Tucked away in a small shopping center sits a restaurant which looks to be a perfect CIA front. The Pizzeria’s exterior is unassuming; a flashing open sign, some white mini blinds, and a glass door cover the basic necessities. It’s the sort of place you drive by, think “I should stop in some time” and then forget almost as soon as it is out of sight. See? Perfect CIA front.
The hubby and I stopped in one Friday night. We were looking for something warm, quick, and filling and had recently learned (or possibly relearned) that The Pizzeria had a dining room. Stepping through the door placed us immediately in front of the counter. The menu offered the expected pizza, as well as calzones, sandwiches, and pasta. As we debated and finally placed our order, we had a full view of the open kitchen. We settled on a large Super Supreme with a hand tossed New York crust and two cans of soda.
It was a little late for most of the dining in crowd, but the employee who took our order was gracious enough to turn the lights back on and let us claim a table. The dining area is a second room, what looks to have been a separate space in the strip mall consumed by the restaurant. The front half featured several wooden booths with vinyl covered seats and a single flat screen TV. Faded framed prints hung crookedly on the walls and the thin carpet was topped with well worn rugs. The back of the room was separated by a surprisingly pretty built in divider made up of half walls topped by open framing which was set off by diamond shaped stained glass panels set into the center. Baskets of fake ivy hung in the open spaces. Behind the divider was a small party area and access to the restrooms.
As we chatted, waiting for our pizza to cook, I watched a steady stream of patrons come in to pick up their carry out orders. Each was in and out with the crisp timing of a well ordered system. Our own pizza was out in less than 20 minutes. The employee who had taken our order delivered the box to the table and asked if we would like plates. We responded affirmatively and he returned immediately, two plates in hand.
The Super Supreme is kind of an…extreme pizza. Sausage and ground beef. Pepperoni and ham. Black and green olives. Onions. Mushrooms. Bellpeppers. Pizzas with that many toppings are hard to balance. Too heavy of a hand and the entire pizza is weighted down, the crust cooks unevenly, and the whole slice sags and sinks in your hand. Too light and you are left wondering where all the olives are–oh wait, is that a sliver over there? This pie managed the balance wonderfully, each one was lightly but evenly applied. The flavor combos balanced well, with different ingredients shining in each bite–one moment I was exclaiming over the burst of ham, the next the briney green olives or the zippy pepperoni. The mushrooms were sliced super thinly, lending them to curl a bit as they cooked. The menu promised that everything was made fresh and it tasted like it. The sauce had the thick consistency of a homey marinara and made me curious about those pasta dishes. The crust was thinner than I had expected, but with a crispy bottom and a more compliant top it was tasty and balanced well with the amount of toppings. A thicker crust might have overwhelmed them.
The Pizzeria delivers on it’s promise of “pizza!” with fresh ingredients. The dining space is low key casual, perfect for sharing a slice with friends or family. We enjoyed our pizza and will definitely be back. I’m curious about their Chicago deep dish (real deep dish or just a thicker crust?) and their pasta. If you are in the area, they deliver which means you can stay in your pjs and enjoy great pizza.
Total for the meal: $18.93 (Includes one large Super Supreme and two cans of soda)