OPINION – Rarely do I learn of a restaurant that makes me want to stop everything and drive 55 miles just to gorge on some pizza.
However, after discovering Centro Woodfired Pizzeria in Cedar City, I am certain my schedule will be rearranged on a regular basis to cater to my cravings.
And, with ski season swiftly approaching, it will soon be a more convenient choice for dinner. After all, it is the perfect place to get all fired up (and full) on the way home from a snowy day on the slopes.
Don’t get me wrong – St. George has several eligible pizza parlors that don’t disappoint. But when traveling on the road, this has become a must-stop for thousands passing through and continues to be praised by food critics everywhere for successfully bringing such high quality pizza to the Iron County region. And it’s certainly worthy of all the applause.
The building itself could tell stories. Its rustic-chic interior has an upscale vibe, complete with a charming menu that somehow manages to be sophisticated yet affordable while offering a succinct selection of appetizers, salads, pizza, and dessert.
So for starters, if you’re a fan of brilliant basil and red tomatoes – order the bruschetta. You’ll see all the reasons why once it’s delivered to your table on a shiny platter. It was so pretty I couldn’t take a single bite until I snapped 27 photos and admired it from every angle. Yep, I’m one of those people.
And like every pizza place should, Centro gives you the option to customize each neapolitan pizza just the way you like it. I recommend ordering 1/2 your usual, and 1/2 whatever the server suggests. I learned there is somewhat of a “secret” menu, and no one knows it better than the pizzaiolos (pizza makers) themselves. And although it’s not listed on the current menu, gluten-free options are often available upon request.
For me, Margherita pizza is always the answer, no matter what the question is. I hope to one day branch out, really I do. But there’s something about fresh mozzarella and torn basil leaves that will forever be one of my all-time favorite combinations. That being said, every pizza served has an artisan touch that results in hand crushed tomato sauce and thin wood-fired crust – so odds are you’ll be eating a slice of heaven (even if you end up closing your eyes and pointing at a menu item to make your decision).
The beverage menu includes Coke products, as well as a generous selection of local microbrews and wine.
Aside from the food, the friendly staff members actively generate an atmosphere that is delightfully upbeat. So, whether it’s a root beer or craft beer drink in hand – every customer looks genuinely happy to be eating at Centro. And that’s something first-time restaurant owner Mark Baruffi should be very proud of. To put it simply, it’s best described as one of those rare places that just has it all figured out.
Not to be overlooked, as always, save room for dessert. No, seriously. You have to. The Nutella piegato is pizza dough filled with creamy Nutella that is folded and baked in the wood-fired oven – aka the best thing I have ever tasted. And I’m really not exaggerating! There’s no cherry on top, but there is whipped cream and chocolate drizzle – which is basically the same thing. But way better.
So … Road trip anyone?
- Centro Woodfired Pizzeria | Facebook
- Address: 50 W Center Street, Cedar City, Utah
- Telephone: (435) 867-8123
- Hours of Operation: Monday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. | Closed Sunday
Ali Hill is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are her own, are not influenced through any advertising agreements with St. George News, and are not representative of St. George News.
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