Patrick McCauley of Squared Up Pizza

Patrick McCauley He’s the man behind the amazing logo of a square pizza with his dukes at Park Place Mall’s food court. However, Squared Up Pizza is more than just a cool logo. McCauley’s vision of bringing delicious Sicilian/New York pizza to Tucson coincided with Park Place’s vision of bringing local flare to their dining options.

It’s like a match made in Bensonhurst.

Patrick McCauley of Squared Up Pizza (Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)

Mr. McCauley is a real Tucsonian, born and raised. He’s got some great restaurants bones in places like peak peak And Lodge at Ventana CanyonHowever, he has a real entrepreneurial spirit. He has also owned a landscaping company, a barber supply company, and even designer barbershops. This spirit, and his time in New York, was a catalyst for this Square Up Pizza.

“I kept finding myself at Sicilian-style pizza in New York. I loved it. I just thought, We don’t have anything in Tucson,” McCauley tells me. However, he is not a single pony. They’re doing some killer New York “tours” and are expanding the menu for some sandwich options, in the near future.

Square Up Pizza (Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)

McCauley really wanted to experience authentic New York when he began envisioning Squared Up. “If you ever talk to anyone from New York about pizza (or bagel, or anything for that matter), you will always get one answer. It’s water,” he said. no mistake. So, how was he planning to get around this problem? he did not do. McCauley decided to bring New York waters to Tucson.

Fasten your gloves, protect yourselves at all times, keep your shots above the belt, and let’s get a clean nine on the line!

1. What was the first dish you had that changed your perspective on food?

I would say the first meal I did, I probably didn’t even realize it was happening. It was the first time I ate something that wasn’t baby food! I am a child, I am a child. As far as I can remember the first dish that made me think about food differently was the first time I had sushi with my dad in California. It was after a soccer tournament and the whole team was gone. Most of us were trying it for the first time… loved it ever since!

2. What tool do you use and recommend to everyone?

Well, I wouldn’t say I would recommend it to everyone. However, for us at Squared Up, I would say it is our water system, called the New York Watermaker, that reproduces the exact molecular structure and chemical composition of New York City water. We use this water in all the dough and even the soda machine, giving people a real (square) slice of the big apple!

New York WaterMaker at Squared Up Pizza (Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)
3. What is the first dish you remember cooking?

This is tough, if I remember correctly, it was my dad’s goulash recipe. Ground beef and onion, elbow macaroni, tomato with salt and pepper and some other seasoning.

4. What food concept, ingredient, or trend are you experimenting with or enjoying these days?

At home, it’s smoked mesquite salt. I try to incorporate it into almost everything I cook at home. At the store, I started to get into Italian beef sandwiches to add to my pizza menu!

Square Up Pizza (Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)
5. Who would you like to cook or have dinner with?

If anyone was at all, it would be Anthony Bourdain and his crew. He had such a positive attitude towards food and the hard realities of what it takes to prepare, cook and serve a great dish. If he was a current person, it would be Tony Geminiani. He is a 13 time World Cup Pizza Champion and has also been my mentor for the past 9 months. Tony has really helped me bring the best pizza possible to Tucson using the highest quality ingredients. He’s someone I look up to now, and I’m in his line of work!

6. What city, other than Tucson, is your favorite place to eat?

Either Vegas because of all the options you get or the Bay (San Francisco) where Tony is located. There is so much great food in our country that anytime I travel I go to eat the local food or where Bourdain ate when he was there.

Patrick McCauley of Squared Up Pizza (Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)
7. Speaking in junk food terms, what is your favorite guilt-free taste?

There is a lot to choose from. My all-time favorite, though, goes to Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. But only if it’s been in the fridge for a day or more!

8. What are the three Tucson restaurants you frequent the most, other than your own?

Number one would be Hobbs Sports Grill – Brian and his team have done an amazing job with this place, and the burgers are just right! number two, Trident Grill – any one of them on the entire menu is bonfire, and the bone-in pork chop is my favorite alongside some fresh oysters. Number three is Sachiko sushi. I feel it is the best in town. The atmosphere is always great, it’s always busy and always fresh. Chef Lee and his team are amazing at their craft! Plus, it’s Daniel’s favorite food to eat! When my kid wants it, we get it.

9. With an electric chair in your immediate future, what would be your last meal?

Probably from the salt cellar in Scottsdale. A few pounds of king crab, scallops, and shrimp cocktail! It will definitely be a seafood dinner as I am landlocked in the desert.

Patrick McCauley of Squared Up Pizza (Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)