The first mention of what one might recognize as a pizza was a recipe that appeared in the Idaho Statesman in 1941. It was basically throw some red sauce on Italian dough, grate some cheese over the top of it and bake for 25 minutes.
The next decade of pizza news in the capital city was dominated by Frank Pizza, who played a lot of amateur softball. He was in the news approximately ten to one over a scattering of other pizza recipes, including one for Maine Sardine Pizza. Yum?
Softball Frank still led the pizza search (he also went to work servicing Maytags, by the way) in the early 50s, but in 1951 it finally happened. You could BUY a pizza at a restaurant in Boise (photo). The Villanova restaurant began offering pizza after 9:30 pm, by candlelight. Apparently, this was after the kids would be in bed, so it was safe.
Pizza recipes continued, often suggesting an English muffin as the solid foundation for your genuine Italian dinner at home.
Frank played softball.
In 1953, the Payless Drug Store on Tenth and Idaho moved pizza technology forward a notch by selling the Bake-King Pizza Pan with which you could make pizza RIGHT AT HOME.
It was a major advancement in culinary news in May 1955 when the Howdy Partner Drive in Café, (on Hiway 30 Near the Fairgrounds), began advertising a new taste sensation the Pizza Burger (Trade Mark Reg.). It was said to be all the rage on the West Coast.
Still, Frank Pizza’s amateur softball career was getting more mentions than anything pizza-like that you could have for dinner. He eventually switched to golf.
There were rumblings of what was to come, though. Classified ads started appearing looking for various kinds of restaurant help including those experienced in PIZZA MAKING!
Then, the breakthrough. On October 8, 1955 the first restaurant with pizza in its name opened in Boise. Pete’s Pizza Pie Restaurant on Vista Avenue, next to Quinn’s Lounge advertised Real Italian Pizza. And so it began.
Today, of course, there are 147,000 pizza restaurants in Boise, according to the number of search results I got back when I typed into Google “How many pizza restaurants are there in Boise?” Hold the anchovies.