Quick service, fresh made pizza has become all the rage lately. It seems there’s a number of different places opening up with the same, simple concept. Build a personal size, thin crust pizza in front of you and then fast fire it in a high temperature oven.
We have become big fans of Blaze Pizza in Oshtemo and love the idea. Your not stuck with the typical one or two topping pizza on the same boring crust. You can actually choose from a big list of ingredients and each person can get the pizza they want.
While Blaze is doing it’s thing as a chain, there are a number of local places popping up with the concept as well. One of those places is Rocket Pies in the Downtown Market in Grand Rapids.
Rocket Pies is owned by the same guy that owns Love’s Ice Cream which has been at the Market since the beginning. Recently, he bought Relish Green Grocer, moved Love’s to a space near the front of the market, put Rocket Pies in where Relish used to be and condensed Relish down some to fill in the remaining space. Throw in a few tables and there’s a nice little spot right as you walk in the door for dinner, ice cream, and fresh veggie shopping.
The idea behind Rocket Pies is to do every thing fresh and as local as possible. The crust is made in house with 00 flour from Central Milling out of Utah. The dough is wild leavened in a three day process and it’s 100% organic . Mozzarella is made with milk from grass fed, non-gmo cows here in Michigan. Tomatoes are organic. The vegetables are from local farms. They have descriptions and sources for most of their ingredients right on the menu so you know where it’s coming from. This is about as far away as you can get from Dominos and still call it pizza.
The ordering process is something we’re getting used to seeing more and more. The market style concept is obviously pretty popular in the Market and Rocket Pies uses that system to make their Neopolitan style pizzas fresh when you order them.
There was one guy working both Relish and Rocket Pies. He came over from the Relish cash register and asked what I was interested in.
They have a number of pizza options, but they also have my usual favorite, the Build Your Own.
The 12″ BYO comes with choice of sauce and mozzarella. From their, toppings cost extra with veggies being $1 and meats and cheeses being $2. I chose the tomato sauce with basil and La Quercia Speck (smoke proscuitto).
The pizza was made right in front of me. The dough was hand tossed and put on to a pizza peel to be topped. Once it was ready, the pizza is put in to the oven where it’s cooked in a little over two minutes. The pizza comes out with a crispy crust that’s burnt in a few bubbled areas, but soft and chewy while maintaining that snap along the edges.
They encourage you to eat in. The pizzas won’t hold up very long after coming out of the oven due to the naturally fermented crust. Since it takes only two minutes to cook, I could spend an extra five minutes eating at the bar that overlooks the kitchen area.
I’ve had a lot of pizzas cooked in this same fast-fired way recently and Rocket Pies stands out above them all. The fresh ingredients make such a huge difference. The basil tasted like it was picked right before it went on to the pie and the proscuitto brought in that delicious saltiness to balance with the sweetness of the organic tomatoes.
The cost for the pizza was a little over $12, so, much more than you’d pay at a chain pizzeria, but seriously, this isn’t even comparable. Rocket Pies is in a league of their own. If you think $12 for a $12 Neapolitan style pizza is too much, you’re missing out on something delicious. The Downtown Market is for people that really like to enjoy food and Rocket Pies fits in perfectly with that.