Now that a Neapolitan pizza introduction has been made, let’s get to the pizza!
Our first stop on The Great Neapolitan Pizza Quest was Denver, which led us to …
Marco’s Coal-Fired Pizza
Marco’s Coal-Fired Pizza is a VPN Certified (see this post) pizzeria located in downtown Denver at 2129 Larimer Street. (Though they have another location in Englewood as well).
After a morning of driving, we were starving and excited to get this pizza journey started. Per usual, Erik requested to sit “as close to that beautiful pizza oven as possible”. One thing I love about most Neapolitan pizza experiences is that the pizza ovens are typically a focal point in the restaurant so that you can observe not only your pizzas being made, but also how they are cooked. (And if they’re not a focal point, they should be!)
We arrived pretty early, not too long after they opened for lunch, so we were hoping those pizza ovens were hot enough, and ready to go. (If you haven’t read my previous post about Neapolitan pizza, now would be a good time, lest you are confused with this next part) …
Authentic Neapolitan pizzas should cook in roughly 90 seconds due the high heat of the oven. Our pizzas at Marco’s came out in roughly 95 seconds. Which was good for how early in the day we had arrived. Naturally, the ovens will get warmer as the lunch/dinner progresses.
At each pizza place, Erik and I are ordering a Marinara and Margherita pizza, since they are both very traditional Neapolitan.
The Margherita (called Abruzzo on the menu at Marco’s) is “Bufala Mozzarella, Parmigiano Reggiano, Gran Cru, Caciocavallo, Fresh Basil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil”, and is pictured above.
And then the Marinara:
You can see on their door the Vera Pizza Napoletana (VPN) logo, signifying Marco’s is VPN certified.
The Quick Stats
Oven: Maker unknown.
Cook time: Approximately 95 seconds. We were the first ones in the restaurants so the oven had just started up, but they were still able to achieve a 95 second pie.
Taste: Both pizzas were delicious, very authentic. Everything was cooked properly to VPN standards. The dough appeared to be a high hydration due to the beautiful rise and bubbles created.