Pies With Personality

For discerning palates, one TCU-area pizzeria is serving up artisanal flavors with a relaxed vibe and college friendly pricing sure to appeal to any “snob.”

photography by Alex Lepe | Opened early last year, Pizza Snob describes itself as “a cozy place to play with your pizza, sip a beer in a chilled glass and laugh.” And while they impishly claim to have no idea what they’re doing, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the startup opened a second location in Denton over the summer.

Pizza Snob is a build-your-own concept done right, offering fresh and unique ingredients cooked up on thin crusts in just a couple of minutes. All pizzas are meant for one, but are generous enough to share.

Unlike other build-your-own pizzerias, Pizza Snob avoids the “fast food chain” atmosphere. The dining room is warm and inviting, with contemporary pendant lighting and wood accents. Order numbers are called up on a large Bingo board. Food is served up fast, but diners are encouraged to linger over a glass of wine or pint of Community draft beer. During a Tuesday night visit, the place was lively, and as expected, the clientele was primarily college-aged and adult families.

A chalkboard lists a handful of specialty pizzas available, and a few daily specials are handwritten on a large roll of butcher paper above the pizza bar. The only “rule” for custom-made pizzas is that customers are allowed to choose only four ingredients. I didn’t think this was a big deal until I saw the toppings available—red pepper asiago, garlic-buttered meatballs, beer-glazed onions, oven-roasted potatoes and caramelized pineapple for starters. However, the staff is happy to offer samples for those having a hard time deciding.

Pricing may be reasonable, but the flavor is anything but budget. Pizza Snob makes off-the-beaten-path specialty combinations, from cheddar baked potato to street taco. We opted to try a couple of “snob legends.” The Cordon Bleu ($8.49) was a satisfying combination of oven-roasted chicken, applewood smoked ham, rosemary goat cheese and red wine baby bellas. For a zestier option, the Spicy Italian Sausage ($8.49) with smoked provolone and mozzarella, buttermilk Alfredo and candied jalapeños didn’t disappoint.

Of course, pizza aficionados judge a pizza by the crust, and this one holds up to scrutiny. All pizzas are quick-fired in an electric pizza oven straight from Italy. The crusts are thin enough to fold, and not too crispy, but they don’t sag under the weight of the ingredients. I enjoyed the chewy texture and slightly charred bottom, and unlike flavorless crusts that need to be hidden under a lot of cheese, Pizza Snob’s crust was flavorful enough to stand on its own. Gluten-free crust is available for $2 extra.

Every sauce, from the Sriracha mustard to the salsa verde, is made from scratch. We ordered a side of ranch for dipping our pizza crusts and found it wasn’t necessary. However, the fresh-made dressing was so light and creamy, we sampled it anyway.

Otherwise, the menu is pretty limited. Diners won’t find appetizer or dessert options other than a couple of salads and packaged cookies. However, one of the most surprising discoveries was the aptly named Legendary Kale Salad ($3.49 for a side salad). It may well be the best take on a kale salad I have ever tried. Tender, bite-sized kale is mixed with roasted pepitos, dried cranberries and candied ginger and served with a toasted sesame-citrus dressing. The sweetness of the dried fruit and salty umami-ness of the Asian dressing cut through kale’s stereotypical bitter notes in a palette-delighting way.

One of the most standout features of Pizza Snob is the level of customer service. Staff was not only professional, but everyone appeared happy to be there. I was not rushed as I lingered over the menu, and at least two different employees stopped by to check on us after we received our order. With this killer combination of great service and even better food, this is one startup that appears to be here to stay. I’ve never been happier to be a snob.

Location: 3051 S. University Drive (across from TCU campus)
For Info Call: 817.462.7662
Price Range: $-$$$
Hours: Sun.-Thurs. 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
What We Like: Sure to appeal to the younger set, Pizza Snob focuses on responsible dining that supports local and craft artisans and environmentally friendly policies.
What We Don’t: We tried to like the packaged cookies from local baker Cookies, Crumbs and Crust, but despite the fun flavor combinations, the cookies were too crunchy for our taste.
Our Recommendation: Go with a group so you can sample more than one specialty pizza and definitely make room for the kale salad.