Concord: Checkmate Pizza

The skinny: A shopping trip brought us a little north to Concord one recent weekend, where we stopped in to the oh-so-tiny Checkmate Pizza.

Checkmate Pizza Concord NH chicken and garlic pizzaPizza at Checkmate is offered in two styles: traditional, available in 12-inch (starting at $8.99), 16-inch ($12.99) and 20-inch ($15.99), and pan pizza, available in 12-inch ($9.99) and 16-inch ($13.99).

There’s a 15-topping selection here, including ham, tomatoes and pesto. Add about $1 for each choice.

Seventeen specialties can be ordered, including the 4-Cheese Supreme (starting at $15.49), which is sprinkled with mozzarella, provolone, cheddar and parmesan; The Pawn (starting at $15.49), with ranch sauce, cheddar, grilled chicken, bacon and broccoli; and the Steak Bomb (starting at $14.49), which includes steak, mushrooms, green peppers and onion.

Calzones are also available starting at $9.99. Opt for Bacon Lovers, Veggie, Chicken Parmesan or Create Your Own.

Checkmate offers online ordering, and it now has a second location in Londonderry. Thanks to Twitter followers @ButtersFineFood and @michelelash for the suggestion!

Review: At our recent visit to Checkmate, we ordered a 12-inch Garlic and Chicken pan pizza, with the options of tomato sauce and grilled chicken over breaded ($14.49).

There’s no seating at Checkmate in Concord, so we had to eat our pie elsewhere. Even though we got a small, our first thought when looking at this pizza: it was huge. Lots of dough and lots of toppings. Definitely a fork and knife pizza.

Once in the car, the smell of the garlic was overpowering. Similarly, the taste was also a little much. The garlic — while not the most we had ever seen on a pizza — was really piled on. Deidre was taking clumps of it off to get through her slices. It also made her rethink her choice of it as a topping. Andrew agreed, and maybe we’ll really have to stop ordering it as a topping, because more often than not, it’s just laid on too much for our tastes.

The grilled chicken was an excellent choice. It was cooked and seasoned well, and the only minor complaint was that it could have been spread out slightly more.

These slices were super cheesy — no skimping here. In addition, it wasn’t greasy at all.

The tomato sauce was very thin. Deidre was glad we chose to add sauce to the pizza; it probably helped mask some of the garlic taste with its sweetness.

The pan style of pizza was most interesting — so few pizzerias seem to offer it. It was easily one of the doughiest pizzas we’ve ever had, in both the bottom and the end crusts. Each slice was seriously floppy, requiring two hands for eating. The bottom crust was at least a half-inch thick, the end crust a minimum of 2 inches tall.

The cold pizza was still really soft and chewy, but also still really garlicy. That said, there was enough chicken to cut the flavor, leaving a fairly balanced pizza, if heavy pizza.

Rating: Deidre: 3.5 / Andrew: 4 = 7.5/10 slices

Checkmate Pizza
41 Washington St., Concord
228-0555, CheckmatePizza.com

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