Best in Wichita Metro Pizza Feed

Pizza Challenge: Finding the 10 best pizza joints in the Wichita Area

By Mike Thayer

Pizza bob and luigisPizza 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 were included in this challenge.  Only the local, regional pizza joints qualified.  Besides, Domino's sucks, Little Caesar's really sucks (so bad they don't even deserve a link) and Papa John's and Pizza Hut are average tasting pizzas at best.  In all, I tried the pizza from 19 local/regional pizza joints.  Of those 19 pizza tasting endeavors I had to whittle my list down to the 10 best.  So with that in mind, below are the nine that did not make the top 10 list.  Don't consider that a bad thing though, some of these places are still better than Little Caesar's and Domino's.  But that's not saying much.  If you have to choose between Pizza Hut, Papa John's or a local joint, I'd still go local.  Of those joints listed in the "Not Making the Top 10" that crank out a decent pizza (Good but not great pizza rate 3 stars or better, don't waste your time with the others), that is, IF you're going to settle for average pizza, don't do the national chain, support your local pizza joint.

Not Making the Top 10 and NOT worth a visit:

Electric Pizzeria ⭐⭐ THE worst pizza of the challenge, a greasy mess.  You always hope that the local joint can crank out better food than the chain places, but that's not the case here.  I might as well have ordered a Domino's pizza, because that's about how NOT good this pizza is.

Mulligan's Pub ⭐⭐  In taking that first bite, I was disappointed. This was a below average pizza. The crust was over-baked and bland with the flavor profile of a saltine cracker. The toppings, which appeared to be plentiful at first glance, were actually very unbalanced, with veggies overpowering the less-than-generous portions of meat

AJ Sports Grill ⭐⭐It looked pretty on the paddle and while it is loaded with toppings and appeared to be perfectly baked, a closer look revealed that there was too much grease dripping off and I'm thinking that settled in under the crust during the baking process. Instead of a crispy/flaky on the outside but tender/fluffy/airy on the inside bottom crust, I got a soggy, greasy crust in almost every bite.

Avivo Brick Oven Pizzeria ⭐⭐⭐ An 'iffy' 3 stars, let's start with the crust, the foundation of a good pie. The crust was a classic thin preparation, it's got that semolina flour thing (similar in texture to corn meal) working, it was crispy and flaky, overall a good crust, but not a great crust. I am typically a thin crust kind of guy but I found this crust to be a bit underwhelming. 

Not making the Top 10 but worth a visit:

Angelo's ⭐⭐⭐  Probably the MOST LOADED with toppings of the challenge but the crust was under-baked and the pie was pricey.  It's a popular pizza with many in Wichita, no doubt because of all those great toppings, but that crust, well, it prevents this pie as a whole, from being a truly great one.

Oak & Pie ⭐⭐⭐  The flavors of the toppings were all on point and quite nice, good pepperoni, a zesty, spicy sausage, roasted garlic that let you know it was there without being overpowering, the pepperoncinis provided the perfect complimentary sweet/heat and the portion of mozzarella was generous. My problem with this pie though and it was a downer - IT WAS UNDER-BAKED! An under-baked crust prevented this pizza from being in the Top 10.

Defazio's ⭐⭐⭐⭐  With high expectations for this pizza, I have to admit, I came away a bit disappointed. Don't get me wrong, it was a good pizza, just not a great pizza. I was hoping for something better from a restaurant priding itself on making things from scratch. Good pizza overall, but not Top 10 in the Wichita Metro worthy. 

Deano's Grill & Tapworks ⭐⭐⭐⭐ I have to admit, Deano's was NOT part of my original list of 18 places to evaluate for best pizza in Wichita, but a friend highly recommended Deano's and their Doggy Breath Pizza, so I just HAD to try it!  Deano's was OH so close to cracking the Top 10, it only needed a little more balance in the toppings. 

Wichita Brewing Company ⭐⭐⭐⭐ My pizza was set in front of me in what seemed like just a matter of minutes and it was DELICIOUS! It was a concert of high quality meats, set on a superb, thin, nicely seasoned crispy crust and what put it all over the top was that sauce! This was no typical red sauce and all the notes were spot on.  This joint was ranked #10 until the last days of the challenge, getting bumped off the list by Marchello's, the 18th pizza joint sampled.

