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TASTE TEST: Tomato Bar’s pizza of the month is ‘flamin’ hot’
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TASTE TEST: Tomato Bar’s pizza of the month is ‘flamin’ hot’

TASTE TEST: Tomato Bar’s pizza of the month is ‘flamin’ hot’

The "She's a Beaut Clark" features a nacho cheese base with a mozzarella, provolone cheese blend and topped with ghost pepper seasoned steak, jalapeño ranch and Flamin' Hot Cheetos. The medium pizza from Tomato Bar is $19.45.  

SCHERERVILLE — Flamin' Hot Cheetos, on a pizza? Sign me up.

The crunchy, cheesy snacks might seem like an odd topping, but trust me, you'll want to sink your teeth into a few slices.

Sticking with tradition, all three Tomato Bar locations in the Region brought back "She's a Beaut Clark" as the December pizza of the month, and in true holiday fashion, this pie is sure to light up your taste buds.

A nacho cheese base with a mozzarella, provolone cheese blend is the perfect vehicle for the spicy ingredients atop this pie, including ghost pepper seasoned steak, jalapeño ranch, and of course, Flamin' Hot Cheetos.

The ghost pepper steak might sound intimidating, but as someone who has an average spice tolerance — in a way that a mountain of jalapeños are a welcome addition to nachos — the steak was nothing to grab a glass of milk for.

The steak is the silent winner of this pizza. It is flavorful and tender but doesn't overwhelm the other ingredients. Without it, the pie would lack its well-rounded flavor.

Jalapeño ranch is a sly addition to the pizza. Though it gets a little lost in this dish, the ranch, on its own, is creamy with the right amount of tang and spice.

The showstopper here is the Flamin' Hot Cheetos, which are served on the side. I was nervous the Cheetos would be soggy after being baked, so receiving two bags on the side with my to-go order was a nice surprise.

The best way to enjoy a slice of "She's a Beaut Clark" is to pile it high with Flamin' Hot Cheetos and take a big bite. The Cheetos add the perfect crunch and a nice kick without overpowering other ingredients. This pizza simply works.

All three Tomato Bar locations — 79 U.S. 41 in Schererville; 2310 LaPorte Ave. in Valparaiso; and 10547 Broadway in Crown Point — are open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day.

For more information, visit tomatobarpizza.com.

Gallery: 2020 The Times Best of the Region: Food & Dining

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South Lake County Reporter

Mary Freda is the South Lake County reporter at The Times. She is a proud Ball State graduate, where she studied news journalism and Spanish. You can reach Mary at mary.freda@nwi.com or 219-853-2563.

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