Hand Crafted Pizza Co. in Algonquin offers a healthy spin on a favorite
Jimmy Pirro remembers sitting on stools as a child at his family's pizzeria, watching his uncles make pizza right in the windows in front of everyone.
When it came time to open his latest business, Handcrafted Pizza Co. in Algonquin, he knew he wanted to do something similar, to go back to the way things were done in the old days. However, he also wanted to put a healthy, new spin on it.
The result is Pirro's new business along the Randall Road corridor, where workers craft your pizza before your eyes.
Hand Crafted Pizza Co. opened in August at 2543 W. Algonquin Road in Algonquin. The restaurant is on the west side of the road, next to Butera grocery store, just north of Randall Road.
The experience is billed as bringing your pizza from the farm to your table, and features many local ingredients.
You start at the bottom with a 12-inch natural crust. From there you can choose from sauces such as Alfredo, basil pesto, olive oil or red.
Next up is a choice of cheese or cheeses. You can choose from shaved asiago, feta, mozzarella, fresh mozzarella, smoked provolone and Romano.
To top it off there is a colorful assortment of organic and locally produced vegetables, meats and cheeses to choose from.
For proteins you can choose from bacon, chicken, sausage, pepperoni, Italian beef and salmon. The additional toppings to choose from include the traditional, as well as items such as almonds, heart of palm and walnuts. There are five different types of tomatoes you can pick and four types of olives.
Pirro said people are having fun with picking their own ingredients and creating their pizzas just the way they like them.
For example, he had couples who come in and can't decide what to put on their pies. Pirro will craft one for them that even has different kinds of sauces on each half.
He also likes that his customers are getting healthier options. Pirro's brother died from cancer, and in this new venture he wanted to make a cleaner pizza for his customers.
He says everything is chemical free and minimally processed. He says his sausage only has six ingredients, his bacon is nitrate free, his sauce is homemade and his salad dressings all are made with extra-virgin olive oil.
"If you saw what you really ate … this is much healthier, and with my brother dying of cancer, I wanted to do that," he said.
In addition to pizza, the restaurant also will be serving other Italian-style foods including pastas. They also have other fun items, such as Jones sodas.
Handcrafted offers dine-in or carryout. There also is a pet-friendly patio, where you can dine when the weather is nice. You can preorder your designed pizza and pick it up to go, so you don't have to settle for other fast food if you are crunched for time, he said.