First look: A splashy wood-fired Stefano Ferrara oven sets A-Town Pizza apart from its Aurora competition

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How does a guy who worked at Domino's wind up opening a pizza joint that couldn't be more different from a chain whose reputation for quality 'za is one of life's biggest jokes?

Turns out Will Harris, who just recently unleashed A-Town Pizza in Aurora with the help of his wife, Jessie, has a fetish for Neapolitan pizza -- and quality.

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Harris, who was also a pharmaceutical rep for more than ten years, says he's always been enamored by thin-crusted pizza, and when a space became available in an Aurora strip mall, he kicked his job to the curb to pursue his obsession. "I actually went to Phoenix to to go Pizzeria Bianco, but after waiting for two hours in line, I still never got seated, so I gave up and came home," recalls Harris, referring to the nationally acclaimed Arizona pizzeria that's held on a pedestal for its wood-fired pizzas -- and impossibly long wait times.

He scoured pizza joints in Denver instead, including Marco's Coal-Fired Pizzeria, and he loved the pies being tossed by owner Mark Dym. "I figured that I might be able to do something like this in my own 'burb," says Harris, who procured the Ferrari of ovens -- a 5,500-pound Stefano Ferrara pizza oven from Italy, which is similar to the one at Pizzeria Locale, in Boulder. And it wasn't an easy installation: Harris had to remove both the front door and a window before he could shove it inside his open kitchen, where he also turns out wood-fired chicken wings, salads and garlic bread.

But it's the thin and chewy pizzas -- Harris uses double-zero flour -- that really shine. They're all eleven inches in diameter and imparted with the smoke of oak and pecan. Harris pimps fifteen custom creations, several of which are named after famous Colorado athletes, including John Elway -- that's the #7 GM, paved with tomato sauce (nothing more than tomatoes and salt) and topped with fresh garlic, housemade mozzarella, ricotta and jalapenos.

And while there's no liquor license, Harris has applied for one, and if all goes well, he'll be pouring Colorado craft beers from a draft system in March. And he plans to add sandwiches to the board, too. "We played around with making our dough and sauce for six months at home before we opened, and now we're tossing the idea around of making sandwiches with our dough," reveals Harris, adding that he'd also like to start making his own pasta.

"I think we've definitely tapped into an underserved market -- I'm surrounded by nothing but chain after chain after chain -- and I think that what we're doing here is really good for the area," says Harris.

You can check out the space, the menu and the food porn on the following pages.

Location Info

Venue

Map

A-Town Pizza

17060 E. Quincy Ave., Aurora, CO

Category: Restaurant

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7 comments
monopod
monopod

Judging by the pics, he's not running his oven hot enough yet.  It should be hot enough that the crust blisters with little blackened spots all over it before turning brown.  If the crust is a mostly uniform shade of brown, it's taking too long to cook and is likely getting a bit tough.  Perfect neopolitan pizza should have a crisp outside but not be at all tough.  It's tricky to get right and it takes a while to master the oven - hopefully this place will get there soon, they certainly seem to have their heart in the right place.

kah655
kah655

Monopod,

It sounds like you love your pizza as much as we do. We'd love to have you stop in and taste our interpretation of neapolitan pizza and then decide. Pictures may be worth a thousand words, but tasting is believing. Hope to see you soon and hear your thoughts!

gustov
gustov

@monopod Can't help but feel like the pizzeria is not worthy of the Ferraro oven.  It looks like the pizzas and menu are not Neapolitan.  Somebody help this guy!

monopod
monopod

@kah655 Challenge accepted!  To give you an idea of what I mean, do a Google image search for "Motorino Pizza" (disqus apparently won't let me include a link, sorry).  But I'm always open to being convinced!

nuggets13
nuggets13

@gustov @monopod Sorry your not as high as we are but, we are one mile above sea level. As other people in the area know baking is different here and A-Town could push the temp but dough is raw in the middle and burnt on the out-side. Please come by and enjoy the elevation.

kah655
kah655

stay open to A-Town! You'll like it. And you don't have to go to Brooklyn...

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