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Blogs for 2018

Our statement regarding the temporary suspension of our liquor license

At the Town Council meeting on Monday, February 5, Pizzeria Caldera lost its privilege to serve and sell alcohol for 4 months. This was the penalty for failing three consecutive identification compliance checks within a 12-month period. This penalty is the result of a change to Town Ordinance adopted by the Town Council in May of 2017.

In the five years of business previous to 2017 we had failed only one compliance check. The first two failed checks last year involved experienced and well-trained servers. Our third compliance check failure was during the Christmas holiday. This time it was me, the person who has spent six years training front-of-house staff and is TiPs certified. In my haste, on a busy day, I did not take the time to ID, and I have absolutely no excuse. Frankly, I am embarrassed that not only did I, the owner of the restaurant, trainer of our staff and father of two teenagers, fail to check the ID of an under-age patron, I put my business and the income of my staff in jeopardy. For that I am sorry. Even well-trained people can make mistakes.

Three strikes, accumulated by three different individuals, means we broke the new ordinance rules. The Town Council followed the strictly-worded ordinance and chose to levy the minimum penalty: a 120-day suspension of our liquor license. We are the first business to be subject to this new ordinance’s penalty and the Town Council needed to enforce it.

As holders of a liquor license, we agree to train our staff and make sure they do not, knowingly or unknowingly, sell alcohol to minors or do anything else to jeopardize our ability to do business. We have taken a hard look at and continued to refine our training procedures over the course of these failures. In addition to other changes, we now make TiPS (Training for Intervention Procedures) certification a requirement of all our FoH staff. I encourage all restaurant and bar owners to do the same. Yes, this can be difficult given the high rate of employee turn-over in this community and the need to increase staffing during the busy summer months.

We will survive this. And we will become a stronger business because of it. But when it comes to our food, it is business as usual. We still serve the same authentic, fresh Napoletana-style pizza, pastas, paninis and salads that we are known for. That is not going to change. While we can’t currently offer you our selection of local micro-brews or Italian wines, you are more than welcome to bring in your own. We’re calling this the “Caldera Cleanse”: a time for us to reassess our practices and for our guests to save a little money on alcohol.

After more than 20 years in this community — over six of which have been spent owning and operating Pizzeria Caldera — we know we have the support of many in the community. I am humbled by the graciousness and support already shown by those who helped in defending our liquor license and by those who have offered support since the Town Council’s decision. We are thankful for all our customers, in good times and bad. 

If you are unfamiliar with the changes to the municipal code, “Title 6 Liquor Licenses and Permits”, you can find it here: https://townofjackson.com/files/6215/0411/5311/Title6_-_Liquor_Licenses_and_Permits.pdf

Pizzeria Caldera is Celebrating Six Years with $6 special menu

We’re celebrating 6 years of Jackson’s favorite Napoletana-style pizza and you get the presents! Join us Wednesday and Thursday, December 13 & 14, for $6 pizzas, pastas and salads all day. In addition, we will donate 10% of proceeds to the Jackson/Teton County Animal Shelter. We love us some pound pups and kittens and we want to see them all find loving homes. We look forward to seeing you at Caldera!

Pizzeria Caldera is celebrating our 6th anniversary with $6 pizzas, pastas and salads!

 

Pizzeria Caldera Wins the JHN&G Pizza Throwdown!

We didn’t even know there was going to be a pizza throwdown. But upon opening up the paper today we learned that Pizzeria Caldera has been named the best pizzeria in Jackson Hole in an article in today’s Jackson Hole News&Guide. While we are a Napoletana-style pizzeria and we pride ourselves on our traditional 12-inch pies, the reporter had judged us on our slice pies, which use the exact same ingredients but don’t always belie just how good the 12-inch pies can be fresh out of the oven.

And these unsolicited, unannounced reviews can certainly be the luck of the draw. It could have been that we had a newbie on the line that day and gone down in flames. As it was, the reporter happened to come in on a day when Katie, one of our top pizzaioli, was getting creative with a BLT pie, laying down her creativity with a little extra TLC, no doubt.

Nonetheless, we managed to edge out the competition, bolstering our belief (despite what another local publication reports every year) that Pizzeria Caldera really is the best pizza in Jackson Hole. We’ll take it!

First We Feast Rates Pizzeria Caldera Best in Wyoming

Contrary to one local popularity contest, we’ve always known Pizzeria Caldera has the best pizza in Wyoming (and probably most of the surrounding Greater Yellowstone Region). That was the point from the beginning, and there was no point going through all the trouble to open a pizzeria if we couldn’t achieve that status. We’ve been featured before and it happened again. The foodie website First We Feast has chosen Pizzeria Caldera as the best in Wyoming in their feature article “The United States of Pizza: The Best Pizza From Each of the 50 States.” It’s always nice to receive praise and this is pretty high. And it’s quite an honor to be listed among some of the pizzerias we aspire to be as great as, such as Pizzeria Locale in Boulder, Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco, Pizza Bianco in Phoenix and Apizza Scholls in Portland.

Off-season Specials Continue!

