The Hippo


Jan 20, 2020








Pizza Outside the Box
Local shops offer unique pizzas

By Angie Sykeny

 If your cheese-and-pepperoni routine has you feeling uninspired, check out these quirky speciality pizzas offered at local pizza shops. From unconventional sauces like alfredo or bourbon barbecue to overloaded toppings and pizza-fied versions of other foods, there’s a crazy pizza for every taste.

Getting saucy
The sauce sets the tone for the whole pizza, and while tomato-based sauce is the most popular and generally compatible, there are countless creative alternatives. Seafood pizzas will often make use of non-tomato sauces, for example, the Shrimp Porto Fino from C.C. Tomatoes (Concord), made with lemon pepper cream sauce, or the Bar Harbor from Portland Pie (New Hampshire locations in Manchester and Nashua), which pairs a Pernod alfredo sauce with scallops, bacon and cheese.
Salad dressings are a common alternative to tomato sauce, especially ranch. Look at Foodee’s (Milford) Southwestern “38” Special, made with ranch dressing, sliced tomato, provolone cheese and bacon; Constantly Pizza’s (Concord and Penacook) chicken ranch club pizza with crispy chicken, bacon, tomatoes and ranch dressing; and The Franchise from Pizza 911 (Manchester and Goffstown), loaded with breaded chicken tenders, bacon, cheddar cheese and broccoli on a ranch dressing base.
“We play around with different toppings and sauces and just try out random things,” Cameron Stone, Pizza 911 manager, said. “We’ll use ranch or barbecue or Thousand Island for bases. There’s really no limit with pizza.”
If you’re looking for something with a bit more kick, try Pizza Mia’s (Bedford) Thai chicken pizza, composed of a spicy peanut sauce and topped with mushrooms, red peppers and pepper jack and Asiago cheese. For an Asian-inspired pizza, go for Foodee’s General Gao’s, made with spicy plum sauce, chicken, red peppers, cheese and sesame seeds.
Go big or go home
An appropriate balance of toppings and flavors is a desired quality in traditional pizzas, but these extreme pizzas are taking a different route. Go all out with Pizza 911’s Onion Lovers, stacked with nothing but Spanish onions, red onions and scallions. For mushroom fans, there’s Portland Pie’s Bradbury Mountain, topped with portobello, crimini and button mushrooms. When it comes to meat, Pizza Mia doesn’t hold back; their meat lovers pizza, known as The Heart Stopper, has pepperoni, hamburger, sausage, ham, bacon and extra cheese.
Be sure you’re up for the challenge with these extreme spicy pizzas. The Five Alarm Blaze from Pizza 911 has hot sausage, bacon, jalapenos and crushed red pepper flakes. Foodee’s owner John Bowen said Foodee’s spicy pizza, The Sizzler, is not for the faint of heart.
“The one a lot of people think, ‘No, thank you,’ is probably The Sizzler,” he said. “It’s about the hottest pizza around. With jalapenos, crushed red pepper and hot sausage it’s hard to eat a couple slices without a tear coming to your eye.”
There’s a pizza for that
These pizza shops are proving that you can turn almost anything into a pizza. Head to New England’s Tap House Grille (Hooksett) for its chicken alfredo pizza, made with chicken, bacon, broccoli and alfredo sauce, or the barbecue pulled pork pizza, based with their signature bourbon barbecue sauce and garnished with green onions. 
Enjoy two Italian favorites in one with the sausage lasagna pizza from C.C. Tomatoes, which has Italian sausage, ricotta cheese, tomato sauce and mozzarella. In the mood for seafood? Go for Pizza Mia’s shrimp scampi, which has shrimp, garlic, olive oil, butter, capers and Asiago cheese. Constantly Pizza’s has a long menu of entrees-turned-pizza, including the eggplant parm, chicken caesar, steak bomb, chicken cordon bleu and pastrami bomb.
Skip the Big Mac and get Pizza 911’s imitator pizza the Big Mic instead: meatball pieces, onions, lettuce and pickles on a Thousand Island base. They also have a chicken parmesan, BLT and the mac-and-cheese-inspired Junior Cadet.
“People sometimes think it’s a kids’ meal, but it’s actually just pizza with mac and cheese bites and french fries,” Stone said. “It was inspired by food that firemen and EMTs might want at a light night shift. I would say it’s one of our most popular non traditional pizzas.”
Craving Mexican food? Foodee’s has you covered with their taco pizza, comprised of taco beef baked with cheese on top of tomato sauce, garnished with onions, lettuce, tomatoes and tortilla chips with salsa and sour cream on the side; or their K-C-D-AAAH pizza made with refried beans, nacho cheese, salsa, taco beef and jalapenos. But the Foodee’s pizza that gets the most funny looks, Bowen said, is the Reuben pizza, made with rye crust and Reuben sauce, topped with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and sliced dills.
“People consider that the craziest,” he said. “They say, ‘A Reuben pizza? What?’ And we put it on the rye crust so everything about it is just as if you were buying the sandwich.” 

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