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Image: Megha Tejpal

As far as I'm concerned, a pizza is a pizza, whether thin crust or hand tossed, whether with red sauce or white, heavy on the cheese or no cheese at all, topped with pepperoni or potato. Yes, potato. While pizza dough and potato may sound like an unlikely pairing—a carb-fest you may not be interested in celebrating—the Patata e Funghi Pizza (or the potato and mushroom pizza) is an immensely popular specialty pizza on the menu at Pizaro's Pizza Napoletana. It's also one of my personal favorites and a great Meatless Monday option.

The flaky, golden crust is topped with fragrant truffle oil and thinly sliced Yukon gold potatoes, creating an even layer which compliments the oven-roasted mushrooms and mozzarella. Finished off with fresh, aromatic rosemary, the pizza is a feast for the senses and one you wont likely find at other pizza joints. But it's far from the only Meatless Monday option here.

As many pizza places do, Pizaro's offers a variety of vegetarian options including a plain cheese pizza, a classic margherita pizza of tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil and its house special Sweetpea pizza made with caramelized onions, bell peppers and olive oil. None, however, compare to the Patate e Funghi, a hit among vegetarians and carnivores alike. Having been vegetarian myself for some time (though I'm now back to my meat-eating ways), I can fully understand wanting more in a vegetarian meal. The heartiness of the Yukon gold potatoes as a pizza topping make this a more than satisfying vegetarian experience.

The newest location of Pizaro's at the corner of Montrose and West Gray is often packed with pizza-lovers looking to satisfy their craving for real, Neapolitan-style pies baked to order in wood-fired ovens at an astounding 900 degrees. Pizaro's recently upped its street cred on that front by becoming the only pizza joint in Houston to receive the prestigious VPN certification from the Naples-based Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. That's cause for celebration in and of itself; we suggest toasting Pizaro's tonight with that potato pizza and a bottle of wine—after all, as with its original location on Memorial Drive, this pizza joint earns our favor on one other front by remaining BYOB. Salute!

Pizaro's Pizza Napoletana, 1000 W. Gray, 832-742-5200, pizarospizza.com

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