Here's my list of THE 10 best pizza joints in the greater Wichita Metro area, starting with #10, which is very, very good, but not the best....

#10:  Talliano's Pizzeria ⭐⭐⭐⭐ I ordered carry-out and it was a LONG drive home..... I may or may not have eaten a couple slices on the way back to my apartment.... And Talliano's makes a good pie. The toppings are nicely portioned, to include good, flavorful pepperoni, complimented by the green pepper, there's a more than generous amount of mozzarella cheese. 

#9:  Pizza Johns in Derby ⭐⭐⭐⭐ In taking that first bite, it was tasty. The toppings were balanced, nicely portioned and hit all the notes of a classic, supreme pizza. The pie was sauced nicely, not over-sauced, not under-sauced, I'm sounding a bit like Goldilocks and the Three Bears here.... It was sauced 'just right'. 

#8:  Bob & Luigi's ⭐⭐⭐⭐ LOADED with toppings the pie is a good balance of meat, veggies and cheese bedded on an airy crust. You get the subtle spice of the pepperoni and sausage, the tender-crisp crunch of the onion and pepper and OH that gooey goodness of the melted mozzarella cheese tied everything together. If there's anything to knock on this pizza though, is it was bit under-sauced.

#7:  Ziggy's ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 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. 

#6:  Gambino's ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Order the Mobster, a specialty pizza and one of Gambino's most popular. The Mobster features toppings of Beef, Pork Sausage, Mushroom, Pepperoni, Italian Sausage, Green Pepper, Onion, Black Olive, Canadian Style Bacon, Salami, and Extra Cheese. It's an outstanding combination of meats, veggies and melty cheese..... 

#5:  Knolla's Pizza ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐  It was LOADED with toppings and it was a flawless balance of meat, veggies, sauce and cheese. The spice of the pepperoni and sausage, the tender-crisp crunch of the onion, the garlic essence of that sauce, the gooey goodness of the melted mozzarella cheese all served up on a perfectly baked crust. That crust.... crackly, crispy on the outside, tender on the inside with each bite. Wonderful! 

#4:  Piccaso's  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐  This pizza does NOT need Parmesan, red pepper flakes or anything else added! The flavors of the "Kitchen Sink" sing! The sausage is top notch, seasoned well with just the right amount of spice. The pepperoni is good quality pepperoni, not too greasy. The onions and green pepper are mandolin sliced thin, a perfect compliment to the meats, and the mushrooms are fresh, not the canned stuff. The sauce is spot on, the cheese was melted golden, brown, delicious and what puts this pizza over the top is the crust. 

#3:  Po Boy Pizza ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ This is no run-of-the-mill dough, Po Boy puts some flavor in their product. And while that crust is an awesome, perfectly baked foundation, what put this pizza over-the-top for me was the sauce.  The pizza sauce has some zest, delivering big time on the garlic and oregano notes.  The meats and veggies were all good quality ingredients and generous in portion. 

#2:  Piatto Neapolitan Pizzeria ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ The crust - the foundation of a pizza - was absolutely beautiful, having a bit of that wood fired char you're looking for on the edges, and in taking that first bite it was soft, pliable and perhaps THE best crust I've had to date in this challenge, allowing for a perfect pizza fold. DELICIOUS!

And the #1 Pizza Joint in the Wichita metro is......  (drum roll)..... Marchello's ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ The crust was soft, pliable, buttery, 'pillowy', with just a hint of crispiness on the outer edge from the melted cheese. Now I'm typically a thin crust kind of guy, and this was no thin crust, but it was so good, Marchello's has me rethinking the thin crust thing. With each bite of this pizza I found myself saying, "Wow!"..... The pie was LOADED with toppings and this crust carries it, proudly, the pie was baked to perfection, golden, brown, delicious. Of all the pizzas I've sampled through the course of this challenge, this one was THE most balanced pie I sampled, a perfect marriage of flavors.  

So there you have it Wichita, a go-to list of the best pizza joints in the metro area from Wichita's best foodie.

$pend Wisely My Friends......

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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Pizza Challenge Update: Who has the best pizza in the Wichita Metro area? Is it Mulligan's Pub?

By Mike Thayer

Mulligan's PubPizza 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.

