By Eric Sandler | Oct 15, 2018, 6:00 pm
Memorial-area pizza fans, rejoice. Your new Pizaro’s has arrived.
For too long, fans of Pizaro’s Pizza’s Memorial-area location have been denied the same experience as patrons of the Montrose location. Space limitations at the original outpost prevented the installation of a deck oven that would allow Pizaro’s owners to make the same Detroit and New York-style pies that have transformed the restaurant from Houston’s best Neapolitan-style pizzeria into the city’s best pizzeria — period.
Open quietly since last week, the new Pizaro’s (11177 Katy Fwy.) has enough space (2,500 square feet) to allow for both a deck oven and a wood-burning oven made by Italian firm Forza Forni. Nicole Bean, who owns and operates both locations with her husband, Brad; her father, Bill Hutchinson; and her brother, Matt Hutchinson, couldn’t be more thrilled about her new digs.
“It was the most perfect spot we found,” Bean tells CultureMap. “We probably looked at 15 other spaces. We’ve looked in West U. We looked in Katy, out in Pearland. When this popped up, [we knew] this was it.”
Customers who have been to the Montrose store will recognize the industrial-inspired look with simple wooden tables. Graphics on the wall illustrate the difference between the three styles: Neapolitan (stretchy dough, personal-sized); Detroit (deep dish, rectangular shape); and New York (what most Americans traditionally think of as “pizza”).
“Customers are thrilled,” Bean says. “I had a customer who said he came in for usual potato and mushroom, but [chose] the Detroit instead. [He said] ‘I saw the picture on the wall, and that’s what I had to get.’”
Even the most dedicated customers may not realize Bean is now an award-winning pizzaiolo. She earned the coveted Rising Star award at this year’s Caputo Cup during the recent Pizza & Pasta Northeast trade show. Unlike other awards given for making a specific style of pizza, the Rising Star award goes to someone that conference attendees will be a future leader in the pizza world.
“I’m honored to have it,” Bean says. “I don’t know if I feel like I deserve it. My peers think that I am deserving of it, so I’m very appreciative of that.”
Her brother Matt also earned an award for a pasta he made at one of the event’s competitions. While Pizaro’s doesn’t serve pasta, that could be changing. Bean says she and Hutchinson are contemplating pasta pop-ups to gauge interest in featuring the dish on a regular basis.
And why not? If a bar in the Heights can swing a weekly pasta night, surely Houston’s best pizzeria can figure it out.
Pizaro’s Pizza I-10; 11177 Katy Fwy.; 713-485-0530; Monday to Thursday 11 am to 9 pm; Friday and Saturday 11 am to 10 pm.