezza?
Meat Lovers - Breakfast Sausage, Bacon, Wisconsin Maple Syrup, & Eggs. The dude told me this slice also has a light layer of mozzarella on it although they don't list that on the menu. This one almost lost out to the Biscuits & Gravy but the inclusion of sausage AND bacon was what finally made me choose this. If you're a regular reader you know I often speak of the choice between sausage and bacon so when offered both at the same time I had to try it. It turned out to be a better slice in concept than in execution. The sausage was dry and the maple syrup flavor dominated in a way that I didn't appreciate. As with the other slice I missed the tomato sauce (although this could very well be a Pavlovian response to having a slice of pizza in my hand).
The Results - 3.18 (Denver Omelette) and 2.79 (Meat Lovers) That Ain't No Sandwiches out of 5 That Ain't No Sandwiches. I am willing to concede that these ratings are affected by my personal biases and preconceptions. I can't help that. I just didn't enjoy either slice all that much. I may dabble in breakfast pizza again but it's far more likely I'll be eating a leftover slice of cold pepperoni and onion while making a sandwich to take to work.
Note - I believe each slice was $4. That is the cost of a specialty slice, but I don't remember what my total was that day.
*Speaking of blending foods, have you tried the Mac 'n Cheese Brats from Jim's Meat Market? They're new this year (I think) and are not listed on the web site but they seem to have them all the time. They are excellent. I haven't eaten a whole one on a bun, they function perfectly as a sliced up little snack while you grill other items.
Happy National Sandwich Month, everybody. Let's make it a memorable one.