Mulligan's Pub PizzaToday's taste test:  Mulligan's Pub 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.  Mulligan's version of a supreme pizza - they call it that, a supreme - features the classic supreme style of pizza toppings plus a few extras, hamburger (not typical), pepperoni, sausage, green pepper, tomato (not typical), onion, black olive and mushroom.  I was looking forward to this, after all, their website boasts of being famous for their "amazing" pizzas!

I arrived at Mulligan's a bit after 6pm on a Tuesday evening.  With only about 13 people in the joint, I found a seat at the bar.

A gentleman who seemed to be the manager welcomed me and asked me what I wanted to drink and I responded with, "A Miller Light please."  He promptly popped the cap off a bottle and gave me a chilled glass to pour it in.  He let me know who my server would be - the bartender - and she provided me a menu.  Sorry, but I didn't catch her name and given how slow her service proved to be, I didn't care to ask.  Henceforth, she's just, "the lady bartender."

I was enjoying that cold Miller Lite, but the menu I had long since put down as a signal I was ready to order was starting to collect dust.  The lady bartender was focused on texting......    When she finally broke from her phone and came over to take my order, I went with the small Supreme Pizza and I thanked her.   She didn't notice that my beer was nearly finished.  

The pizza didn't take long to arrive, it looked good, but I did have to prod the lady bartender for that second beer.  Oh, and I didn't get a fresh chilled glass......  'jus say'n.  Perhaps the lady bartender was fairly new? 

Mulligan's does a classic pizza pie presentation on a thin crust, and it's served on a traditional pan w/spatula at the table. 

Mulligan's Pub Pizza CrustIn taking that first bite, I was disappointed.  This was a below average pizza.  The crust was over-baked and bland with the flavor profile of a saltine cracker.  The toppings, which appeared to be plentiful at first glance, were actually very unbalanced, with veggies overpowering the less-than-generous portions of meat.  Look at how overloaded the diced green pepper is on that pizza, underneath that is a layer of onion, and then the layer of diced tomato, all hiding the skimpy meat portions.  The sausage was nothing to write home about and the few pepperoni slices that can be seen on the edges escaping the over-abundant coverage of the green peppers and onions was unremarkable.   This was more like a veggie pizza, than a true, classic, well-balanced supreme.  And the sauce...., well, it was less-than-stellar too, the pie was under-sauced and like the crust, bland.   It lacked the zesty notes of garlic and oregano you're looking for in a good sauce.  Oh, the cheese was good, but an afterthought.

I spent $20 for a small pizza, two Miller Lites, plus tip.  So the price was reasonable, but the pizza was disappointing and the service really kind of sucked.  I HATE it when a waitress/waiter/bartender asks if you want change back!  I think that's just flat out rude and a server worthy of their apron doesn't need to ask.  I paid as I went on this visit, paying for my first beer and the small pizza with a $20 bill, giving me $5 and some change back....  Then I ordered the second beer.  When I settled up that left $2 and some change which I was perfectly fine leaving on the bar (and if the food/service would have been better I would have pulled a couple more singles out of my wallet to put the tip at 20+%), but the lady bartender asked, "Did you want your change back?"  Shaking my head, I responded, "No, that's OK," while thinking, lady bartender, you didn't even deserve that 10+%.   Hey Mr. Manager, your welcome as I found a seat at the bar was great, but things went downhill after that.  Maybe spend some more time training your bartender on some customer service skills?

I was in and out for my pizza dinner, not wanting to hang around any longer than I had to.  I'm giving Mulligan's Pub Supreme Pizza just 2 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars and neither the pizza or the pub itself are worthy of a repeat!  NOT amazing.

2 stars

Mulligan's Pub is located at:

8343 E 32nd St N, Wichita, KS.

PH: (316) 636-2220

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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Pizza Challenge Update: Who has the best pizza in the Wichita Metro area? Is it Ziggy's?

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.

Ziggy's Lunch SpecialToday'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. 

Ziggy's PizzaEnjoying 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....

Ziggy's CrustIn 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!

4 stars

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)
PH: 316-613-2529

Ziggy's East
12115 E 21st Street N. #101
PH: 316-779-8181

Ziggy's West
8404 W. 13th St. North #100
PH: 316-201-1811

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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Pizza Challenge Update: Who has the best pizza in the Wichita Metro area? Is it Pizza John's in Derby?

