By Mike Thayer
Pizza is my favorite food. Burgers, steaks, lasagna, anything grilled and an assortment of other dishes are high on the list of favorites, but there's nothing quite like a good slice of pizza pie.... That slice of pie has that perfectly baked crust that's flaky/crispy on the outside, but tender and fluffy on the inside. Then there's the marriage of toppings, the subtle spices of pepperoni and sausage, assorted veggies that are tender-crisp like onion and bell pepper. The sauce, it's got to be a zesty sauce, providing those notes of garlic and oregano with each bite. And bringing everything together is a generous portion of melted cheeses, mozzarella, Parmesan, perhaps some cheddar or provolone that bubbles up in the oven to golden, brown, deliciousness!
No national chains will be included in this challenge. Only the local, regional pizza joints qualify. Besides, Domino's sucks, Little Caesar's really sucks (sucking SO bad they don't even deserve a link) and Papa John's and Pizza Hut are average tasting pizzas at best. The fact is, the local/regional joints run circles around the national chains in dishing up high quality, great tasting pizza.
During the course of this challenge I'll consider customer service, time to order, price, appearance and of course, the most important thing, TASTE.
Today's taste test: Ziggy's East in Wichita
The pizza 'foundation' for this challenge is a supreme style of pizza - meat and veggie toppings. In order to do a fair evaluation of all pizza joints, the choice of toppings has to be as similar as possible. Ziggy's version of a supreme pizza - they call it "Classic Ziggy" - and it is, featuring the classic supreme style of pizza toppings, pepperoni, Italian sausage, onion, green pepper, black olive and mushroom.
I arrived at Ziggy's East at around 1:45pm on a slow Thursday afternoon. With only a couple other people sitting at the bar, I found a roomy spot to watch the Kansas City Royals taking on the Detroit Tigers and enjoy lunch.
Julie greeted me with a smile, handed me a menu and asked me what I would like to drink. I ordered a Miller Lite and picked up the menu. I already knew what I was going to order, but noticed the lunch price - I could get two slices of pizza and a salad for just $6.99 - bargain! The Ziggy's Lunch Special is available Monday - Friday, 11am - 2pm.
Enjoying that cold Miller Lite, my salad was brought out almost immediately. I ordered the Garden Salad, pretty standard stuff, Romaine lettuce, diced tomato, shredded cheddar cheese, onion and croutons and my dressing of choice was.......wait for it..... Yes, Ranch, a man's dressing. It was a good salad, not too big, not too small, fresh ingredients.
"But Mike," you say..... "Enough with the salad talk, what about the pizza?"
Well, before I was maybe five bites into my salad, Julie brought out my pizza.
"Wow, that was fast!" I told her with thanks.
Ziggy's does the 9"x13" rectangle shaped pizza thing, you know, probably how your family did home made pizza when you were a kid, on a cookie sheet and square slices. The pizza looked picture perfect, a nice edge to the crust, the toppings plentiful and the cheese, melted golden, brown and delicious....
I finished my salad to let the pizza cool down, I didn't want that, I burned the roof of my mouth feeling....
In taking that first bite, I nodded in satisfaction. This was good pizza. The crust had the crispiness on the outside, flakiness on the inside, the toppings were nicely balanced and presented the classic supreme style flavors well, the sauce was a nice compliment and that cheese brought it all together. I enjoyed every bite, it was nicely prepared and it's easy to see why Ziggy's pizza is popular. If there's anything to knock on this pizza though, it was the Italian sausage. It was good, don't get me wrong, but I've had better. This sausage was a bit on the bland side for an Italian sausage.
Costing me $15.76 for a salad, two slices of pizza and two beers to wash it all down with, I'm giving Ziggy's 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars. The pizza was really good, the beer was cold and that lunch special is Bachelor on the Cheap friendly! Ziggy's is definitely worth a repeat visit!
Ziggy's has three locations in Wichita, the Ziggy's visited on this occasion is located just east of Greenwich on 21st Street North. The service was friendly, the restaurant clean, food to table was fast and most importantly, quite TASTY!
Ziggy's College Hill
3700 East Douglas Ave. #100 (Clifton Square Village)
12115 E 21st Street N. #101
8404 W. 13th St. North #100