We’re back from a short break and we had such positive feedback on our simplified, off-season special menu that we’re continuing it into December. Come on in for $10 and $12 pizzas, $6 and $8 salads, appetizers and pastas, and all desserts are $5.

Special Off-Season Menu, 5 Days Only!

Enjoy great deals now through Sunday, November 13, with our off-season closing menu.

$10 and $12 pizzas, $6 and $8 salads and small plates, $5 desserts. Wednesday, November 9, through Sunday, November 13. Help us clear out the cooler before we take a break for a couple of weeks. We will be closed Monday, November 14, through Monday, November 28, re-opening Tuesday, November 29. (Just in time for 2-fer Tuesday!)

Pizzeria Caldera Fall 2016 off-season special.

Pizza keeps you warm!

Come eat pizza all winter. And salads, and bruschetta, crostini, stuffed mushrooms, homemade soups and great desserts. We have some new menu items you will love!
2 fer Tuesdays will run all Tuesdays except over the holidays. Take advantage of it.

Spring Special Off-Season Menu is Here

Every off-season we struggle to find just the right special to entice locals into Pizzeria Caldera. Two-for-one entrees seem to be the norm in this valley, but it doesn’t quite work the same with pizza. Not to mention, we do 2-for-1 pies every Tuesday (outside of peak summer tourist season). So this year we’re experimenting with a simplified menu: $10 cheese, Margherita and pepperoni pizzas; $12 2-topping pizzas; $10 pastas; $6 salads and $5 desserts. You can still order off the regular menu but realize that we may start running out of some items as we prepare to change our menu for summer. Check out our Menu page for all the latest info.

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Is Our Pizza “Expensive”?

We get a lot of reviews on Yelp and TripAdvisor (among others), and I’m always intrigued to see comments about the price of our pizza. While some reviewers say our prices are good, so many of them lament how expensive our pizza is. Rather than respond to any individual review, I’ll use our blog to explain why our pizza is priced the way it is.

At Pizzeria Caldera, we strive to provide great food, in a comfortable atmosphere, with the best service possible, at a reasonable price. We feel we’ve balanced that pretty well here in Jackson Hole.  My first question to anyone who says our prices are high is always, “High compared to what?” Dominoes? Pizza Hut? If you compare Pizzeria Caldera prices to any other comparable pizzeria or small restaurant in a similar market—or even in our market—I think you’ll find our prices to be equal to or less than our competitors. Continue reading

$10 Pizzas, $5 Salads and Desserts Friday and Saturday Only!

All pizzas are $10 and salads, desserts and appetizers are $5 this Friday and Saturday only! Help us clean out the cooler before we shut ‘er down for the off-season. All day, lunch and dinner, dine in or carry out. Come and get your Caldera fix!

We’re open 11am – 9pm through Saturday. We’ll be closed from Sunday, November 9 – Thursday, December 4, re-opening for the winter season on Friday, December 5.

Pizzeria Caldera voted “Best Pizza Worth Traveling For” in Wyoming by FlipKey

Pizzeria Caldera was recently voted “Best Pizza Worth Traveling For” in Wyoming in FlipKey’s latest “50 States Series.” FlipKey is TripAdvisor’s new site focusing on vacation rentals, and someone there had the presence of mind to come up with a slough of top whatever lists.

Obviously a content-building exercise, a lot of which I’m sure they’ve been able to pull from the encyclopedic content available on TripAdvisor, but there are some pretty good resources here for travelers. In addition to “Top Wineries and Breweries” in their 50 States Series (congratulations Thai Me Up!), they have articles such as “US Towns with the strangest Halloween traditions,” “Top 25 couples travel blogs to follow in 2014,” and “The ultimate vacation checklist,” which in the final few weeks of planning for a vacation, I actually found fairly useful.

It’s unclear who gets to choose these things (beyond the author of the blog), but most of them are fun, if not downright informative, and we’re always honored to get just about any recognition coming our way. Thanks, FlipKey!

 

Phew, we made it through another summer.

Thanks Jackson for another great summer!

It’s slower now and safe for the locals to “come back”. Still some beautiful days on the deck left.

2-fer Tuesdays just started up again yesterday, all 12″ pies, buy one get one free, limit four per take-out. This will run until our November 9th closure. (We will reopen early December.)
Our buy one pizza, get the 2nd half off, starts every night next week as well.

Please note we are closed on Sundays through the off season as well.

Hope to see you soon.

“Best Goddamn Restaurant”

The wife’s on a little expedition to Iceland and sent back a pic of this Reykjavik restaurant award. Not sure what the criteria is, but pretty high praise nonetheless.

Best Goddamn Restaurant

Caldera Helps Fight Breast Cancer Through Slice Of Hope

Pizzeria Caldera is joining forces with pizzerias around the country this Friday, October 11, to help raise critical funding for the fight against breast cancer. October is both National Pizza Month and National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Friday, October 11, has been designated as “National Pizza Party Day” by Slice of Hope, a pizza industry charitable initiative created by Pizza Today Magazine, to raise funds to help fight breast cancer.