By Mike Thayer

Pizza John's MenuPizza 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 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:  Pizza John's in Derby

Pizza Johns DerbyThe 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.  Pizza John's version of a supreme pizza is classic, featuring pepperoni, sausage, onion, green pepper and mushroom.

With pizza on my 'menu' for lunch, I walked into Pizza John's around 2pm.  I was greeted with smiles and a big "Hi There!" from the ladies behind the counter.  I let them know I had never eaten at Pizza John's before but heard great things about the place.  One of the gals let me know about the special pricing during the lunch hour (until 3pm), a great surprise!  I found a table and my order for a small Supreme pizza and a soda to wash it down with was taken right away.  I'm thinking, "Awesome, friendly service!"   

Pizza John's CrustMy soda was quickly delivered and soon thereafter so was my pizza, piping hot and oh did it smell good!   Look at the mozzarella, melted to golden, brown perfection.  In taking that first bite, it was tasty.  The toppings were balanced, nicely portioned and hit all the notes of a classic, supreme pizza.  The pie was sauced nicely, not over-sauced, not under-sauced, I'm sounding a bit like Goldilocks and the Three Bears here....  It was sauced 'just right'.  The crust was perfectly baked, golden, brown on the bottom, cooked evenly throughout and crispy on the edges, but if there's a knock on this pizza, it is the crust, which I found to be a bit bland, an average crust.  This pizza was good, but I did have to add some black pepper and Parmesan cheese to season things up a bit.

Costing me just $6.77 for a small pizza and a soda, I left Pizza John's quite satisfied.  Their small pizza was perfect for lunch and hit the spot.  I'm giving Pizza John's in Derby 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  I'm looking forward to my next visit, this first time customer will be a repeat customer!

4 stars

Pizza John's in Derby is located at 208 S. Baltimore.  The service was friendly, fast, professional, the pizza tasty, and just $4.80 for a small pizza?  What a deal! 

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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Pizza Challenge Update: Who has the best pizza in Wichita? Is it Picasso's?

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 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:  Picasso's

Picasso's PizzaThis particular review is going to be a bit different.  Normally, I order a large supreme style of pizza - meat and veggie toppings.  But here's the thing with Picasso's, they specialize in HUGE slices of pizza, not the traditional small, medium or large pizza size offerings.  Sure, you can order a GINORMOUS pie, 26" of pizza goodness, but those cost $54.95 and I don't care how good the pizza is, when eating for one, I'm NOT shelling out $50+ for a pizza.  So the slice option is what I went with for this review.  

I walked into the joint a bit after 1pm on a Friday.  Members of the staff greeted me warmly as I found a seat at the bar.  Courtney asked me what I wanted to drink to start things off, but since I had already reviewed their menu online before arriving, I ordered the "Kitchen Sink"....  Pepperoni, Sausage, Black Olive, White Onion, Mushroom and Green Pepper.....  and a Miller Lite to wash it down with.

Scrolling through my phone checking emails, taking a few swigs on the Miller Lite and looking at Facebook posts, my pizza was delivered in what seems just minutes, piping hot and smelling fantastic! 

Look at how HUGE that slice is and LOADED with toppings!  Delivered on a parchment paper lined lunch tray and draping over the sides, I think three maybe four of these giant slices would measure up to a traditional large pizza.  Just look at those toppings, the melted cheese, if your computer/device had "smellivision" you would be drooling from the mouthwatering aroma.......  The guy from the kitchen delivering my pizza asked me if I wanted it sliced, that's how big their slice serving is, and sliced up for easier eating it was.

This pizza does NOT need Parmesan, red pepper flakes or anything else added!  The flavors of the "Kitchen Sink" sing!  The sausage is top notch, seasoned well with just the right amount of spice.  The pepperoni is good quality pepperoni, not too greasy.  The onions and green pepper are mandolin sliced thin, a perfect compliment to the meats, and the mushrooms are fresh, not the canned stuff.  The sauce is spot on, the cheese was melted golden, brown, delicious and what puts this pizza over the top is the crust.  This is ROCK STAR crust!  It's the perfect foundation, light, crispy yet tender, a base that doesn't just hold, but PROMOTES awesome pizza topping flavor!  It's as I like to say when I'm eating excellent food, "Another dose of YUM!"  I got layers and layers of flavor in this giant Picasso slice of pizza.  It was awesome.

