The smoked chicken pizza at Onesto Pizza & Trattoria, with a glimpse of the author's wife's elbow.
Barbecue chicken pizza is an affront to pizza and barbecue sauce alike -- assuming, of course, the barbecue sauce is any good to begin with, which it rarely is. And of all the tasty meats you can put on your pizza, why would you choose boring ol' chicken?
No, there is no reason for barbecue chicken pizza to exist. Except when it's awesome.
The smoked chicken pizza at Onesto Pizza & Trattoria isn't simply a rare example of a great barbecue chicken pizza. It's a great pizza, period.
The pizza's name holds the first clue to its success: The chicken is smoked -- beautifully so, the moist meat rich with the flavor of woodsmoke. Pieces of thickly sliced bacon amp up the pizza's smokiness even further -- and prove, once again, that pizza and pork are meant to be together.
The tangy barbecue sauce, judiciously applied on the thin, pleasantly chewy crust, has a mild heat and a faint sweetness. For a more intense heat and a (in this case welcome) sweetness, there are roasted jalapeños and caramelized onions. The mozzarella and cheddar cheese are more accent than main ingredient -- or, if you like, a reminder that you can proudly call this a pizza, barbecue sauce and all.Onesto Pizza & Trattoria
5401 Finkman Street
$16.95 (14-inch), $20.95 (18-inch)I'm counting down -- in no particular order -- 100 of my favorite dishes in St. Louis. Some are well-known, others obscure. Some are expensive, others dirt cheap. All of them, I guarantee, are delicious. Please do not hesitate to share your own favorites via the comments thread.
Previously:#33: The baby-back ribs (or the burger) at the Piccadilly at Manhattan#34: Albóndigas caseras con patatas at the Guido's Pizzeria & Tapas#35: The "Sweet Burger" at SweetArt#36: Buffalo fries at Blueberry Hill#37: Tom yum gai at Pearl Café#38: Cassoulet (and Sweetbreads) at Franco#39: The "Papasan Roll" at Miso on Meramec#40: Lasagna at Mama Josephine's#41: The "Bucktown" Pizza at Pi Pizzeria#42: Pla song kruang at Basil Spice Thai Cuisine#43: Chori pollo at Mi Ranchito#44: Pizza at La Pizza#45: Fried chicken at Young's Restaurant & Ice Creamery#46: The Philly Cheesesteak at 9th Street Deli#47: Smoked chicken wings at Flavors BBQ Sports Bar & Grill#48: Coffee and a pastry at 222 Artisan Bakery#49: The torta ahogada at Taqueria Durango#50: The "Morganford Mediterranean" Sandwich at Local Harvest Café & Catering