Can Salt Lake Have Enough Pizza? NO!
Checking in on Pizza Volta and Snowmobile Pizza
Can you have enough pizza? If you search your heart you know the one true answer is, “absolutely not.” I, for one, am not afraid to take on a couple of new pizza pie joints that have recently opened their doors. Pizza Volta in Sugarhouse and Snowmobile Pizza in the Granary (at least I think it’s the Granary District).
Pizza Volta is located at 2100 south, just west of Highland Drive. It’s where the old Mellow Mushroom Pizza used to live. I always thought that Mellow Mushroom was like walking into a live-action, garlic-scented Alice in Wonderland. Well, it didn’t survive. You may even ask, “Hey, what does that area need another pizza place for?” You’d be making a good point.
Let’s take a tour: next door to Pizza Volta you have Wasatch and they make pizza. Across the street, there’s Salt Lake Pizza and Pasta. A few doors west, you have Flatbread Neapolitan Pizzeria. Keep walking toward the Oquirrhs, take a left and there’s a small Italian joint, though they seem to primarily serve pasta dishes. If you keep walking even further west on 21st and look to your left, there’s Mod Pizza. Continue walking even further west to 900 south, make a left-hand turn and you’re at Este Pizza. You get the point. I would say the more pizza the better, so stop complaining.
I literally ate pizza 4 days in a row last week at four different places. I am better for it.
Pizza Volta is a pretty big space. I can’t really say too much more about it. It feels upscale with white walls, big tables, an open kitchen, some plants here and there, and big windows where you will enjoy a view of the kids skateboarding out on the plaza and the Sugarhouse landmark that I refer to as “Our Lady of Perpetual Gentrification.”
The bar is hidden back in the corner, which I wouldn’t have noticed if not for the bar taps on the wall. Usually, you see some neon lights or beer signs beckoning you to the bar. Pizza Volta keeps it clean.
Now, because they just opened, I can’t say if they will get a bit more decorative or keep the clean, uptown feel, but it’s nice. The music is basically mood music, good for staying in the background, but nothing that would force you to have to yell conversation at your friends across the table.
The menu has a nice selection of delicious-looking salads and some apps to get things going. I ordered the Pret-za, which was like a giant garlic knot that came right out of the oven, nice and hot, with a side of tomato sauce. It was very good. It’s crisp on the outside and the bread on the inside is a soft and satisfying chew. I could see myself getting a few of these to go on a random weeknight. Actually, I would sit in the lobby and eat them to revel the out-of-the-oven perfection.
With the pizza at Pizza Volta you’ll get a more artisan selection rather than just, “Hey, I’ll take a double pep and a Hawaiian.” I am sure they would make those for you, but like any pizza place, you should always try some of the signature pies. I went with the Prosciutto Brah topped with Tomato Sauce, Whole Milk Mozzarella, Prosciutto, Pineapple, Jalapeño, Red Onion, and the Sweet Italian Sausage pizza with Tomato Sauce, Whole Milk Mozzarella, Italian Sausage, Sautéed Pepper, Caramelized Onion. The crust was a crip, oven-fired delight – solid and satisfying.
Of the two pizzas, I preferred the Sweet Italian Sausage. The caramelized onion was something that I have never had on a pizza before. It was very interesting paired with the Italian sausage. I think I would have liked the Prosciutto Brah more if the Jalapeño offered a kick to play off the sweetness of the pineapple.
Pizza Volta is brand new. The staff is friendly and laid back and allows for easy, relaxed dining. The overall space feels a bit empty. I wish it had as much personality as the items on their menu. Especially in a neighborhood like Sugarhouse, which is a distinct area of Salt Lake City running amok with college-aged people. If Mellow Mushroom had too much going on, Pizza Volta may have too little atmosphere.
On the other hand, it’s nice that there’s a place where you can take a date in that an area where you can’t hear video games, sports on TV, or pool tables – a place where you can actually talk over a meal. I also look forward to enjoying the patio when things warm back up.
One small criticism that made my heart skip a beat was a note at the bottom of the menu that said BYOR, meaning bring your own ranch. This is sacrilegious. Especially in Utah. I didn’t need any ranch on this visit, but I hope this is just a joke. People need ranch dressing in their lives.
That’s really no big deal, though. I would eat a Pret-za out of the oven once a day and will certainly go back with friends to run through all their specialty pies and maybe even a salad. Did I mention the Pret-za?
I think I may have accidentally dumped a Chernobly in a hot tub and time-machined back to where the Saved by the Bell kids would’ve hung out if they were ski bums. Day-glow colors and a bright children-of-the-80s atmosphere is where Snowmobile Pizza is coming from. The playlist fits the scene, too. While there, I heard Metallica, INXS, Depeche Mode, Van Halen, and Def Leppard to name a few.
There are a few screens (some big, some small) placed around the L-shaped pizzeria all playing various 80s programming (one monitor by the soft drink fountains was playing nothing but Halloween commercials from the 80s – vampire McNuggets, anyone?). In one corner there is a photo op with the namesake transportation machines. They even had plastic Jack-o-lanterns on the tables filled with candy and stickers.
Before I get to the pizza I have to take you back to a time when a magical place called Circle K used to be scattered throughout the valley. It was a magical place where you could obtain a Slush Puppie. You’d grab a cup and go up to the flavor bar where you could select the taste of your choice before filling it with the actual slush. It’s not light like a Slurpee or an Icee or crunch-packed like a snowcone. It’s was a proper slush and I love that Snowmobile Pizza has them! Bless them for it.
Snowmobile pizza serves up big pies of New York-style slices. You can also get “Grandma Pie” which is a pan-style pizza. Why not cover all the pizza bases, right? I ordered a round of garlic knots (that’s 2 knots) and their Sausage N Peppers specialty pie that is topped with Calabrian Sausage, pickled jalapeños, peppers, onions, and sesame seeds. The jalapeños had a nice kick, too! I also had them throw some pepperoni on there for good measure.
Snowmobile pizza has a solid selection of specialty pies. Spicy Meatball is next on my list. They also serve up hero sandwiches, which is great for a to-go lunch order. Like Pizza Volta, you can order beer, wine, and cocktails and even get a salad if you’re in the mood for greens.
Snowmobile pizza is a really fun spot where a family or a group of friends will have a good time at. The Slush Puppies are a great touch of nostalgia. The slices are big, thin-crust pieces where you’ll crack the crust down the middle, fold it in half, and start chompin’. The music is great.
The Granary is one of Salt Lake’s up-and-coming neighborhoods with some hip (some may even say cosmopolitan) places to grab a drink like Water Witch and The Pearl (I will be making a stop there once Sober October is over).
You really can’t have enough pizza or types of pizza. If you’re feeling adventurous and want more exotic flavors, you can get it. If you want a classic pepperoni pizza, you can find that, too. If you want Detroit-style…you’ve got Brick’s Corner. The fact that I could eat pizza every night for a week, without ordering delivery, and enjoy very different styles in various atmospheres is a beautiful thing. One of the beautiful things that come with our fast-growing city.