I'm back on pizza.
Before I go any further, I should explain what that means. Once in a while I grow tired of some kind of food (or some restaurant) that I usually like.
This happens with McDonald's (yes, folks, I like McDonald's) every time we go on one of our long, long drives to visit family in South Dakota or Texas.
By the time we're nearing the end of our 60-hour round trip to and from Houston, we've usually eaten three or four times at McDonald's it's hot and cheap and they have a play place for stir-crazy kids to get a little exercise and I feel my gorge rise at the mere thought of the Golden Arches. For months afterward, I am waaaaaay "off" McDonald's, even changing my driving routes so my kids don't see the place and beg to stop there.
For the past couple years, I've been "off" pizza. Didn't like the sight or smell or even the thought of the stuff, let alone the taste. If I had to eat it, I could but I never, ever, wanted any.
That started to change when The Pie, in all its deliciousness, moved into my neighborhood, and the turnaround is complete now that I've tried Pier 49 Pizza, which has restaurants all over Utah. Pier 49 makes a pizza that's a slightly tweaked take on the classic style, with some creative pies and a crust that's just heaven.
Pier 49's original location was called "San Francisco Sourdough Pizza," due to that crust, which is mildly sour and has a wonderful crisp, crunchy, chewy base. It's a delicious forum for all sorts of piled-on toppings, which, on the recent weeknight we visited for dinner, were uniformly fresh and of high quality.
Because it was a school night, we couldn't linger over our choices or our meal so we went with the Something for Everyone pizza. This 16-inch beauty has a dozen slices of 'za, three of cheese, plus three slices each of the Alcatraz, Ghirardelli and 49er varieties. It's a great choice for a family like ours, where everyone wants something different (personal sizes also are available, and you can design your own pie from 21 toppings and eight sauces).
The 49er was sharp and pungent pepperoni, with a breath of spiciness and little grease, and slices thick over every piece we had.
Alcatraz, my favorite, was a combination of pepperoni, sausage, ham, mushrooms, black olives, green peppers and onions. It's much more fresh and less meaty than similar pies by Pier 49's competitors, thanks in part to a tomato sauce that tasted like it was made from a combination of fresh-picked and sun-dried tomatoes about a minute after we ordered.
Ghirardelli, possibly named for its touch of sweetness, was a standard ham-and-pineapple, with chewy, salty smoked ham and tiny pineapple tidbits, which spread the sweetness over the whole slice.
With our pizza we had a basket of six huge, thick-cut slices of chewy sourdough toast with melted cheese on top. We finished off our carb-fest with the delightful cream-cheese-and-brown-sugar dessert pizza, whose leftovers incidentally heated up nicely in the toaster oven at home.Appetizers $1.99-$6.99, salads $2.99-$7.99, lunch specials $2.99-$6.99, Haight Ashbury (customer-designed pizza) $3.99-$12.99 plus 50 cents-$1.50 for each topping besides cheese, gourmet pizzas $6.99-$20.99.
Where: 1961 E. Fort Union Blvd. (18 other locations in northern Utah and St. George)
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Payment: No checks accepted
Phone: 942-4949 (delivery available)
Web: www.pier49.comWheelchair access: Easy
Stacey Kratz is a freelance writer who reviews restaurants for the Deseret Morning News. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org