Crafters Pizza and Drafthouse in Carmel
We were shocked to see BoomBozz close down, but were equally curious to see a new logo and sign on the same building. I decided to DM the account for this new place Crafters to get to the bottom of it. I heard back:
"We are not affiliated with Boombozz anymore. We have the same staff and ownership as the local Boombozz franchise, but we started our own concept. Please come and check us out!"
They got bumped to the front of our pizza bucket list and we decided to go there for date night. The place was hopping and saw people waiting outside, but with just two of us we got right in with a booth in the bar area.
The menu mentions wanting to branch out and try new things, and there is a theme of exploring the world. The owner was making his rounds checking on guests and we got to chatting. He told us about this new photo wall where if you submit a photo of the Crafters logo somewhere in the world you can get a gift card, and I immediately thought about taking a pizza box with us on post-COVID vacation. It's clear this new concept isn't going to be confined to preconceived notions and is willing to explore.
The menu has a good variety of specialty pizzas, and you know I always go for anything marked as a signature dish. I ended up going with the Doctor Jones and Chris got a New York Pie with some added toppings.
Out first came breadsticks (half order), and in case you are wondering they are the same deep fried pretzels you know and love. The beer cheese is amazing! Pro tip: Don't let them clear the cheese when you are done, guard it with your life and dip your crust in it. Luckily Chris doesn't like cheese dips so I had it all to myself.
The Doctor Jones has layered provolone cheese, Pomodoro sauce, old-world style pepperoni, Mike’s hot honey, extra seasoning, pecorino romano. The menu says to try it "Hippie Style" which means it comes with a pesto drizzle. Just what the doctor ordered!
The crust was warm fluffy and foldable with fatter edges and tapering to a thinner interior. The crust was actually better than BoomBozz in my opinion and tasted updated and softer. The provolone cheese fused with the crust making a gooey golden base for the toppings. The combination of cup shaped old-world style pepperoni and hot honey brought a spicy zing but not in a heartburn kind of way. The pesto and sweetness from the honey also mellowed everything out with a fresh finish. It was probably my favorite old-world style pepperoni I've had, which is usually dry or too hot, but this pizza overall was savory, sweet, and balanced.
Chris got the New York Pie with old-world pepperoni, fontina cheese, and applewood smoked bacon. The curly cups were packed edge to edge with bacon hiding in between. The crust similarly had a fatter edge and tapered to a rather thin interior. On the New York Pie it got so thin that the toppings got the best of it. The flavor was still good, but the New York Pie might be better with minimalist toppings.
Chris ate all but two pieces of this 17-inch pie himself! He confirmed the pepperoni definitely had 'pep' and his face was sweating by the fourth slice, so really his only critique is the thinner than anticipated slices. Although the bacon was a little hard to spot on top of the pizza, he said each bite filled his mouth with a delicious smoky salty flavor.
We're so glad to have this new concept right down the street, and happy to continue exploring the world with their creative pies, tap take-over nights, and new bold ideas.