What’s Your Sauce, Boss?

Not long after the first Azzip Pizza opened, we had a customer we coined the “Sauce Boss”.  The Sauce Boss had just moved into a new place and didn’t have much cookware so he would come to Azzip several times a week.  Every visit, he progressively started mixing more and more sauces until he nearly used every one.  He eventually was asking us to fold up the edges of the crust to keep the sauce contained.

I was amazed and at times a little grossed out at the Sauce Boss’ creativity with his sauce game.  (It reminded me of when I was a kid and I would go to the fountain drink machine and get a little bit of each and mix it all together.. for some reason that doesn’t sound as appealing anymore.)  It did however perfectly illustrate what we intended for the sauces from the very beginning.

When Blake and I were laying out the menu, customization was a critical piece we wanted to use.  What better way than with sauces.  No other way could you instantly change the whole flavor profile of the pizza than with sauces.  Blake also didn’t love red sauce on his pizzas.  He was always more of a fan of a white sauce or other flavorful sauce.  So we came up with a list of some traditional, some not so much.

Italian Red – basic pizza sauce, mixes well with everything
Pesto – Not only used as pizza sauce, also used 6 other ways in restaurant
Zippy Ranch – Our spin on the classic
Garlic Butter – Our version of a white sauce
BBQ – Made locally by Marx BBQ
Buffalo – My personal favorite as you’ll see later
POTM Sauce – Many times our Pizza of the Month has a unique sauce created just for it.  Some examples include but are not limited to General Tso, Ranchero, Fig Jam, Yum Yum, Honey Mustard, etc, etc.

We wanted to have lots of options, but with the limited space in the make station, we couldn’t use pans and ladles which traditional pizzerias use.  And what if you wanted to mix them like the Sauce Boss liked to do?  Nearly impossible with ladles.  The solution?  Squeeze bottles of course!  Ability to layer flavors?  Check.  Little Mess?  Check.  Ease of use?  Check!   Drizzle on top? Check!!! It checked all the boxes.

So in honor of the O.G. Sauce Boss, I asked everyone in the home office what their favorite sauce combination is:

Brad (Me) – “Traditional Pizza:  Red Sauce and Garlic Butter under the cheese.  Meats and Veggies (rarely) with a drizzle of Buffalo sauce over the top.  The Buffalo is definitely the kicker.  Having it over the top just lets it permeate the other ingredients up there and get a little crispy on top of the pizza.”

Mama Zip (Laura) – “My favorite sauce combination is red with garlic butter and ranch on top!   And, I always ask that they sauce lightly.  I like this combination because tomato, garlic and butter are the perfect combination.  It is not spicy and doesn’t overpower the other toppings.  Ranch on top because Azzip ranch is awesome and works well on any pizza!”

Chef Blake – “I have never been a big red sauce fan (Editor note: I told you). I’m not going to pass pizza up that has it on there, but my first choice is always a white or pesto sauce.  So when I am making my perfect pizza its garlic butter and pesto mixed as a base and if I want to get a little different I top the pizza with some red sauce before it goes into the oven.”

Kenzie – “My favorite sauce mixture is Italian Red, Azzip Pesto, and Garlic Butter. I’m not sure why I like this mixture but it’s so tasty! ”

Zack – “It’s tough to pick a single combination that stands out as my favorite. I normally think of which meat(s) and veggies I want that day and work my way backward. Red with pesto is the most versatile and adding garlic butter often takes it up another level. Pesto for the base and a ranch drizzle is great for chicken and veggies while BBQ and pesto work well together with earthier pizzas like meatballs, spinach, mushrooms, potatoes, and sun-dried tomatoes.”

Craig – “Azzip Pesto for a few reasons:

  • Our pesto packs a ton of flavor and the perfect hint of spice.
  • While it is bold enough to fly solo, it is also a selfless sauce.  Put a touch of it with our red, ranch, or garlic butter and it will gladly compliment the sauce without stealing the show.
  • When it is portioned just right, the oil in the sauce helps the crust become the perfect crispiness, just the right golden brown.
  • I feel a sense of culture and importance when I order a green sauce that has fresh herbs in it.”

Andy – “My favorite sauce is pesto on the pizza, and ranch for dipping.  Pizzas with pesto are crispier and more flavorful, and our ranch is the perfect consistency for dipping.”

Dan the Man – “My favorite sauce is garlic butter.  I like it best as a complement with another sauce, especially with BBQ, as a way of adding a little extra flavor.  (I know my comments can be classified as weak sauce, but what do you expect from a maintenance guy who’ll eat stuff that should really be pitched)”