Good day at Black Rock

A Portabello Flats pizza from Black Rock Pizza Company.

A Portabello Flats pizza from Black Rock Pizza Company.

Photo By Victoria Weiser

Black Rock Pizza

2855 N McCarran Blvd.
Sparks, NV 89431

(775) 356-1771

Some reviews are best kept simple: Do yourself a favor and go to Black Rock Pizza.

Let me explain. I had been bonking all afternoon while hiking. Bonking happens when the blood sugar drops, the body weakens, and you can hardly find the energy to take another step. The fault was all mine. I hadn’t eaten much breakfast and even less lunch. My whole system was unhappy with me and was letting me know it. My husband and I raced home, showered and drove straight to Black Rock Pizza Company, heady with the thought of a calorie rich meal and the return to a normal metabolism.

We pulled into the parking lot and took one of the many empty spots in front of the door. My husband commented that this didn’t bode well for the place. We smiled at each other and shrugged. Here goes nothing.

Inside, we were pleasantly surprised. We were greeted immediately and shown to a table by our server, who then asked what we would like to drink. My husband asked what he would suggest, and I asked if they had anything resembling cider. Without hesitation, our server suggested the Great Basin Icky Pale Ale for my husband and the Buckbean Orange Blossom for me (both $4.29). Within moments, we had water and two cold pints before us. We then ordered two pizzas, debating whether or not to get two smalls (8 inches), two large (12 inches) or one of each. Again, our server, articulate and professional, offered his suggestion. The Black Rock shrimp, with a pesto sauce, shrimp, artichoke hearts, fresh parsley and Asiago cheese ($9.99/$19.99), he reasoned, would not keep well due to the fish. If we planned to take some of one pizza home, then let it be the Poker Brown, a pizza made with Thai peanut sauce, sun dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, smoked red onion, green onion, celery, red bell peppers, topped with Habanero Jack cheese and oriental noodles ($8.99/$17.99). Not incidentally, this pizza won fourth place in the pizza world championships of 2008. We took his word for it, but before he left with our order, our server noticed that he had given me the wrong beer. He apologized and came back with the right one, leaving the extra pint for us to enjoy. The music was soothing—some Beatles, a bit of Gordon Lightfoot—and the massive tomato wall mural is interesting to look at, if a bit odd. The décor is simple, but the place is clean.

Our pizzas were delivered quickly, and we inhaled briefly before digging in. Being a pesto lover, the Black Rock shrimp was my favorite, and I made sure we divided all 8 inches evenly. My husband preferred the Poker Brown, but I should note here that our preferences were frail ones: We finished off both. The pizzas were delicious. The fixings were fresh and flavorful, and the multigrain crust just right.

Black Rock Pizza Company has a great pizza selection, a couple of which—the Chicken Springs and Cowboy Poetry—have been chosen for The Ultimate Pizza Cookbook by Pizza Today Magazine. In fact, all of the options are creative, such as the Sagebrush, with turkey sausage, sage and romano cheese ($8.49/$16.99) and the Zorba, with spinach, roma tomatoes, onions, Kalamata olives and feta ($8.99/$17.99). Black Rock Pizza Company also serves cold and hot sandwiches and has lunch specials from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s not your average pizza joint.

When we left, the restaurant was full, as was the parking lot. We drove home happy and balanced and intent on ordering two larges next time. Because there definitely will be a next time.