Picasso's perfect crust
Perfect crust, YUMMERS!

Costing me $7.95 for the slice of pizza heaven along with $3.18 for the beer, I left Picasso's extremely satisfied.  Of the pizza joints I've sampled so far in Wichita, this one is currently, THE best pizza I've tried, hands down.  Picasso's gets 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars and is MOST DEFINITELY a repeat buy!

Thanks Courtney and Picasso's!

5 stars

The Picasso's location visited on this occasion is located at 5900 E. Central, Wichita.  The service was friendly, fast, professional and the pizza was, I can't say this enough, "Awesome!"  If you haven't tried Picasso's yet, you MUST!

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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If you appreciate the article you just read and want to support more great content on BachelorontheCheap.com, you can help keep this site going with a one-time or a monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

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Pizza Challenge: Who has the best pizza in Wichita? Is it Angelo's?

By Mike Thayer

Angelo's PizzaPizza 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 (they're 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.

Tonight I ordered a pizza from Angelo's, a recommendation from a friend.  I went with their "Truly Deluxe" pizza, ordering carry-out.  The order is in line with the other orders from the various pizza places I have or will be visiting, ordering a large, supreme style of pizza - meat and veggie toppings - and ordering carry out.

I arrived at the restaurant at 6:15pm on a Wednesday night.  The restaurant was busy but my order was ready and on-time, just like I was, at 6:15pm.  The service at the counter was friendly enough and kudos for the on-time order.  And boy did my pizza smell delicious!  I paid for my pie along with a soda to wash it down with and back home I went.

Side Note:  As I'm driving.......  I'm re-thinking this carry-out order thing.....  I'm going to have to start eating in the pizza parlors.....  The drive home with the pizza box sitting next to me in the passenger seat is SO tough, with those fantastic aroma's slapping me in the face.....  It's almost painful!  Almost.....  What really hurts, is the discipline in resisting the temptation to sneak a slice before I get home.

Once inside my apartment, it was time to feast.  But before diving into the taste, take a look at that picture again.....  this pizza is LOADED with toppings!  There's homemade Italian sausage, HUGE chunks of spiced ground beef, house-cut, as in THICK cut pepperoni, sauteed mushrooms, green pepper and onions, all topped with mozzarella.

I got everything with that first bite, it was a mouthful!  That thick cut pepperoni and the huge chunks of seasoned beef provided a nice little flavor burst of spice. The sauce was good, nice coverage, maybe even a bit over-sauced, not bland, but not something I would call zesty either.  The generous portion of mozzarella cheese (a bit one-note) was beautifully melted, a perfect picture of golden, brown, and delicious, tying everything together.   Overall, this is a good pizza, thanks to all those great toppings, but the crust was disappointing.  The foundation of a good pie, the crust is supposed to hold up to the toppings and this one didn't.  It was doughy, almost chewy.  It's a challenge to have a crust that's flaky with a bit of crunch on the outside, but tender on the inside when the pie is SO loaded with toppings.  But that's the issue with the Angelo's Truly Deluxe, it's not balanced.  Overloaded with so many ingredients, the over-generous coverage of toppings, the juices from the meats and the sauteed mushrooms, combined with the sauce, well, all that 'stuff' doesn't allow the crust to crisp up on the bottom or even on the edges.  A good pie has crispy crust on the edges.  The Truly Deluxe does not and more baking time would have pushed the cheese well beyond golden, brown and delicious.  I have to wonder if that's a sacrifice Angelo's has willingly made with this specialty pizza.  It's a popular pizza, no doubt because of all those great toppings, but that crust, it prevents this pie as a whole, from being a truly great one.

I paid $35.37 for a large Angelo's Truly Deluxe Pizza and a 20 ounce bottle of soda.  That's not a Bachelor on the Cheap friendly price.  It's flat out a high price to pay for a pizza, despite the great toppings.  With the crust not measuring up, I'm giving Angelo's 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars and it's a borderline repeat buy.  I've got a lot of other pizza joints to try before making the repeat buy decision.