Pizzeria Caldera will donate 10% of the day’s sales on Friday, October 11, to two breast cancer-related organizations. Half will help fund research through the Karen Mullen Breast Cancer Foundation, a national non-profit organization based in Seattle, and the recipient of Slice of Hope proceeds, and half will go to the St. John’s Women’s Health Care Fund, directly helping women in the Jackson Hole community.

Slice of Hope has banded together pizzerias from across the nation in an effort to fight this invasive disease, which will impact hundreds of thousands of women and men this year. In fact, more than 190,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed this year. And, sadly, approximately 40,000 women will die from the disease this year. That’s approximately 110 breast cancer deaths daily, and Pizzeria Caldera owner Chris Hansen says that’s too many.

“Whether you’ve had the disease yourself, or a family member or friend has had it, it’s safe to say you’ve been impacted by breast cancer,” says Hansen. “Pizzeria Caldera is proud to combine our efforts with other pizzerias around the country to help end this disease. That’s why we’ve joined Slice of Hope and will donate 10 percent of our sales on Friday, Oct. 11. So please come down to Caldera for lunch or dinner, or both, to show your support for this cause.”

“Because we feel strongly about supporting our community first,” continued Hansen, “Caldera will donate half of the proceeds to the St. John’s Hospital Foundation’s Women’s Health Care Fund.” According to the Foundation, The St. John’s Women’s Health Care Fund is a restricted fund of the Foundation that is reserved specifically to help local women in need with preventative health care specific to breast cancer.

Slice of Hope is spearheaded by Pizza Today magazine editor Jeremy White. White, Pizza Today publisher Pete Lachapelle and a small team of cyclists will bike throughout New England Oct. 9-12 to raise awareness for Slice of Hope’s fight against breast cancer. The cycling route will include stops in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. On Oct. 11, pizzerias across the nation — including Pizzeria Caldera — will donate funds to the Karen Mullen Breast Cancer Foundation, which has committed to giving 100 percent of the Slice of Hope proceeds to a handful of the nation’s leading breast cancer research labs.

The St. John’s Women’s Health Care Fund is available for women who have neglected their personal wellbeing in order to balance the family budget. Taking care of your health is your best investment. Early detection of health disorders broadens treatment options and ultimately lowers costs.

Pizzeria Caldera is Jackson Hole’s only dedicated stone-hearth oven pizzeria, serving Napoletana-style pizzas with traditional and creative toppings daily from 11am to 9:30 pm. Pizzeria Caldera is located upstairs at 20 West Broadway. For more information, call 307-201-1472 or visit pizzeriacaldera.com.

“The Best Pizza in Town”

Earlier this year, as we were putting the finishing touches on this website, I received an email from my friend Kevin Olson, owner of our local paper, the Jackson Hole News&Guide, and oft cycling partner. “You’ll love this,” was the subject. “Totally unprompted by me, Alise wrote it for her English class … She used my computer to compose and left it on my desktop. You’ve definitely got a customer hooked on your pies.”

This was the second piece I received within a month written by a local kid who loves our pizza. Published here with her permission. If this doesn’t give us inspiration, I don’t know what does. Enjoy! And thanks, Alise!

The Best Pizza in Town

Parmesan soaking up the warm grease, fresh pepperoni sitting on mozzarella’s lap: this is the good stuff. As I walk in to Pizzeria Caldera with rosy cheeks and a chilled sense, I zone out. The aromas enclose me in a mindset of paradise. I’m going to have the pizza experience of my lifetime. I sit at a table, awaiting my flame kissed, circular concoction. Steam rising, fresh cheese sizzling, this pizza is cooked to perfection. Bon appetit ! I sink my teeth into something heavenly. The dough toasts my tongue. The grease fills my taste buds with delight. The hot cheese warms my cold insides. For a moment I am sitting on a sun-covered porch next to the river in Venice enjoying my gourmet creation. Why would I ever settle for anything less than pizza perfection? I never want to leave this place.  My mind is twisted; this pizza is too delicious. After I consume my paradise of a pizza, my stomach yearns for more. Pizzeria Caldera makes simply this: joy on a pan. And, of course, the BEST pizza in town.

Mozzarella Clinic With Roger Friedman

We had a treat this week when Fine Dining Group Partner and Head Chef Roger Friedman came in to show us how he makes fresh mozzarella. About a month ago, while checking out their newest endeavor, Bin 22, I had inquired to my friend Neil, their semmelier, whether Fine Dining would be interested in and/or willing to sell us some fresh mozzarella. While they weren’t able to do that, Roger graciously offered to come by and show us how it’s done. Having made mozzarella myself, but not all that interested in saddling my staff with what can be a tedious start-to-finish process, I was curious to see how Roger handled it.

Continue reading

“The Delicious Pizza”

Some good friends and regular customers were in for dinner a few weeks ago and their daughter shared a little something she wrote in school recently. It’s a story that’s a real tear-jerker. She was kind enough to allow me to share it with you here. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

The Delicious Pizza - Biz-1 Continue reading