Custom Pizza Trying to Become the New Chipotle

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Move over, tacos and burgers. There's new fast-casual fare making its way onto the design-your-own-dish scene, and it's one of America's favorite foods: pizza.

Long dominated by delivery and takeout fast-food giants like Papa John's and Domino's, the pizza industry is now in the midst of a fast-casual overhaul, and there are plenty of companies vying for a chance to be the Chipotle of pie.

In Broward and Palm Beach counties, that includes Fort Lauderdale's Flash Fire Pizza, Blaze Pizza with locations in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and Davie, as well as upcoming Texas-based Pie Five Pizza Co. chain set to open more than 20 restaurants in South Florida by the end of 2016.

Now, there's also Cucina Pizza by Design, the latest fast-casual pizza concept that allows you to make your own pizza using a variety of farm-fresh ingredients, now open in the Palm Beach Outlets Marketplace.

The idea is simple: Twelve-inch specialty pies are baked in a piping-hot 800-degree wood-fire oven and are guaranteed to be ready in five minutes or less. Customers can customize their entire meal, selecting everything from the dough (traditional, gluten-­free, or whole wheat) and sauce (oven-roasted tomato, Parmesan crema, pesto, fig jam, or roasted garlic purée) to a variety of cheese (herbed ricotta or crumbled Maytag blue cheese, perhaps?) and toppings that include creative and flavorful options like flaked salmon pastrami, smoked corn-husk bacon, ash-roasted artichokes, and fire-roasted bell peppers.

Cucina Pizza by Design is one of several new establishments to open in the outlet Marketplace, including upcoming First Watch (a chain specializing in made-to-order breakfast, brunch, and lunch dishes) and TooJays (a popular New York-style delicatessen that began in 1981 in Palm Beach and now has 25 locations across Florida). 

Cucina Pizza by Design is located at 1855 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd., West Palm Beach. Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Sunday. Call 561-640-0004, or visit cucinapizza.com.

Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.

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