For those on a keto diet or know others who have been, you know one of the things keto dieters miss most is pizza. Well, a restaurant in Hendricks County, Indiana, has come up with a solution that many have called a "gamechanger" in the keto-dieting world.
But before I get to the details about how Rock Star Pizza is becoming a rock star for keto enthusiasts, I probably need to explain what a keto diet is especially for those of you who might be considering a new dieting option as we begin the new year.
What is a Keto Diet?
Keto actually is short for ketogenic diet. The keto diet entails eating as few carbs as possible to force the body to produce ketones. When the body produces ketones, it enters a metabolic state called ketosis. In short, this diet forces the body to burn fat to produce energy which in turn causes weight loss and even less obvious benefits such as less hunger and a steady supply of energy keeping the dieter more alert and focused. This diet has become huge for people with Type 2 diabetes.
To reach and keep your body in the ketosis state, dieters have to keep carb intake below 50 grams a day and ideally below 20 grams. Foods to avoid include starches and sugar. So, breads, pastas, potatoes, beer and anything with sugar in them including sodas, candy and even fruit must be eliminated or regulated.
Best foods for this type of diet would have no or low sugar and be high in fat and moderately high in protein. Some of the best foods include beef, pork, chicken, seafood, eggs (preferably organic), vegetables, dairy products that are not flavored, sugary or low-fat and some specific nuts and berries. To drink, keto dieters must stick to water, coffee or tea with a little cream or milk added, but not sweeteners.
As is the case for every diet, you can find tons of recipes online even for keto pizza, but even then, keto dieters seem to miss "real pizza" most.
When it comes to pizza, the biggest issue for the keto diet is the crust. And as I said, there are pizza alternatives out there for keto dieters often using a cauliflower mixture as a base for the crust or a "crustless" pizza. While these options have kept the pizza keto friendly, dieters have found them to be lacking in taste and texture or missing what makes pizza so great in the case of the "crustless" options.
Restaurants, especially pizza places, began experimenting with keto-friendly crusts knowing the demand would be there if they could produce a tasty alternative. Those trials often led to so-so pizza crust that isn't worth the time-consuming, labor-intensive effort, or pizza that they proclaim as keto-friendly but really isn't.
Rock Star's "Gamechanger"
Like many other pizza places, Rock Star Pizza in Brownsburg began experimenting to find a tasty, keto-friendly crust that they could produce for their customers after having friends lose 50 to 100 pounds on the diet. In July, owners Ron and Colby Mathews began slowly rolling out their keto crust for pizza, a keto bread that could be used like a sub for their sandwiches and even keto-friendly soups.
Their keto crust is made out of almond and coconut flour, cream cheese, egg, parmesan, mozzarella and provolone cheeses. Making the dough proved to be very time consuming and labor intensive because of the nature of the ingredients and how tricky they are to mix. Using a mechanical mixer isn't possible, so every ball of dough had to be made by hand.
When they started, they could only make five crusts an hour. Even now, they've only perfected the process enough to make 15-20 an hour. Compare that to their normal crust in which they can produce 45-50 every hour. As a result, they had to offer the crust only on a certain day (Saturday), though Colby admits if someone asks on another day, they usually can accommodate them.
The crust has .5 net carbs per slice and only 8 net carbs in an entire 12-inch medium before toppings. Their bread for their keto subs is made similarly, with a few tweaks for texture.
In just a few months, they have become the talk of the local keto diet scene as people regularly drive from all over Central Indiana and as far away as Columbus, because they essentially have nowhere else to go. Rock Star now sells 100-120 keto pizzas a week with virtually no advertising other than word of mouth.
The Mathews don’t know of anyone else in the state of Indiana who offers a true authentic keto pizza crust as most who do it offer the “crustless” versions. They only know of a few restaurants across the country that offer keto crust similar to theirs.
And the Taste?
So, of course, I had to pay a visit to Rock Star to try their keto pizza and sub. They even offered me a side-by-side comparison of their keto pizza vs their regular thin crust pizza. The best complement I could give is I really didn’t taste a difference.
Had they served me the keto pizza instead of regular crust without my knowledge, I don’t think I would have been able to tell. The sub while obviously different than bread was good, too.
While that might not sound like a ringing endorsement, it really is when you consider if this was my only alternative to enjoy pizza because of a diet, I would be elated. And Rock Star only charges $4 more for the keto crust than their regular crust despite all the extra labor and different ingredients needed to make it.
Before You Go
Rock Star’s keto pizzas and subs haven’t made it onto the menu yet because of the limited supply. I would make sure to call them first before heading there to order anything keto, especially if you are traveling from a long distance. They also only offer medium sizes for their keto pizzas, so don’t expect to get a large.
Of course, you or other members of your family not on a keto diet can enjoy all the other delicious menu offerings at Rock Star Pizza including an expansive salad bar that you can enjoy when you eat in. They also offer a wide variety of pizzas and have become known for experimenting with interesting combinations and flavors including their award-winning Caribbean Twist pizza, which features a honey mustard base. They also serve gluten-free options on their menu.Website