I’m writing from Des Moines, whose Italian population is more established than that of Denver & whose red-sauce joints & pizza parlors are, therefore, better than Denver’s, pound for pound. I’m willing to go on record with that. Just last night we downed a couple of pies from Bordenaro’s, strewn with excellent capicola, crumbled sausage & chopped banana peppers, that beat the hell out of recent deliveries from Colore Pizzeria Moderna & even Kaos, which I usually like a lot—never mind the myriad disasters by the slice I faced a couple of months ago.

The fact that the delivery guy from Colore appeared on our doorstep not 15 minutes after we called—that’s no exaggeration, even though the place a good 7 or 8 minutes away as the car drives—was the 1st bad sign. The 2nd was the appearance of the crust.

You could tell by looking it would taste uniformly leaden & stale, presumably prebaked & then finished in such a way that, far from being black-&-blond, crackling & chewy & airy by turns, it was more like a hard unsalted pretzel.

Speaking of salt, the white sauce on the Vegetale in the top photo sounded terrific, a blend of ricotta, parmesan, garlic & olive oil. But it tasted bland & rubbery. The freshness of the namesake mixed vegetables—eggplant, tomato, mushroom, zucchini, spinach—was the saving grace. (The Director’s sausage & onion pizza was marginally better, perhaps because the flavor of the topping leeched into the iffy mozzarella.)

Our order from Kaos—the garlic-based BLT, a monthly special—also arrived within 15 minutes; though it’s only a couple of blocks away, that’s still not enough time to make a pizza—as should be obvious from the photo.

Atop the underdone crust was a fairly stingy, uneven sprinkling of bacon.

Sigh. The quest continues.

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