It took a recent trip home to New Jersey to remind me how much I love white pizza. And not the kind that is just mozzarella cheese without tomatoes, or even worse, the kind made with alfredo sauce. I'm talking about real New-York-style white pizza made with the pièce de résistance: creamy, milky ricotta cheese.
After a few cream sauce-topped pies, I learned rather quickly that a true white pizza is harder to find in Houston than I'd hoped. But there are still plenty of places that make it.
Here's where to find a proper (read: ricotta-topped) white slice:
Where: Grimaldi's Coal Brick Oven Pizzeria What: White Pie w/ Garlic
It should be no surprise that Brooklyn-born Grimaldi's makes a fantastic New York-style white pie. Their coal-fired, thin-crust pies remain crisp and light despite being loaded with heaps of warm and gooey ricotta, handmade mozzarella cheese, and sweet and buttery fresh garlic.
Where: Two Guys Pizzeria What: The Bianco
As first reported by contributor John Kiely, you'll find plenty of Yankees hats and Knicks gear at the Medical Center's Two Guys Pizzeria. According to owner Oscar Monte, "It's the aroma. Customers come in and tell me it smells just like their favorite pizza place back home."
The Bianco is a bit more loaded than your regular white pie, but with fresh spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and the holy trinity of romano, mozzarella, and ricotta cheeses, we don't mind.
Where: Fuzzy's Pizzeria & Sport's Cafe What: The Margarita
With four crusts to choose from and homemade ingredients, Fuzzy's Pizza & Café has been a hit since opening its original location in 1986. For an authentic white pizza experience, get the extra-thin New-York style crust and the Margarita pie, a white pizza topped with mozzarella, ricotta, provolone, parmesan, tomatoes, and fresh basil.
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It's not just ricotta and mozzarella on the 900 degree oven-fired white pizza at the sibling Coppa restaurants. The cheeses are on it, of course, but so are mounds of fontina, parmesan, and scamorza, a silky-smooth Italian cow's milk cheese. Green olives and oregano make this blistering pie one of the best white pizzas in the city.
Where: Coal Vine's Pizza & Wine Bar What: White Pie
Dallas import Coal Vine's serves up hand-tossed coal-fired pies with thin and crisp New-York-style crust. Try the white pie, made in true "white-pizza-style" with mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan, plus a hint of oregano; or the white special, which adds sliced tomatoes. Having a look at their wine list won't hurt, either.
Off the Menu Specials
Where: Brother's Pizzeria What: Pizza Bianca (White Pizza)
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Loyal fans of this no-frills pizzeria recently jumped to the message boards to vote Brother's Pizza in for one of the 5 Most Underrated Restaurants in Houston. Visit one of three locations to enjoy classically delicious, thicker-crust pies like the off-the-menu white pizza, made with mountains of gooey mozzarella and milky ricotta.
Where: Piola What: Le Pizze Bianche w/ Ricotta
International chain Piola will happily adjust any of their authentic Italian pies to your liking. I love the ordering the Tours -- a sauceless pizza made with a mozzarella, spinach, mushroom and bacon -- and adding ricotta. Dollops of the creamy, silky cheese practically melt in your mouth, making each bite pure pizza bliss.
Where do you go for white pizza?