WALTER’S303 PIZZERIA & PUBLIK HOUSE
LOCATION: 1906 Pearl Street, Denver, CO 80203
Last month, I got the opportunity to take a return trip to Denver for the first time in four years to visit my friends Andrew and Angie for a weekend. They had since moved into a different area of uptown, and were living near a bunch of local restaurants within walking distance. One night after returning from a day trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, the three of us decided to hit up one of their go-to pizza spots: Walter’s303 Pizzeria & Publik House.
Even though the temperatures had cooled off a bit, the place still had their “garage doors” opened up to the night air right around the bar area. Several different TVs were showing various college football games, and we took up a spot at the first high-top we got to.
Since Andrew and I had spent most of our day wandering around the park, the only thing we had eaten was a hot dog and some potato chips. Needless to say, both of us had worked up quite an appetite. The next difficult task, however, was going to be choosing from the 16 different signature pizzas offered.
First things first, we needed to settle on an appetizer to at least keep our mounting hunger at bay. The oven baked wings sounded pretty appealing, so we decided to put in an order, tossed with their signature dry rub. While one of the staff helped run our wing order over into the kitchen, that gave me enough time to finish deciding on a pizza. The Big Fizz ended up coming out on top: pepperoni, salami, white onions, green peppers, mushrooms, ground beef, black olives, and Polidori Italian sausage. Normally, it comes with mozzarella, but I asked for a substitute of feta instead.
After a little while of chatting and also watching some college football, I started wondering if our waiter had forgotten to put in our order of wings. 20 – 25 minutes had probably gone by since we had placed our order. I was about to comment about flagging someone down when our wings came out of the kitchen, along with our pizzas.
My personal thought about appetizers is that they should be something that can be turned relatively quickly out of the kitchen. I think this might have been an instance where the way something was marketed set up a different level of expectations. Since the wings were billed as a starter on the menu, I hadn’t expected them to take that long to come out of the kitchen.
Baking the wings in the oven helped to lightly crisp up the skin on the outside, but still keep the meat nice and moist. I’m not sure if it might have been the dry rub, but the wings I happened to get seemed a bit heavy on the salt. The flavor hits you and I had to pause for a second, but aside from that note, the wings had peppery and smoky flavor elements that I enjoyed.
The Big Fizz pizza was right in the same vein of the “supreme” style pizzas I had grown fond of since my dad used to order them when I was growing up. The richness from the meats was kept in check by the vegetables and marinara sauce. I thought the dough had good flavor as well, with a soft texture and a crust that didn’t feel like you were biting into a biscuit. My hunger must have gotten the best of me, because before I knew it, I had eaten my entire 14″ pizza in that single sitting.
With a laid-back vibe, numerous beers on tap, and a diverse selection of food to choose from, Walter’s303 is a neighborhood spot where you can go to catch a sports game, relax on a weekend afternoon, or unwind after a long day at work. Pizzas are definitely their specialty, as evidenced by the 16 different signature pies to choose from. Whether you’re wanting traditional flavors or looking for something a little more outside the box, you’ll probably find something to hit the spot if you take a stop in.
Let’s now take a look at the Walter’s303 Pizzeria & Publik House Dish Spotlight. Asterisks (*) below mark my recommended dishes.
And finally, here are my rankings for Walter’s303 Pizzeria & Publik House:
Food: 4.25 / 5
Certainly no shortage of something to try when you have 16 different signature pizzas on the menu. The ingredients all tasted very fresh and the dough had a good consistency to it as well. The only downside to the wings was the fact that they were a bit too salty for my taste, but I recognize that also varies from palate to palate.
Atmosphere: 4.5 / 5
I was really digging the layout of the space, with the bar seating area also opening up to the outside via the “garage doors.” It made for a chill spot to grab a bite and take in some of the college football games that were on.
Service: 3.75 / 5
Not sure what had happened with the chicken wings, but they definitely took longer to come out of the kitchen than I would have expected, especially as a starter.
Price: 4.25 / 5
The price point on all of the pizzas seemed very reasonable, especially taking into consideration the quality of the ingredients used as well as the great location right in uptown Denver.