an member station

Desert Companion

At first bite: Pizza Rock

For those about to share a pie, we salute you

It’s proclamation time: Pizza Rock could be the first true dinner hit of the downtown culinary revolution. Oh, downtown already has hits when it comes to breakfast and lunch — Eat and MTO Café come to mind — but Pizza Rock is in the perfect position to become a solid nighttime draw.

Pizza Rock combines pizza — a lot of them — with a healthy dose of rock ’n’ roll. This pairing lends itself to evening revelry as the DJ ensconced in a semi-truck cab — yeah, I just wrote that — spins tunes and TVs play vintage hard rock videos. It’s a fun room, perfect for that beer-fueled, loud-talking ritual of hanging out.

The pizza array is mind-boggling. Four ovens with varying fuels and temperatures make for what seems like infinite pie combinations; this results in an almost indecipherable menu, so consider this your Enigma machine for cracking the code. While award-winning, Pizza Rock’s margherita ($16) is simply alright. The pizza — they make only 73 a day — is good, but certainly no better than what’s offered at local favorites Due Forni or Settebello. This is less a knock on this pie and more a reflection of how Napoletana-style pies have progressed here in recent years. (The ingredients on my margherita tasted fresh and high-quality — key to such a simple pie — but it could’ve used a bit more char.)

Support comes from

While Chi-town is renowned for deep dish pizza, any native knows square-cut, thin crust is the go-to style. Chicagoans take note: Pizza Rock is producing the archetypal version. The brick oven-fired Chicago cracker-thin pizza with characteristic crispy char is a hit. The Sam Giancana ($22) represents the style particularly well, with the practically paper-thin crust holding up well to the robust combo of fennel and Calabrese sausage with provolone and American cheeses.

The New York-style pizzas are almost as impressive as their Chicago counterparts. With a thicker crust, the eponymous New Yorker ($23) was a quality choice, with pepperoni, sausage, sweet ricotta and ample amounts of garlic creating a rich amalgam of flavors and textures. Diners with diverse tastes — or just indecisive minds — should consider Pizza Rock’s Romana-style pizzas ($32). Each third of the oblong pizza features a different set of toppings. It’s further evidence that Pizza Rock is trying to be all things to all pizza-lovers — and so far, it’s an admirable effort.

PIZZA ROCK - 201 N. THIRD STREET - 385.0838



More from

More Stories

Don McLean American Pie
KNPR's State of Nevada
KNPR's State of Nevada
Now Playing
My Queue
Press Play to start audio

My Queue

Nothing Playing

Add some items to your playlist to play them.