3 stars

Angelo's
5231 E. Central
Wichita, KS. 67208

316-612-9058

~~~~~~

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

 

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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Best Pizza in the Wichita Metro Challenge Update: Bob & Luigi's Pizza - Bel Aire

By Mike Thayer

Pizza for lunch!

Touted as the area's best kept secret and in the mood for pizza, I decided to head to Bob & Luigi's Pizza in Bel Aire today to satisfy my craving.  I've never had a pizza from this joint, so I was looking forward to seeing if this place lived up to the hype. 

Located on 45th & Woodlawn, Bob & Luigi's is a classic, family style pizza parlor with an open, casual atmosphere.    I arrived at about 11:40am so it was a bit early to get that pizza parlor whiff when you first walk in the door - who doesn't love that smell, right? - but the place was looking clean, comfortable and seeing smiles on employee faces, well, this looked like my kind of place.  There was a customer ahead of me placing his order, which gave me time to consider just what kind of pizza I was in the mood for.

I went with one of their specialty pizzas The Luigi, which is topped with beef, sausage, Italian sausage, pepperoni, ham, black olive, mushroom, bell pepper and onion.  I paid for my carry out pizza and a soda, then found a seat and started reviewing the menu in greater detail to pass the time.   In addition to pizza, Bob & Luigi's has pasta, sandwiches, appetizers and calzones, to include dessert calzones which sound FABULOUS!  I SO have to get one next time I visit.....   Yes, that's an indicator of how good the pizza is.....

A member of the staff delivered my carry out pizza to my table in about 20 minutes, the pie piping hot and smelling fantastic!  The drive home was a struggle!  I SO wanted to grab a slice and truly eat "to go"....  But I resisted.  I had to roll down the windows to dispel that fantastic aroma and reduce temptation.

Pizza bob and luigisJust look at that beautiful pizza, it's baked to perfection, golden, brown, delicious and is that a more than generous portion of cheese or what?  I can see why The Luigi is such a popular pie.  LOADED with toppings the pie is a good balance of meat, veggies and cheese bedded on an airy crust.  You get the subtle spice of the pepperoni and sausage, the tender-crisp crunch of the onion and pepper and OH that gooey goodness of the melted mozzarella cheese tied everything together.   If there's anything to knock on this pizza though, is it was bit under-sauced.  I didn't get the zesty tomato marriage with those great toppings I was looking for.  There wasn't enough sauce and the sauce itself was missing some garlic and oregano notes.

Having three slices for lunch, I've got plenty leftover for dinner and yes, in classic bachelor fashion, I'll be having pizza for breakfast too.  This was a very satisfying pizza and worth the trip to Bel Aire, even from south Wichita.

The large pie and drink costing me about $21, Bob & Luigi's Pizza gets 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  It's good pizza, reasonably priced and worthy of a repeat buy. 

Pizza toppings4 stars

Bob & Luigi's Pizza

4559 N Woodlawn St
Bel Aire, Kansas 67220
PH: 316-744-9510

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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Does Knolla's Pizza offer the best in the Air Capital?

By Mike Thayer

Signature dishes, it's food that embodies a region, it's a celebration of iconic cultural flavors, where natives and tourists alike embrace that bowl, that plate, that sandwich, that finger food and say, "You HAVE to try this!".... 

Examples of iconic signature dishes includes the Rueben sandwich in New York; crab cakes in Baltimore; The Philly Cheese Steak in Philadelphia; Fried Chicken in Atlanta; Deep dish pizza in Chicago; Bratwurst in Milwaukee; Gumbo in New Orleans and Cedar plank Salmon in Seattle.

So with all that iconic food in mind, does Wichita have a signature dish, or is the Mid-Continent City a melting pot of foods and flavors?

Having fun and inspired by this Signature Dish Challenge, I decided to enjoy the offerings of Knolla's Pizza, which claims to have the best pizza in Wichita.  

I needed a pie to enjoy as I watched some Sunday Night Football (I know, pre-season, how good can that be?  NOT, but it's football nonetheless), so I called my order in for carry-out.  I ordered a large "The Works" which is pepperoni, pork & Italian sausage, onion, green peppers, mushrooms & black olives. 

LADY ON THE PHONE:  Carry out orders are taking about 25 minutes, will that be OK?

ME:  Sure, no problem.

