Golden Crown Panaderia is known for both its original and specialty pizza crusts, so the only reasonable option was getting two pizzas.
BY ARIANE JAROCKI
If you’ve driven Mountain Road between Downtown and Old Town, you’ve already passed by Golden Crown Panaderia.
Inside the traditional adobe – its exterior emblazoned with bread and flowers – the aroma of fresh-from-the-oven biscochitos permeates the air. A server offers me a still-warm chocolate biscochito. I raise an eyebrow, and the phrase “free for children” and a genuine, steadfast smile answers my unspoken inquiry.
This young-at-heart foodie multitasked, savoring our official state cookie while perusing the pizza menu. The complementary biscochito’s semisweet cocoa flavor is accented by a generous dusting of sugar and cinnamon. So how does buzzworthy pizza fit in at a bakery that’s renowned for its cookies? Dough is dough, and it’s Golden Crown’s raison d’être.
Golden Crown is known for both its original and specialty pizza crusts, so the only reasonable option was getting two pizzas. I ordered the vegetarian – featuring mushrooms, black olives, red onions, bell peppers, diced tomatoes and cheese – on a green chile crust. I also put in for a combination pie – loaded with pepperoni, Italian sausage, black olives, red onions, bell peppers and cheese – with a blue corn crust.
Golden Crown boasts an extensive beer and cider list. I selected Santa Sidra’s amazing Dry Apple Cider from more than 37 offerings. The restaurant also stocks Bosque Brewing, Tractor, Marble and La Cumbre adult beverages. And the New York Times took note of the coffee milkshake. I savored the remnants of summer and the drink on the patio. A diverse live music lineup on weekends provides a local soundtrack, so bring some cash to tip these hard-working musicians.
As for the taste test, it was love at first bite with the vegetarian-green chile crust. The chile endows the textural contrast of the crispy and chewy crust with a subtle, smoky citrus flavor. The blue corn crust combo was equally impressive. Not overly corn based – like several I’ve had in Santa Fe – there’s just enough indigo maize here to boost the crust’s sweet, nutty flavor, offsetting the Italian sausage and pepperoni’s savory profile. The sauce was dancing with secrets – aged parmesan? – and was skillfully apportioned.
My pizza duo arrived with two traditional, anise-flavored biscochitos. If you’ve strategically saved room for dessert, try a marranito aka molasses pig. This fully glazed cookie has a springy cake-like consistency and a flavor that’s reminiscent of olden days. Several other biscochito options — blue corn, cinnamon, chocolate and sugar-free – and chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal raisin and wedding cookies round out Golden Crown’s sweet treats. The stellar empanadas come in apple, blueberry, cherry, lemon and raspberry. And take-home bread options include baguettes, bolillos and various whole wheat and multigrain varieties. Wash it all down with one of Golden Crown’s milkshakes and smoothies.
— Ariane Jarocki