It’s hard for a new pizza place to find its niche in a town that already has great pizza. Here in Tampa Bay, the New York slice is king. Gino’s in Palm Harbor has been serving us great pizza for 25 years, and Tony’s has got Dunedin and Clearwater covered. So where does a newcomer fit in?
What Tampa Bay doesn’t have is a lot of California style pizza. What’s the difference? It’s all in the toppings. If you’ve ever been to a California Pizza Kitchen, you may have sampled pizza topped with avocados, chicken, and lettuce, instead of the traditional sausage and pepperoni.
With the opening of California-based Extreme Pizza in Palm Harbor, Florida this week, residents of the Tampa Bay area can look forward to trying unusual toppings like these closer to home. Here you can get pizzas topped with roasted potatoes and caramelized onions, hummus and Kalamata olives, Tandoori Chicken and cilantro, barbeque pork, or arugula. Or if you prefer, you can choose something a bit more traditional, like the Everest, topped with Italian sausage, pepperoni, meatballs, and salami.
I enjoyed my pizza. Even though the toppings on the Everest Pizza are more traditional, they were still the standout ingredient, generously covering the whole pizza. I particularly enjoyed the addition of salami and the large chunks of meatballs. However, I wish I’d tried something more exotic like The Spice Route, a pizza topped with Tandoori chicken, cilantro, red onions, green peppers, and mozzarella. Next time…