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"Gourmet" pizza is all the rage these days, with some of Indy's most celebrated chefs and restaurateurs (and a certain "kitchen" chain from California) opening high-end pie places all over town. But we haven't forgotten where we first found artichoke hearts and goat cheese on our 'za. Ahead of its time for decades, Bazbeaux has changed little since 1986, when it first opened in a ramshackle house on the canal in Broad Ripple, and it hasn't really needed to. Flat crust baked crunchy. Tangy housemade red sauce—not too little and not too much. Toppings you won't find at Domino's, like pine nuts, snow peas, and prosciutto. And, of course, the cheese—mounds and mounds of chewy mozzarella blended with provolone and pecorino. Bazbeaux has kept the formula basic, with pizza on one side of the font-and-back menu and, on the other, a few simple sandwiches (like the gooey open-face stromboli, with savory chunks of sausage, or baked eggplant, a new option for vegetarians) and big fresh salads (three words: creamy ... basil ... dressing). With plenty of good craft beer to wash it all down. And even though the Broad Ripple and Mass Ave locations have moved out of their longtime spaces and into corporate-quality digs, they (and the new Carmel location) have managed to hold onto the cozy, casual ambience that helped make their quirkier forebears so beloved.
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