Photo source: newdenizen.com and gastronomblog.com
By: Antoinette Simonetti, Practicum Reporter
With six locations around the east side of the state – in Evergreen, Arvada, Idaho Springs, Ft. Collins, Longmont and Steamboat Springs – Beau Jo’s is well-known for its “mountain crust” pizza. The Idaho Springs location is off I-70, so it’s a great stop-in spot for hungry travelers.
The restaurant has been open for more than 40 years and attracts locals and tourists alike who enjoy dipping the thick and doughy crust in honey, a Colorado tradition. The dough is even made with honey.
“That’s right; our dough uses natural sweetener instead of sugar – after a good roll-out and toss, our crust is braided, allowing an unspeakable amount of toppings, sauce, and cheese to be cradled and baked – we call this the containment system and you can’t get it anywhere else in the state.”
I had to check it out.
The drive to the Idaho Springs location from the Northwest Denver Campus takes 55 minutes, accompanied by beautiful mountain scenery. The restaurant is visible from the highway with a big “Beau Jo’s” sign. The town itself is nudged up against the mountain side, surrounded by many shops, breweries and other restaurants.
Although there’s a parking lot that costs $10 for the whole day, the most convenient place to park is on the street, where the parking meter costs $1for an hour.
Walking in to the aged building, it smells fantastic. The circular hostess stand has its own room separated from the dining rooms. The wait for a table was only 15 minutes and the waiting room was spacious and comfortable.
The style of the restaurant is rustic and maintains an old Colorado mining vibe.
After being seated, our server approached with water and pointed me in the direction of the salad bar. Knowing what I was going to get on the menu – the famous mountain crust pizza with honey – I ordered immediately.
Within 20 minutes the pizza was served on a circular, raised tray leaving enough room on the table for my plate and the rest of my personal belongings. The thick crust was shaped into a spiral leaving creases to pour the honey. The pizza had a hint of sweetness and the cheese and sauce were fresh and unique to my tastebuds.
The service was great. I was approached to make sure I was enjoying the meal and was asked if I needed anything else and was constantly served with a smile.
I would recommend Beau Jo’s to a friend visiting the area, a local who has a sweet tooth, and anyone who is interested in having the famous Colorado “mountain crust” experience. The food was tasty, the service was exceptional and the experince was unforgetable.