J.J. Watt’s favorite pizza joint opens at new Katy Freeway location

J.J. Watt's favorite pizza joint opens at new Katy Freeway location


The Memorial location of J.J. Watt’s favorite pizzeria, Pizaro’s Pizza, has a new address and an expanded menu. In a 2018 article for Sports Illustrated, the Texans superstar confessed to being a fan of the restaurant’s Neapolitan pizza, and we can’t say that we blame him.

The popular pizza joint has been serving the good stuff since 2011, along the way receiving high praise from Houston food writers including Houston Chronicle food critic, Alison Cook, who ranked it among her list of Top 100 Restaurants 2018.

Pizaro’s Pizza closed the doors of its initial location at 14028 Memorial Drive, and reopened, as of Thursday, at a new space less than two miles away at 11177 Katy Freeway. (Have no fear, Montrose residents. Pizaro’s Pizza at 1000 West Gray Street, open since 2015, isn’t going anywhere.)

At 2,500 square-feet, the Katy Freeway space, with seating for 65, is 1,000 square-feet larger than the restaurant’s former digs. Putting the extra space to good use, the new kitchen got an upgrade, now housing the same two ovens as the Montrose location.

Memorial patrons have enjoyed the restaurant’s beloved Neapolitan-style pie, made in a wood-fired brick pizza oven from Forza Forni, an exclusive distributor of Italian ovens. They can now also dig into Detroit- and New York-style pizzas thanks to the addition of an electric deck oven.

What’s the difference between the pizzas? All equally as delicious, the Neapolitan pizza features a thin crust made with Italian-milled 00 flour, the gold standard of pizza flours by which most others are judged. It’s cooked for 90 seconds in a brick oven set at 900 degrees.

Both cooked in the electric deck oven, the Detroit style pizza is served pan-style and the 16-inch New York is a more traditional American pie.

What more can you ask for? How about a BYOB policy. While both Pizaro’s Pizza locations, let you bring your own wine and beer for a $10 corkage fee, for now, take advantage of a reduced fee at the Memorial restaurant. Until a beer and wine license is approved within the next few weeks, the fee here is $3.

A family affair, Pizaro’s Pizza is owned and operated by Nicole Bean, her spouse Brad Bean, father Bill Hutchinson, and brother Matt Hutchinson.

Bill Hutchinson is certified as a pizzaiolo by The True Neapolitan Pizza Association (Associazione Verace Pizza napoletana, AVPN), a non-profit organization founded in Naples, Italy, whose mission is to promote and protect the true Neapolitan pizza.

As for future Pizaro Pizza locales, Nicole Bean tells the Houston Chronicle, “There’s definitely room for future locations. Let us get this new one up and running, then we’ll aim for a third.”

Marcy de Luna is a digital reporter for Chron.com. You can follow her on Twitter @MarcydeLuna. Read her stories onChron.com, and on our subscriber site, HoustonChronicle.com. | Marcy.deLuna@chron.com | Text CHRON to 77453 to receive breaking news alerts by text message