Pizza with pizzazz
Bru-go’s Pizza Co.4945 S. Virginia St.
Reno, NV 89502
“If I’m going to spend the next 10 years in this place I don’t want it filled with video games and punky kids,” the owner of Bru-go’s Pizza Co. told us.
Indeed there was nary a punky kid nor video game in sight when I visited Bru-go’s one Saturday evening with some family and friends. In fact, we all thought the place a pretty class act.
Having been open less than a month, Bru-go’s operations seem pretty tight. This is understandable given they’ve had practice at their original location in Carson City. Bru-go’s interior is dominated by stone veneer, blown glass dangling lights, accordion-laced instrumentals of songs like “Volare,” and large photos of Cefalu, Sicily. They’re the kind of photos that make you want to burden your credit cards hopping flights to the Mediterranean. Ah, Italy.
We started the meal with jalapeño poppers (six for $6.95) with strawberry jalapeño sauce. Bru-go’s poppers are a nicely fried, cream cheese oozing affair, but the sauce tasted like thick strawberry jam. The side of spicy, ultra-hot roasted garlic red sauce I requested proved much better for dipping.
Bru-go’s isn’t set up for large groups, but I enjoyed going with a few people because we tried several items from the expansive pizza list. We ordered two large pizzas (14 inchers for $20.55) each split between two selections. Pam picked the Chrissy’s Favorite—onions, mushrooms, pepperoni, Bru-go’s red sauce and fresh pesto. Kat had the Chicken with Roasted Garlic—chicken breast, artichoke hearts, Roma tomatoes and the roasted garlic white sauce. Eric went with the Finding Nemo Scampi Pizza—mozzarella and asiago cheese, sundried tomatoes, roasted garlic, artichoke hearts, a garlic white sauce and rock shrimp sautéed in garlic butter. Finally, Afton ordered the Nacho Pizza—red onions, fire roasted green chiles, jalapeños, black olives, cheddar, the house roasted garlic red sauce and topped with Doritos. I was curious about the Rocky Rotolo Sausage Sandwich ($8.95, includes soda and chips), which is a hot link sausage, garlic white sauce, mushrooms, onions and mozzarella wrapped in Bru-go’s pizza dough and then baked.
I feel sorry for Bru-go’s servers having to lug those pizzas around. It’s truly a carpal tunnel problem in the making, maybe requiring wrist braces in lieu of decreasing the mass of delicious toppings on those pizzas.
The only faux pas of the evening was the cook putting the wrong pizza halves together, leaving people to reach across the table to get at their preferred slices. I guess the cook thought the scampi and nacho pizzas couldn’t play nice on the same tray. The owner promised to give that punky kid a tongue lashing.
The best thing about Bru-go’s pizzas, aside from the fresh topping combinations, are the sauces. Each sauce is incredibly flavorful and distinct. However, I have to take issue with the crust, which I thought overwhelmingly thick. Further, it had a slightly acrid, yeasty flavor, that I couldn’t get past. This was particularly strong in my Rotolo sandwich. I think I might try out the thin crust next time.
To finish the evening off, Kat and I took an order of Bru-go’s take-and-bake cinnamon rolls home (four for $7.95). The owner assured me these cinnamon rolls would make the ones offered at the shopping mall food court taste “plain.” She was right, and they would probably have been better if I wasn’t still figuring out how to use my new oven. Either way, one look at Bru-go’s menu and you’re sure to pick up on two things—they’re incredibly adventurous in their choice of topping combinations, and they’re incredibly proud of the work they do. And why not? I’d say Bru-go’s just upped the ante in Reno’s pizza market.