EC Eats

CoVizza: Attempting to gatekeep Banbury’s delicious pizza joint

Oludare Obadiya

More stories from Oludare Obadiya

Cinephiles
November 8, 2023
EC+Eats

Following my tacos excursion last week, I was in the mood to see if Eau Claire had any more culinary gems that I had yet to try. 

Google again came to my rescue as I looked up pizza near me and scrolled until I found something I hadn’t heard of before. 

The discovery would come in the form of a newly opened restaurant tucked away in Banbury Place called CoVizza. As weeks went by, I looked for a chance to go there and I enlisted the company of a few friends, as I had for the taco place from last week. 

Leading up to our visit to the place I refused to tell them what it was called. This act brought on a fair bit of eye-rolling, but I’m a notorious gatekeeper and I couldn’t help myself.

On the day we were planning to go, I told them to come with an appetite. Several hours later we all piled into my Subaru and headed downtown. 

As many Eau Claire residents know, the aforementioned Banbury Place is an industrial complex located near downtown Eau Claire.

It used to be a tire factory, but now its uses range from storage space and long-term housing to art galleries and cooking classes, as can be seen on its website.

This, combined with the brownish-red brick exterior and the semi-trucks going to and fro, give the place this eclectic mix of artsy and blue-collar that’s quite aesthetically pleasing. 

It can also be quite the maze to get through if you’re looking for one specific suite in the entire multi-building complex. 

It took us a decent amount of time to find the pizza place, and while we ducked into hallways and stairways I could feel my friends, who came hungry as I requested, begin to turn on me as the existence of the mythic CoVizza was questioned. 

But sure enough, it was right there in building two, suite 10. Upon entrance, there was an old TV playing an even older movie and a speaker blasting music. It had big windows along the side and a kitchen with an open view to the customers.

Filling out the rest of the aesthetic were the three dudes running the place, each decked out in tattoos and beanies. 

One of the guys in the back was throwing down a Hamm’s in between tossing pepperoni slices and mozzarella — such a vibe.

While we waited for the slices, my roommate — who has a pretty good grasp of my style and is all too familiar with my gluttony — told me the place looked like it came directly from my mind, which I thought was hilarious. 

But never mind all that, let’s get into the food. 

We each got two slices, I opted for cheese. And right off the bat, I can say those tattoo and beanie-bound fellas in Banbury know how to make a pizza pie. The sauce was great, there was a bit of spice which was appreciated. 

There wasn’t too much cheese, but enough that it didn’t feel like a rip-off. The crust was nice and crispy in the middle but also had a bit more of that doughy heft that you look for toward the end.

They finished off the pizza with a bit of sage which is definitely in the flavor profile of most Italian food, but strays from the traditional basil.

I think that last bit does a pretty good job embodying what they’re trying to accomplish over there at CoVizza. 

They clearly like to get creative with the food, a menu consisting of funky flavor combos and an array of different sauces proves as much. But they also seem to have a pretty airtight understanding of what you need to make a good, classic slice. 

I’m eager to go back and see what the rest of the menu has to offer. If you are too you can find CoVizza in Suite 210 in Banbury Place. Tell them Olu sent you, it won’t get you a free slice or anything, I just think it would sound cool.

Obadiya can be reached at [email protected].