A restaurant with humble beginnings, Bazbeaux's original store opened in 1986 was "an old decrepit house that had been the home of the gravedigger for the town cemetery, " according to the restaurant. Locals quickly jumped on the gourmet-ingredient bandwagon, and the original five-table Broad Ripple location expanded and was joined by a downtown store. A third restaurant later opened in Carmel. All three spots have outdoor seating, casual décor and bustling atmospheres. Thin or thick, white or wheat, the crust is freshly made each day and topped with house-made sauce and a provolone/mozzarella/Romano blend. On top of that, the options are practically limitless. Bazbeaux offers more than 50 toppings, from goat cheese to pine nuts. Try the Tchoupitoulas, with Cajun shrimp, andouille sausage and roasted red pepper. The rich Pizza Alla Quattro Formaggio, with four cheeses, bacon and mushrooms, is another popular choice. Ditto Bazbeaux's salads, with four house-made dressings from which to choose. The beer and wine list is simple but does the job. And for those hardy souls who leave room for dessert, there's tartufo
, a sort of chocolate gelato truffle. Wondering about the name? According to legend, Bazbeaux was the personal chef to 15th-century Italian statesman Lorenzo de' Medici after a brief stint as court jester to French King Louis XI. Bazbeaux then came to the New World with Amerigo Vespucci.
"The real test of pizza is how well it holds up in the home, either microwaved (soggy crust and stringy cheese) or, the absolute bottom line, cold for breakfast. Verdict: Five thumbs up!"
- Steve Mannheimer, The Indianapolis Star