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This pizza 'experience' worth the trip to Carmel

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One of the few things I remember from my undergraduate business studies is that if you want to succeed in retail or restaurant the most important rule is LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION. Some places try to save money on rent and move ahead with the mistaken concept that their product will attract the customer. Even with a superior product this strategy is risky. In our fickle society, convenience often wins over quality, thereby leaving the consumer to choose from a pool of mediocrity.

While I’m sure Pizzology’s storefront rent isn’t cheap, the amateur commercial real estate agent in me is quite sure some alternate storefront property in Carmel demands a price superior to this unassuming little strip mall at 131st Street and Hazel Dell Road. Tucked away in the corner of this little plaza is Pizzology, a place that boldly and successfully proves my business professor wrong.

Pizzology isn’t your average pizza joint. It’s more like a pizza experience. Voted 2007 Chef of the Year by Indianapolis Monthly, Neal Brown of the former gem, L’Explorateur, and his wife, Lindy, opened this venture serving Neapolitan craft pizza like the kind you would find in Naples, Italy. Their cheese and sausages are homemade, and their dough is made with wild yeast, spring water, and Caputo Pizzeria “00” flour. The pies are then baked in an 800-degree, wood-burning oven resulting in a crust that is extremely thin yet crisp and durable, and somehow light and airy all in the same pizza.

I’ve dined here twice, each time for lunch. I once made the feeble attempt to try to eat there during the dinner hour, but the crowd generated too long of a wait. My first visit included my wife, Amy, and our three children, along with my mother and her companion, both visiting from Florida, and my brother and niece, visiting from Illinois. We sampled a large portion of the menu with this crowd.

Upon entering the restaurant you are met with a beaming hostess and hip but clean-lined décor. To the right is a small, full-service bar, and a newly added screened porch for friendly weather dining. Near the back of this small restaurant is an open-concept kitchen, flanked by a counter and stools for patrons to sit, dine and watch the kitchen staff craft their magic. To the left is an additional dining area while lively but non-offensive music fills the entire establishment.

Amy ordered an Italian Chop Salad, consisting of romaine, prosciutto, Gorgonzola and tomatoes. Finished with a citronette dressing that stole the show, Amy gave this salad a rave review. Having sampled it, I concurred. A perplexing balance of citrus, oil, and vinegar flavors, this quality salad foreshadowed what was yet to come.

My mother ordered the daily risotto special. Not many restaurants have the guts to even offer risotto as it can be both tricky and time-consuming to prepare. This place not only offers risotto, but it offers a different variety daily. I admittedly do not remember what flavor they served that day, but I do remember it was cooked to perfection.

We ordered three pizzas, each with the remarkable crust discussed above and christened with quality ingredients. We had the homemade sausage pizza, laced with fennel, onion, fennel sausage, and roasted sweet peppers. Additionally, we had a Sicilian eggplant pizza with eggplant, mozzarella, San Marzano tomatoes, and capers. Lastly, the kids chose a homemade pepperoni pizza to complement their spaghetti and meatballs and buttered pasta.

The sausage was littered with fennel, the way Italian sausage should be. Put capers on anything and I’ll give it rave reviews, but I have a sneaking suspicion even without them the eggplant pizza would stand out.

Have you ever been to a pizza place that made its own pepperoni? ’Nuf said.

Tie all this in with the sugary sweet and loudly flavored San Marzano tomatoes and you will find this out-of-the-way place is worth the trip.

My second visit was a solo affair. The lunch special was a soft drink, soup or salad, and a personal Napoli pizza made of mozzarella cheese, those kick-&*$ tomatoes, and oregano. I ordered it and found consistently supreme quality, all for $7.63, including tax.

Pizzology uses local ingredients whenever possible. In addition to the staples, it offers craft beers from places like Indy’s own Sun King Brewery and the popular Mad Anthony brand from Fort Wayne. Lindy Brown is famous for her wine palate and is in fact a Certified Sommelier so trust the wine list, after court please.

Pizzology, 13190 Hazel Dell Parkway, Carmel; (317) 844-2550; www.pizzologyindy.com.•

____________

Fred Vaiana and Jennifer M. Lukemeyer practice at Voyles Zahn Paul Hogan & Merriman in Indianapolis, focusing in criminal defense. Vaiana is a 1992 graduate of the John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Lukemeyer earned her J.D. from Southern Methodist University in 1994 and is active in the Indianapolis Bar Association, Indianapolis Inn of Courts, and the Teen Court Program. The opinions expressed in this column are those of the authors.

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  • Pepperoni
    Thanks for the very nice words. We are happy that you enjoyed Pizzology.

    Just wanted to clarify that while in the beginning, it was our intent to make our pepperoni, we found that we simply couldn't keep up with production. We have removed the inferences on all of our menus. Make no mistake, we are working on a way to keep up with demand, and hope to someday make ALL of our cured sausages, but for now, we are buying an extremely high quality product that we think tastes awesome!

    Just wanted to be honest about this.

    Thanks for your support of Pizzology, we are happy to have you.

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  1. My daughters' kids was removed from the home in March 2015, she has been in total compliance with the requirements of cps, she is going to court on the 4th of August. Cps had called the first team meeting last Monday to inform her that she was not in compliance, by not attending home based therapy, which is done normally with the children in the home, and now they are recommending her to have a psych evaluation, and they are also recommending that the children not be returned to the home. This is all bull hockey. In this so called team meeting which I did attend for the best interest of my child and grandbabies, I learned that no matter how much she does that cps is not trying to return the children and the concerns my daughter has is not important to cps, they only told her that she is to do as they say and not to resist or her rights will be terminated. I cant not believe the way Cps treats people knowing if they threaten you with loosing your kids you will do anything to get them back. My daughter is drug free she has never put her hands on any of her children she does not scream at her babies at all, but she is only allowed to see her kids 6 hours a week and someone has to supervise. Lets all tske a stand against the child protection services. THEY CAN NO LONGER TAKE CHILDREN FROM THERE PARENTS.

  2. Planned Parenthood has the government so trained . . .

  3. In a related story, an undercover video team released this footage of the government's search of the Planned Parenthood facilities. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXVN7QJ8m88

  4. Here is an excellent movie for those wanting some historical context, as well as encouragement to stand against dominant political forces and knaves who carry the staves of governance to enforce said dominance: http://www.copperheadthemovie.com/

  5. Not enough copperheads here to care anymore, is my guess. Otherwise, a totally pointless gesture. ... Oh wait: was this done because somebody want to avoid bad press - or was it that some weak kneed officials cravenly fear "protest" violence by "urban youths.."

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