As a general rule, we’re hesitant to make broad, sweeping claims. But we will say this: Everybody likes pizza. Everybody.
Right now, you may be saying something about your cousin’s roommate’s girlfriend who just couldn’t stand cheese, or your grandfather who thought pizza had way too many flavors.
But the beauty of pizza is its variability. With the few ingredients required to make a real pie — delicious, crispy-yet-fluffy dough; sauce or oil; your choice of toppings, including everything from veggies to meat to fruit — pizza can take almost any form. And we’re willing to bet that, given the right pizza, even those few holdouts would come around to the wood-fired side.
So, in honor of this great food’s nearly endless adaptability, we offer you five pies that have taken completely different, yet equally craveable, dishes and turned them into the all-time pig-out food: pizza.
1. Steak and Mushrooms
For those hardcore carnivores in the world, there are very few things as satisfying as a big chunk of perfectly cooked beef smothered in spicy horseradish or succulent, savory mushrooms.
However, not every occasion warrants a trip to your local steakhouse — or, for that matter, putting on your nice pants. Luckily, Pies and Pints is serving up the next best thing: a pizza covered with grilled steak, caramelized onions, roasted mushrooms, gorgonzola cheese, horseradish crema, and scallions.
The best part? With this pie, you don’t have to settle for only one of your favorite steak toppings — you get them all.
Corned beef. Thousand Island (or Russian) dressing. Sauerkraut. Rye bread. Of foods created with ingredients that just don’t seem to mesh, the Reuben is the reigning king. What, you may ask, could make this melting pot of flavor more delicious?
Making it into pizza, of course.
Crazy Dough’s, which has locations throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island, has done just that. Their Reuben pizza features a delectable mix of New York deli–style smoked pastrami, sauerkraut, mozzarella, scallions, and Russian dressing.
Could there be a better ode to American dishes? Maybe, but right now, we’re definitely craving this one.
3. Loaded Baked Potato
Possibly the best part of any baked potato is the knowledge that, despite the cheese and sour cream and butter positively coating its fluffy innards, you’re still eating a good source of fiber, potassium, and B and C vitamins.
You’ll rely on this knowledge with every bite of the loaded baked potato pizza at Slice Downtown in Atlanta, Ga. Mixing all the best parts of your favorite spud with all the most pleasurable parts of pizza, this pie features potatoes, applewood smoked bacon, onions, and cheddar cheese — with a side of sour cream, of course.
In fact, with one slice of this delicious dish, you’ll cover pretty much all your necessary food groups (including fruit, since we think applewood smoked bacon totally counts for that).
4. Mac and Cheese
There’s a reason that mac and cheese is a consistent favorite among children, widely known as the world’s pickiest eaters: it’s downright delicious.
So it’s no wonder that when Frato’s Pizza in Schaumburg, Ill., mixed this with pizza, another perennial favorite, the result was a dinner so rich and creamy, it’s almost too much. Almost.
And Frato’s doesn’t just stop at one mac and cheese pizza option. You can choose between a pie made with the chef’s special blended cheese sauce, mozzarella, and aged cheddar, or the “adult” variety, featuring a laundry list of delicious toppings including grilled chicken, penne pasta, applewood smoked bacon, grilled onions, and three kinds of cheese.
5. Bagel and Lox
For anyone who hasn’t had a bagel with lox on it, we advocate you try this silky and savory dish right now. Ok, not right now. Finish the article first, and then go try it.
If you find yourself craving both pizza and salmon with smooth and creamy cheese, however, look no further than Napolese in Indianapolis. At this artisanal pizzeria, they’re serving up a white pie featuring smoked salmon, dilled crème fraiche, capers, and roasted leeks that will make you want to put salmon on everything (if you didn’t already).
The best part? This pizza parlor doesn’t just mix up your favorite foods. It’s also expertly combining the casual ambience of a traditional pizza house with the carefully crafted cuisine of fine dining.
Want to read about more mash-ups that are sure to make your mouth water? We’ve got another seven of them right here!