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Dining review: Small pizzeria in Colorado Springs the kind people dream of having in neighborhood

January 31, 2018 Updated: February 2, 2018 at 3:39 pm
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Slice 420 Pizza and Crepes Restaurant (Left to Right) - Oliver LeReux, Stefany Patriarca, Christian Patriarca, and in center, CEO and restaurant inspiration, Sofia Patriarca, Wednesday January 24, 2018. Photo by Jeff Kearney. .

The distinct aroma in Slice 420 Pizza and Crepes has no connection to cannabis but everything to do with garlic.

This is a small, busy pizza parlor. Its apparent popularity is easily traced to house-made dough, marinara sauce, cheeses and salad dressings, among other items.

Slice 420 is the kind of pizzeria that people dream of having in their neighborhood. The folks in and around Old Colorado City are the lucky beneficiaries.

The dough, which makes a crispy, flavorful crust, highlights the pizza slices, whole pies, calzones and pizza rolls. The latter were new to me. These have ingredients such as sausage, pepperoni, meatballs, chicken Parmesan or Buffalo chicken. A variety of cheeses, sauces and herbs enhance the fillings. which are rolled in fresh dough then baked to create what looks like a stuffed breadstick, as in really stuffed.

A small version of the Saint Genaro roll ($6.99) was among the pizza slices in a display case at the counter where orders are placed. Several slice options are available daily.

The roll boasts locally sourced sausage, sautéed peppers and onions and mozzarella, and it's about three times smaller than the $8.99 regular size. The dough is brushed with garlic butter and dusted with shredded Parmesan. The slightly sweet pork sausage is sliced length-wise rather than in medallions, and there's a small cup of marinara for dipping.

The rolls differ from calzones in that the dough is wrapped around the ingredients with open ends rather than crimped in place like a turnover.

The night of my visit, half a dozen choices of single slices were on hand. This a nice option for those who want to sample a variety without committing to a whole pizza. The downside is the potential for no leftovers.

Slice 420 Pizza and Crepes Restaurant :New Yorks Margarita" - Crushed San Marzono tomatoes, house made mozzarella, cold pressed olive oil, Pecerino Ramono topped fresh basil Wednesday January 24, 2018. Photo by Jeff Kearney. .  

Thin-crusted New York-style dominates the build-your-own options and specialty pies. The 16-inch Margarita ($19.99) features sauce made with crushed San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and shredded basil. I would have liked more of the licorice-like herb, but given the robust flavor of the sauce, creamy cheese and crispy crust, the desire for more basil is a form of greed.

The Greco salad ($10.99) is a meal in itself or can easily be shared. Large pieces of Romaine lettuce are mixed with other greens, chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion and Kalamata olives. The house-made balsamic vinaigrette had just enough acidity to highlight the fresh vegetables without overpowering them.

A few sandwiches are offered, and all are served on house-made baguettes. We sampled the Paris ($9.99), made with ham, thick slices of mozzarella, tomatoes, red onions and lettuce. Unfortunately, too much Dijon mustard slathered on the bread dominated each bite.

Slice 420 Pizza and Crepes Restaurant "The Paris" - Hot ham, mozzarella, Dijon mustard, shaved lettuce, tomatoes and onions Wednesday January 24, 2018. Photo by Jeff Kearney. .  

Taking that French theme in another direction are the made-to-order sweet crepes and house-made pastries.

The music was loud, and the door frequently opened for take-out orders, but the overall vibe was friendly and relaxed. Walls are adorned with black- and-white photos of New York City landmarks. With no designated beverage area, bottled water and soda are all that's on hand.

Plenty of disclaimers are in place around Slice 420 regarding the reference to cannabis. The owners describe themselves as "American medical refugees" on the restaurant's menu and explain the name: "We dedicate our business to our youngest daughter, Sofia, who uses cannabis to treat her seizures and cerebral palsy." The family says it sold its Florida pizzeria and moved to Colorado for legal access to medical marijuana.

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