It was only 4:30 today when I decided I wanted to knock out a post. I wasn’t even all that hungry, I was just oddly motivated for some reason. I first headed to El Charro Taqueria and found that it was not open (they seem to only be open Friday and Saturday in the evening). Switching gears, I headed up along Vernon to Atlantic and Eureka until I was turning into the Stone Point shopping center, where you’ll also find some of my favorite restaurants in Roseville, Paul Martin’s, Blue Nami and New Thai Kitchen (which is now in a bigger, nicer location in the same center).
The spot that New Thai Kitchen left has already been reoccupied by a brand new business, Trademark Pizza Co. I spotted this place just last weekend while grabbing some takeout from New Thai. I popped in for a few seconds to snag a menu and take a look around. The staff at the time seemed genuinely friendly and thanked me for coming in despite me not ordering anything. They were off to a good start. One of the two things I was handed was a little paper flyer (above) which, I was told, is the concept. The gist: 11″ pizza, unlimited toppings, $8, cooked in 3 minutes. Aaaaaand I was sold.
I approached the doors at 4:50PM and paused to take the exterior photo while the light was still good. As I finished I head a voice from inside saying “Come on in! The pizza is calling you!” It wasn’t in my head, one of the Trademark employees was actually saying this. I stepped inside and up to the glass enclosed counter. I had no idea how this place worked so I asked where I started and what I needed to do. I was told to start at the far right end against the wall and that one of the workers would build my pizza as we moved down the line. So basically a lot like a Chipotle or Freebirds (more like Freebirds since the same person worked with me all the way to the end). Of course at this time of the day on a Tuesday they were pretty slow, as most restaurants would be (like my post from last Tuesday where the Galleria was a total ghost town), so my pizza was started instantly.
My personal pizza-maker had an 11″ pizza skin (We called them “skins” at Round Table, I have no idea whether or not that’s an industry-wide term, probably not) on a wooden paddle ready to be built. She asked if I would be creating my own or trying one of the Trademark Originals. I took a moment to look up at the menu on the wall and go over these, but nothing really stood out to me, so I went the create your own route. I was kind of winging it at first, but once I got past the cheese I had a pretty good idea of what I was making. The have a fairly sizable list of sauces, cheeses and main toppings. You can check out the whole menu here. I started with their white sauce which was appropriately called “White Sauce”. Next up I had 9 cheeses to pick from. I went with their basic Trademark 3-Cheese Blend. I didn’t ask what that was, but I would assume it was similar to Round Table’s Mozzarella, Cheddar and Provolone blend (sorry, lots of RTP comparisons in this one).
Now, with a foundation of sauce and cheese, I started to form in my head what I was building. It was going to be one of my old standbys that I used to make right before opening RTP for lunch. Grilled chicken, Italian sausage and smoked bacon made up the meats. One thing I should note that pleased me was that they did not sit there and measure every ingredient. She scooped handfuls of each item, including the cheese, and spread it over the pizza until it looked just right. I rounded the corner and looked over the veggies while she finished putting the meats on my pizza. They have over 20 to choose from in this category. I went with black olives, white mushrooms, red onions and spinach. This was a bit more than my traditional chicken, bacon & olives, but I was feeling good about it. I was even more happy about the fact that, no matter what I was adding, the price was a steady $8. I just looked up a specialty 10″ small from Round Table for comparison and it’s already nearly twice the price for an inch smaller pizza and less toppings (and a longer wait time).
My pizza was slid into the big oven with giant flames shooting up the sides (they were clearly visible from outside the store, and I’m sure even more so after the sun sets). The door is glass so you can see your pizza as it cooks. I slid down to the register to pay. Here they have a very modern register setup. There is a touch screen facing you, which you use to complete the transaction. Before I got started the cashier asked if I would like to join their rewards program (buy 10 get 1 free I think) and took my phone number for that. Once it was entered into the system, the LCD showed my progress: 1 of 10 purchased. Kinda neat. Moving on, she swiped my card and then the rest was up to me on the touch screen. The first thing I was shown was a screen with optional tip amounts in various percentages. I’m not really sure how I feel about these when they are presented like this. I’m probably just getting old and bitter. I left a small tip. Finally I signed the screen with my finger. It was a little awkward due to the screen’s angle, but it worked fine. While I was doing this, another employee was working on pouring me a Shock Top [$4 – per the receipt, this is considered an import for some reason] from their small selection of taps. He had a bit of trouble and was getting a lot of foam, but eventually managed to get a nice, full cup. I thought it was a little odd that it was a plastic cup rather than a standard pint glass. By the time I got this, and took a moment to take a quick photo of the dining area, my pizza was ready and handed to me. From the time I walked through the door to this point, only about 8 minutes had passed. I think that’s pretty impressive.
So now I’m sitting at my table with this good sized little pizza in front of me. Toppings are in good amounts. Aside from one or two areas right near the crust I don’t really see any thin or bare spots. The crust is very crisp while still being somewhat soft throughout. I needed both hands to support a slice, and more importantly to not lose a bunch of the toppings which were fairly loose on top. Every last topping on this was great. The cheese was exactly what I wanted, a little stringy but not crazy. The sausage, bacon and chicken were all very tasty. The onions were crisp and the olives were rich and delicious. I might ask for more spinach next time, but that’s a never ending rabbit-hole. I could add pounds of spinach and still want more. You should see the Mongolian BBQ bowls I make these days.
I was really, really impressed with Trademark Pizza. I didn’t really know what to expect from it when I showed up. It’s clearly the best value in pizza you can get anywhere in the area. Their speed is unmatched (except by me in my RTP heyday – hooooooo!). They are ridiculously friendly, though in a very genuine way. The pizza is good. Really. Good. It’s inexpensive. The quality of ingredients is high. I don’t know what else I can say. It’s like the creators of this business actually considered all the things I would like in a pizza place and implemented each one correctly. I’m gonna go ahead and say it’s my favorite pizza in Roseville, nay, best pizza ever? Maybe. That’s a tough call, but I can’t think of what I would put ahead of it. It’s great, that’s what I’m getting at, anyway.