Pizza Snob: Pies in the Sky
If you accept what’s implied by the signage near Pizza Snob’s front door, putting more than four toppings on your pie is trés gauche. It’s probably even boorish, the pizza-enthusiast equivalent of Homer Simpson yelling at Bachman Turner Overdrive to skip their new material and go directly to the chorus of “Taking Care of Business.” And, actually, when I think about the last time I ordered a pizza supreme (or “the works” or whatever Pizza Hut calls a pizza with dozens of toppings), did I even pay attention to what was on it? I probably just noticed an impressionistic pattern of colors on mozzarella white before folding a slice into my mouth. “What kind of pizza did you order?” someone might’ve asked. “The kind that has red and green and black on it,” I’d have said. “I think I just ate a bell pepper. Maybe.”
Anyway, what the folks behind Pizza Snob want you to know by way of their winking declarations of elitism is that they give a damn about how your pizza tastes. I know this because when I tried to order a pie topped by peppadews and pulled pork and with a base of asiago cheese and plum tomato sauce, the manager gave me the hard sell on trying the honey-barbecue sauce instead. We settled on splitting the difference, and as it turned out, he was right. The half with the barbecue sauce was a better companion to my toppings combo than the sweet but otherwise so-so red-sauced half.
An easy way to think of Pizza Snob is as a fancier version of Pie Five. You choose your cheese (fresh mozz, asiago, or rosemary goat), your sauce (honey-barbecue, plum tomato, or alfredo), and then up to four toppings ranging from Italian pepperoni to thin-sliced ham to spicy Italian sausage, with plenty of non-meat things like candied jalapeños and potatoes to jazz up your masterpiece. When it’s covered to your satisfaction, a pizza gentleman (as opposed to the pizza dude at, say, Domino’s) shovels your pie into a chrome Cuppone stone-deck oven while you anxiously watch for your number to light up on the vintage bingo board looming over the dining area.
Unlike Pie Five’s energetic red-and-white cartoon factory vibe, however, Pizza Snob’s ambiance is quieter and more refined. The walls and furniture are made of recycled wood, and its open kitchen area is bound by copper. The counters affixed along the perimeter are decorated with potted rosemary plants, and clear, industrial light fixtures hang from the ceiling. Though one of Pizza Snob’s owners is a Red Raider, the restaurant concedes to its Horned Frog ’hood with a few framed football programs from TCU’s yesteryears. You might expect to hear Vivaldi at a place hung up on high standards, but what I heard instead during my visit was an afternoon KXT broadcast.
In other words, even if Pizza Snob’s fare were mediocre, it would still be a nice place to sit down and enjoy dinner and a beer (or a Maine Root organic soda). Restaurants can’t survive on atmosphere alone, though, so it’s a good thing the Snob’s pies are every bit as tasteful as the décor. Besides the dual-sauced pork fest I, uh, commissioned, I also ate a fantastic kale salad tossed in sesame oil with pepitos and dried cranberries, highlighted by crystallized ginger, which made for an incredible finish.
On a separate visit, I stuck with pizza, this time trying the plum tomato sauce with the rosemary goat cheese as a base for sweet and mild peppadews and spicy Italian sausage. The result left a memory of creamy, piquant cheese and sweetness that gave way to the peppers’ scrumptious, salty heat.
In the glut of pizza joints near TCU (there are at least half a dozen within a mile of campus), Pizza Snob stands out with a classy yet comfortable ambiance and a passion for top-quality toppings. Don’t be afraid of the name, because even something as simple as a cheese pizza shines with these Snobs.
3051 S University Dr, FW. 817-462-7662. 11am-9pm Sun-Thu, 11am-10pm Fri-Sat. Beer, wine. MasterCard, Visa accepted.
Four-topping personal pizza ….. $7.99
Mini kale salad ……………………… $2.99