The skinny: It had been a while since we had stopped in to 900 Degrees for a bite to eat. It’s become a popular place for pizza in the city, mainly because it’s a refreshing change to grab a pizza in a more upscale environment.
900 Degrees is also one of our most frequently suggested restaurants: @WoogyChuck, @Danhannon, @laurz, @blueolivesfood, @SinfulSquares, @lccdave, @CleanPlateNH and @ButtersFineFood had all let us know their favorable opinions about the eatery. And the restaurant just received the “Best Pizza Worth the Drive” award from the Hippo.
Pizzas here are one size, and all are cooked in the wood-fired oven at — you guessed it — 900 degrees. The 15 signature pies range from $13.50-$15.95. Some of the specialty pizzas include the Quattro Formaggi ($14.75), which is a white pizza covered in mozzarella, ricotta, goat cheese and gorgonzola, with olive oil and garlic; the Basa Nova ($14.95), which has roasted garlic cream, mozzarella, Grana Padano, tomato, red onion, cilantro and jalapenos with fresh lime juice; and the Paisano ($14.95), which starts with red sauce and mozzarella, then is topped with salami, pepperoni, Italian sausage, bacon and oregano.
You can also build your own pizza here. Veggie toppings are $1.50 each and consist of items such as artichoke hearts, kalamata olives and arugula. Meat and cheese toppings are $1.95 each, and some of them include sausage (sweet or hot), feta and rosemary ham.
Gluten-free crust is also now available at 900 Degrees.
Review: We opted for the Fire Roasted BBQ Chicken ($14.95).
The pizza is very thin. We expected the pizza to be a little crispy all the way through, but the bottom crust was a little softer than we expected it to be. The ends had darker spots from the hot pizza oven and had the right amount of crunch to them. (Side note: Consider dipping your crusts in the bread dipping oil that’s at each table. Deidre even enjoys adding some crushed red pepper to her oil for that little extra something.)
The cheese is a combination of fresh mozzarella and Grana Padano. It’s a pure white in color, and just by looking at it, you can tell it’s different than most of the cheese you get on pizza in the area. Deidre loved the use of the fresh, thick slices of cheese. In some places, the thickness of the cheese was more than twice the thickness of the bottom crust. Though that sounds like a lot of cheese, it definitely was the right amount. It wasn’t greasy at all — a nice bonus.
The barbecue sauce was thin and slightly sweet, but Andrew thought the best part was the peppery kick it added. It was the exact flavor the pizza needed to keep it from being dull or a run-of-the-mill barbecue chicken pizza.
We hadn’t been here in a long time, and one of our biggest complaints in the past had been the skimpy toppings. Not anymore. Cheese, as well as the chunks of white meat chicken and onion, were to be had with almost every bite. The chicken appeared to be fresh chunks of chicken breast and were nowhere near dried out. Andrew tasted a bit of smoky flavor imparted by the wood-fired oven. Onions were fresh and plentiful, adding some crunch and lots of tanginess — a good taste combined with the sweet and spicy sauce.
Be aware that while the pizzas are a good size (maybe 14 inches or so), they are all fairly light and not very filling. In the past, the two of us have easily devoured a pizza and still were hungry when we were finished.
Andrew is not a huge fan of cold pizza from places that use wood-fired or coal ovens — because they’re so thin, they usually get dry in the fridge. But 900 Degrees seems to be a bit of an exception. While thin, the crust wasn’t dried out and still had a bit of chewiness after a night in the fridge. And the barbecue sauce was still just as much of a show-stopper the second day.
Rating: Deidre: 4.5 / Andrew: 4.5 = 9/10 slices
900 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria
50 Dow St., Manchester