jesse jensen of barchetta

The Difference a Little Fame Can Make In a Restaurant 

When Barchetta got on the show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, chef Jesse Jensen felt the changes as soon as it aired. 

BY Linnea Covington


In case you’re wondering, Guy Fieri loved the Verde Verde pizza from Barchetta in Boulder. At least, that’s what owner Jesse Jensen believed given the celebrity chef’s reaction while filming Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

The chef love having the Food Network personality feature his restaurant. But it comes with perks too. Since airing on March 29, the show helped bumped up sales and put Jensen’s casual Boulder pizza shop on the radar.

“We have seen a lot of people come in from Broomfield, Westminster, Loveland, and people from the mountains,” he said. “They are like, ‘We saw you on TV, we didn’t know you were here but now we are going to try you out.’ It’s been great.”

Jensen opened Barchetta in 2021, after years working as chef de cuisine for the now shuttered Pizzeria Locale, and time in the kitchens of Id Est Hospitality‘s Basta and The Wolf’s Tailor. The pizzas coming out his kitchen reflect both places. 

barchetta pizza
Blackberry, goat cheese, honey and basil pizza at Barchetta. | Photo by Linnea Covington

For starters, each pie features a pizza crust made with locally milled grains. At 14-inches, each order is fired to perfection, balancing a bottom crunch with soft, chewy edges. Then, the chef tops each order with high-quality ingredients, from fresh mozzarella to pickled jalapenos to slow-roasted pork.

It was the latter ingredient that made the aforementioned Verde Verda pizza sing. That and spicy green chili, white cheddar, chili flakes, parsley, mozzarella, salsa verde, and Parmesan, all put together in harmony. It’s the pie Jensen believes Guy Fieri loved the most, and now it’s on the menu full time.

“Before he came I watched a lot of episodes and read an article somewhere that said if [Fieri] takes one bite of food and puts it down and pushes it away, he doesn’t like it,” explained Jensen. “If he takes two bites he likes it but isn’t crazy about it, but if he takes more than two bites, he loves it.”

When it came to the Verde Verde, Fieri ate the whole slice. So, added Jensen, he’s confident the famous chef enjoyed the pizza.

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The two favorite pizzas from Triple Ds were the cheeseburger pie and Verde Verde. | Photo by Barchetta

While decoding Fieri’s eating patterns took a little finesse, getting on the show wasn’t as hard as one may think. Basically, anyone can fill out an online application. It was something Jensen and his wife often joked about doing, going so far as to download the application. However, the chef never actually filled it out.

But then, a month after getting the application, producers from the show reached out. Turns out Barchetta was on their radar. The team asked if the restaurant wanted to be on the show. The answer was yes, but but even though Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (Triple Ds) contacted him, there still was the application to finish. This time, Jensen made sure to complete it. 

“I did a couple interviews, got selected, and then in late October they did got back and said we would film in four days,” said the chef, adding it took three days of being shut down to do the whole thing. “I think [the show producers] like to see you as you are, and they don’t want you to do any big changes in order to keep it as authentic as possible.”

barchetta and guy fire
Sydney Miller, Jesse Jensen, and Guy Fieri at Barchetta during the filming of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dived. | Photo by Barchetta

Barchetta didn’t need an upgrade anyway. While certainly not a dive, it has a laidback, college-town-meets-family-meal vibe. Colorful paintings and drawings add funk to the space, and the checkered floor gives the restaurant a diner feel. A shiny wall of beer and wine taps let customers know they don’t have to wait for the next drink. There’s also a large covered patio perfect for enjoying a pie and pint outside.

Now that it’s warm, Jensen expects the patio to fill up. Though, because of the fall filming of Triple Ds, he already witnessed an uptick in the amount of customers coming in. Like other featured eateries on the show, Barchetta is a stop that satisfies without breaking the bank. That’s part of the show’s draw, that and the master of Flavortown himself.

Pizza runs $23 to $20, and the menu also features appetizers and small plates such as oven-baked chicken wings ($16) in a variety of sauces, a wedge salad ($14), gluten-free meatballs ($12), and more. Make a reservation or simply show up, despite Barchetta’s newfound popularity, it’s still a neighborhood pizza shop.

Visit Barchetta Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., closed Tuesdays. 1644 Walnut St., Boulder,


Linnea Covington

Linnea Covington is the managing editor of DiningOut. She comes to us with a long background in food, restaurant and drinks journalism. Over the last two decades she’s written for tons of publications including Denver Post, Washington Post, Forbes Travel Guide, 5280 Magazine, New York Magazine, New York Times, Time Out New York and more.