Napolese is Indianapolis's most recent entry into the world of artisanal pizza. The pizzas are made from an impressive array of high quality ingredients, including some very creative (and tasty) toppings. Unfortunately, the pizzas I tried were pulled from the oven far too soon.
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From the wood-burning oven to delicious housemade toppings to the heavy use of local ingredients, Neal Brown and his team at Pizzology are unquestionably committed to perfecting their craft. A couple of tweaks are still necessary but they're already delivering what a lot of locals say is the best in town.
The story of Indiana pizza is mostly one of regional influence and corporate greed. Indiana is caught between two equally strong forces, which basically carve the state in two. On the north is the strong pull of Chicago and its thin crust, tavern-style pizza. Pizza comes in squares up there, with a strong preference for sausage. Southern Indiana, on the other hand, seems to show a lot of influence from the hands of Papa John's, which originated in the southern town of Jeffersonville, only to multiply into the third biggest chain in the country.
Union Jack Pub is located in the Broad Ripple section of Indianapolis and is probably one of the last places you would expect to serve pizza. But they take the pizza seriously enough that they have a separate menu for it—it is printed on a pizza peel. The deep, deep dish pizza is the thing to get there.
Last time I went to Indianapolis, I listened to the people of that fine town and visited Bazbeaux, a place routinely cited as serving the city's best pizza but was, for my tastes, decidedly mediocre. As I mentioned in that review, on my next visit to Indy, I was going to follow my heart and hit up Maria's Pizza, which has been putting out Midwestern bar pies for more than 50 years.
Daniel Zemans, our man in Chicago, checks in with another piece of intel from the road, this time in Indianapolis. —The Mgmt. [Photographs: Daniel Zemans] Bazbeaux Pizza 334 Massachusetts Avenue, Indianapolis IN 46204 (map); 317-636-7662; bazbeaux.com Pizza Style: Thin-crust Oven Type: Gas The Skinny: The undisputed king of Indianapolis pizza serves up pies with good toppings and a tasty cheese mixture that are undermined by a thick flavorless crust Price: 12-inch pies start at $9.25 Since I started writing for Slice, I try to make it a point when visiting a new city to find either the best local pizzeria...