Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Blue Moose Pizza, Vail, Colorado

Outside of Blue Moose Pizza in Lionshead Village

Not every restaurant we dine at is the four or five star type.  I admit I'm a food snob and when I travel I have a habit for tracking down all the James Beard Award nominees in my chosen destination.  But, from time to time, I do want food that is simple and straightforward.  Sometimes, I appreciate a really good pizza.  Vail is miles away from both New York and Chicago but that doesn't mean it's lacking in fine pizzerias.  Blue Moose Pizza is one of them.    With locations in both Beaver Creek and Lionshead Village, Blue Moose Pizza is a favorite for Vail visitors.   Blue Moose is especially loved by families.  Their walls are adorned with pizza box-sized  framed artwork of younger diners.  Tables are topped with butcher paper and cups of crayons, ready for drawing.  Kids are kept happy and busy until the pies arrive to the table.  It's no wonder that the Blue Moose is a hit with parents and children alike.

What I loved:   As a Chicago native, I know I ought be to be loyal to the deep dish.  But, I'll apologize to my fellow Chicagoans now and confess that I love a good thin crust, especially the crispy cracker kind.  Some may say that's more flatbread than pizza, but I don't care.  It's how I love my pizza.  And what I love most about Blue Moose pizza is their crisp thin crust which I understand is a well kept secret.   I have no idea what is in it or how it's cooked, but I assume it must be cooked in a brick oven.  The crisp browned bubbles on the bottom of the crust prove that it is cooked through, not soggy, chewy and droopy like other New York style pizzas.  I also like that Blue Moon uses ground sausage to top their pizzas when sausage is ordered.  I am just not a fan of that sliced sausage stuff.  When I want pepperoni, I order it so I don't need my sausage to fake being it.  Ground sausage is the way to go and I love that Blue Moose gets that too.  What's the other thing they get?  Just how much sauce a pizza really needs.  In my mind, sauce doesn't need to drown the pizza; it just needs to be there enough to lend its flavor.  So on a Blue Moose pizza, the sauce is applied thinly where the cheese is applied liberally.  And right where the cheese stops and the crust begins, which is my favorite part, is a nice, sweet ring of tomato.  Just enough to flavor the bit of bread that finishes off the slice.  I don't need to dip that crust in marinara because Blue Moose has brought that marinara to me.  I'm getting hungry just writing about it.

What I didn't love:  I can't really say that there is anything that I don't like about Blue Moose.  It's a fun place to come for a quick bite to eat.  I think I can only say that I don't love visiting on a rainy day.  The outdoor seating is the best place to be.

How Much I Spent:  ($) Our family of four ordered a 15" "build your own" pizza with sausage on 1/2 and four sodas for a total of about $32, with tip.

My overall rating:  3 1/2 spoons (out of 5).  Now I can't comment on any of the other menu items because, frankly, the only thing I've ever ordered at Blue Moose Pizza is the pizza.  But, I assume with pizza this good, the other menu items are at least worth a try.

Blue Moose Pizza Vail on Urbanspoon

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