Article published Jan 11, 2005 at

Fantastic feast awaits at PizzalChik . . . Huh, where?

By Dan Kouba

"What's the name of that place?" co-workers asked again and again about the difficult-to-pronounce and remember PizzalChik, a small pizza/salad/chicken (now do you get it?) eatery in the Gary Lane Plaza. But while the name is understandably easy to goof, the food is nothing short of deliciously memorable.

Only eight months old, PizzalChik is unlike anything else we've come across in town. It's sort of a hybrid deli/take-out/dine-in/gourmet cuisine/dessert and wine bar with a 6,000-pound stone hearth oven as the centerpiece. Practically everything that leaves the quaint family-owned restaurant is farm-fresh (they grow their own herbs in the windows) and mind-bogglingly good. Totally laidback, yet unpretentiously classy, PizzalChik is the talk of the Thrive office.

After perusing the online menu, we decided on a gluttonous feast: 1/2 of a roasted garlic chicken with rosemary potatoes ($6.99, and enough for two), a bucket of farm fresh salad (berries and veggies in the summertime and late harvest fruits and roasted or marinated vegetables in the fall, truly a spectacle of goodness and at only $5.95, large enough for 3 or 4), a monstrous wild mushroom and Italian sausage calzone (about $12 ... not on the menu, but it may be Boise's best kept secret) and six pieces of chocolate amaretto cheesecake ($3.99 per slice) that blew everyone's resolutions out the water.
Arguably the star of the show was the calzone (basically a 12-inch Italian-style thin crust pizza folded over). Spun by hand and made with 50/50 provolone and mozzarella, our Italian sausage and mushroom meal moved graphic designer Shawn Raecke to call it a "mini-Italian blanket" of decadence.

"Consistent, very consistent," said the always-picky Nick Jezierny in reference to how other places are hit or miss in their offering. "The amount of ingredients was good, and the wild mushrooms were unique and very tasty."
For the record, Nick was the one who turned us on to PizzalChik's calzone, and swears he can eat one by himself, but seeing as how it took four of us to finish ours off, we're calling B.S. on Nick.

"The calzone put me in a zone," Shawn said of its zesty sauce and melted cheese before praising the consistent dough. ("Sometimes the dough can be too dry on other calzones, but not this baby.") "The whole thing was a pure delight."

PizzalChik really needs to make this a menu item.
The rosemary roasters (wedges of Yukon gold potatoes roasted in fresh rosemary) were so damn good that Dalia proclaimed them her favorite, and Shawn said, "It might be the best potato I have ever eaten." We got them as a side for our 1/2 chicken, but next time a bucket will be ordered, that's for sure.

But the best surprise of all was the chocolate amaretto cheesecake. Shawn, one of the many who blew his resolution when we put the rich and creamy slices out, summed up the dessert's addicting amaretto kick with "If I ever have to make a last meal list, this cheesecake will be on it." Definitely a diet killer, but it's worth it.
And speaking of killer, Nick, who is deathly allergic to nuts, couldn't stand to hear us ooo'ing and drooling, and actually took a scoop from the presumed nutless-center to see what the fuss was about. With our fingers ready to dial 9-1-1, Nick "survived" the decadent cheesecake to shout what everyone thought of the PizzalChik experience.