Friday, May 6, 2011

Impressions: Tico's Pizza

Tico's Pizza

[Photographs by Adam Lindsley]
In the dust-choked town of Colonia Vicente Guerrero, about 180 miles south of the border, there aren't a whole lot of options available when it comes to varied cuisine. Typically, the entire peninsula, let alone this poverty-stricken village, wouldn't even register as a blip on my radar of food destinations (Michoacán is really the place I want to eat my way across). But when you have a girlfriend you love and adore working and living there, look at things in a different light.

I've gotten to try a lot of the food in the area (feel free to check out the forums for a complete rundown of my culinary exploits there). And since there happens to be pizza served in Vicente Guerrero, and this is first and foremost a pizza blog, my curiosity had to be satisfied. For you, dear readers. I do it all for you.

No, I didn't really expect to find good pizza in Baja, but the locals liked this place enough to recommend I try it. And you know what? Despite being pretty mediocre, it's better than a lot of pizza I've eaten in the States. Not most, but a lot. Certainly better than the last pizza I had in San Diego and the crap slices I had at Safeco Field.

That said, there's nothing particularly special about it. It's dough from a mix (Bay State), it rises uniformly across the pie, making it very close to thick-crust pizza, and the toppings aren't high quality. But I liked it well enough.

The Mexicana was surprisingly agreeable. It's topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, bacon, chorizo, pinto beans, and jalapeños. Couldn't really taste the sauce; it was applied in too thin a layer. But the bacon and chorizo was salty enough to make up for the fairly bland dough. I wasn't sure I'd like beans on pizza, but they weren't distracting at all, and they actually worked well with the other toppings.

Didn't care for the Mixta. It's topped with pepperoni, ham, olives, onions, jalapeños, mushrooms, green peppers, and canned pineapple. Too many toppings, and they fell off too easily when you picked up a slice. Not horrible, though. Just a veggie explosion.

When you live in a town this poor, you take your dinner options where you can get them, and as a pizzeria, Tico's is far from the worst you'll find. I'd still take it over Domino's any day of the week. While it won't impress you, it acquits itself nicely as a passable example of the highly Americanized version of this staple. And it may make you a pinto-beans-as-toppings believer, as it did me.