First, the Buffalo chicken pizza bested David Haynes. The Stonedeck co-owner could envision its insane construction like Dr. Frankenstein: He wanted to splash a slow-cooked cayenne pepper sauce over a base of actually-good chicken — not the frosty, processed nubs you find on chains' chicken pizzas — with blue cheese and shaved celery. It just needed some electricity and a soul. It never rose from the dead. The tomato sauce clashed with the spicy cayenne sauce, which is easy to imagine, and he couldn’t nail the moisture level of the chicken. It died.
Stonedeck is good, often great, at taking the nutcase ideas of a loopy, drunken eater and shaping them into living, breathing, hangover-curing art. Piping-hot, chili-studded mac and cheese on a pizza? Yes, absolutely. It solves the riddle of why we’re in the universe. A pizza that looks like a cheeseburger coarse-blended over a square crust? Yeah, let’s do it.
Actually, let’s camp out in front of it when the world ends, sliding slice after slice into our mouths like coins into an arcade. One slice has the crunch of potato sticks and lightning-hot cheese, and cooling, mustardy lettuce.
An average pizza at Stonedeck hosts a crust that cracks like bark. The cheese is molten under tangy tomato sauce. They’re comforting and delicious, and this is the point: They know how to art-up the regular stuff. A cheeseburger pizza is insane, but it's not "easy."
Yellow mustard, the kind you’re immediately imagining, is frenzied into a vinaigrette that clings to the lettuce. It’s fresh and cold-added to a sizzling, hot mozzarella, cheese and seasoned ground beef pie. Raw white onions, sliced, and tomatoes are there too. It’s like a hamburger that got run over by a cartoon Zamboni. Then, they tumble potato shavings on top of everything.
But why? Why do this to us?
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“You want the flavor of a cheeseburger, and you also want to eat pizza?” Haynes asks rhetorically. We already know because we’re stuffing folded slices in our face. “There it is. That’s it.”
“The easy answer is to keep it new,” he says with a chuckle. “To keep it interesting. At least, in my mind, I’ve never heard of anyone doing a cheeseburger pizza in this way.”
Haynes refers to the mustard dressing that accompanies the lettuce, but it should also include the crispy potatoes that bookend the cheeseburger. It’s a meal on a flatbed. Take it seriously or don’t — it’s a bizarre meal that you’ll love. Plain and not-so-simple.
Stonedeck Pizza Pub, 2613 Elm St.