Dining out: Big Apple Pizzeria

Published: Friday, Nov. 20 2009 12:00 a.m. MST

Big Apple Pizzeria is best known for its calzones, which come stuffed with everything from traditional cheese and pepperoni to eggplant and artichoke hearts.

So I must have a perverse streak to order no calzones when our family had a Big Apple dinner on a recent weeknight, right?

Well, that depends. I'm sure I missed out on tasty calzones, but I enjoyed several kinds of tasty pizza, as well as a nice, fresh salad and Big Apple's aromatic garlic knots. Not too bad a meal on a chilly night, calzones or not.

Big Apple's Fort Union shop is simply furnished, with New York-themed wall decor and your basic nondescript tables and chairs. That's in keeping with the straightforward nature of the place, and I kind of like that the most memorable sight you'll see is a pizza chef artfully whirling a circle of dough into the air until it's as light and transparent as paper.

We started with the garlic knots, intricately folded little fists of soft bread with a delicately crisped crust, coated in garlic and Parmesan. My daughter and I also shared the Greek salad, fresh iceberg greens with sliced green and black olives and rings of tomato, cucumber and red onion, with piquant Italian dressing and feta crumbled over everything.

Then it was on to the pizza. For my husband and middle daughter, the meat lovers in the family, we had the wryly named slaughterhouse pie, with good-quality pepperoni, ham, Italian sausage and crumbled meatballs baked so the meat had lots of chewy, browned bits as well as tender juiciness.

My oldest daughter and I had the Hawaiian pizza, creamy mozzarella sheltering sliced wedges of Canadian bacon and pineapple tidbits.

And for fun (and to try something a little offbeat) we had the white pizza, a pure-white presentation of white cheese sauce, fresh garlic, mozzarella and Romano cheese and creamy, milky dollops of ricotta.

I was surprised that the white pizza seemed to be the consensus favorite, though everyone liked the other pies we ate. But its balance of mellow, salty cheese and sharp garlic, of creamy sauce and crispy crust, was nigh on perfect.

About that crust: It's really good. Prepared right, laid out as it should be and cooked to a plenitude of chewy, dark-crusted tastiness.

I plan to try it — and soon — on one of Big Apple's Benders, an "original creation" of the restaurant in which meat and cheese are cooked on pizza crust, topped with sandwich fixings and folded over, creating a sort of pizza sandwich.

And, OK, I just might order a calzone, as well.

Appetizers $2.50-$5.25, salad $3-$8.25, pizza $7.75-$23.50, benders and calzones $6.75-$13.75, pasta $6.50-$8.60, kids' meals $3-$4.95, dessert $2.25.

Big Apple Pizzeria

Rating: ★★1/2

Where: 7206 S. 900 East, Midvale (also in Millcreek)

Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Saturday, noon-11 p.m.; Sunday, 4-9 p.m.

Payment: Major credit cards accepted; no checks

Phone: 801-568-9095

Web: www.bigapplepizza.citysearch.com

Wheelchair access: Easy

Also: Lunch specials daily

Stacey Kratz is a freelance writer who reviews restaurants for the Deseret News. E-mail: skratz@desnews.com