I hopped in my truck and headed to the Knolla's on Central, I arrived about 10 minutes early and the wonderful aroma of a pizza parlor hit me in the schnoz before I even opened the door.  Nearly every table in the place was occupied at 5:30pm.  I paid for my pizza and ordered a cold beer to enjoy while I waited.

The crowd as a nice mix of young and old, family, friends, co-workers.  I noticed a lot of people going up to the counter to get pizza boxes to take what remained of their dinner orders home, a testimony to how good the pizza was, they didn't want to leave it behind. 

My pizza was ready a couple minutes ahead of that 25 minutes time frame I was given over the phone, I chugged the rest of my beer and headed out the door......  Miller Lite, it has 1/3 less calories than a regular beer and it tastes great!....  But I digress....

That wonderful aroma of pizza parlor accompanied me to the truck and it was KILLING me on the drive home!  Willpower prevailed, I did NOT sneak a slice on the way back to my apartment. 

In typical bachelor fashion, I put the pizza box on the coffee table, turned on the tube for some football pre-game, got myself a drink, a paper plate and had at it!

So how was my Knolla's Pizza you ask?

Knolla's Pizza
Just LOOK at all those toppings!

AWESOME!  It was LOADED with toppings and it was a flawless balance of meat, veggies, sauce and cheese.  The spice of the pepperoni and sausage, the tender-crisp crunch of the onion, the garlic essence of that sauce, the gooey goodness of the melted mozzarella cheese all served up on a perfectly baked crust.  That crust....  crackly, crispy on the outside, tender on the inside with each bite.  Wonderful! 

My pizza cost me $17.00 and it was FANTASTIC!  Is it the best pizza in Wichita?  That's an article for another day.  Could Knolla's pizza represent the Air Capital and pizza as a signature dish?  Hell yes!  They get five out of five stars!

5 stars

The Knolla's Pizza visited is located at:  7732 Central Ave #123, Wichita, KS 67206

But my search has only just begun....  I'll be visiting a large variety of restaurants and sampling all types of food, getting input from patrons and restaurant gurus alike, trying to get a feel for what Wichita's Signature Dish might be.....  Oh, and national chain restaurants will NOT be a part of this challenge, I'm keeping it as local as possible, a true evaluation in finding what might be Wichita's Signature Dish.   

Stay tuned!

What a challenge huh?  I am SO looking forward to the rest of this challenge!

What do you think might be Wichita's signature dish?  Comment below. 

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Enjoy this post?

Buy Me a Coffee

If you appreciate the article you just read and want to support more great content on BachelorontheCheap.com, you can help keep this site going with a one-time or a monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

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How good is Wichita Brewing Company's pizza?

By Mike Thayer

Signature dishes, it's food that embodies a region, it's a celebration of iconic cultural flavors, where natives and tourists alike embrace that bowl, that plate, that sandwich, that finger food and say, "You HAVE to try this!".... 

Examples of iconic signature dishes includes the Rueben sandwich in New York; crab cakes in Baltimore; The Philly Cheese Steak in Philadelphia; Fried Chicken in Atlanta; Deep dish pizza in Chicago; Bratwurst in Milwaukee; Gumbo in New Orleans and Cedar plank Salmon in Seattle.

So with all that iconic food in mind, does Wichita have a signature dish, or is the Mid-Continent City a melting pot of foods and flavors?

Having fun and inspired by this Signature Dish Challenge, I decided to visit Wichita Brewing Company and their reputation for great pizza.

I pulled into the parking lot shortly after 6pm on a Wednesday and there were a lot cars in the parking lot.

"This is a good sign," I thought to myself. 

I walked in and saddled up to the bar, it took awhile to be greeted by one of the two bartenders.  I soon learned one of them was in training.  There were quite a few patrons seated at tables, but the bar was virtually empty.

BARTENDER IN TRAINING:  Would you like a beer list and a menu?

ME:  Yes please.

After a quick review of the beer list, I decided to sample the Thunder Blonde, a pale ale dedicated to the local hockey team, the Wichita Thunder.

I ordered my beer and it was poured in short order.  It was pretty tasty, clean and crisp, going down like a light beer, but with more flavor if that makes sense. 

After checking out the menu and watching some sports highlights on the big screen, I was in need of another beer and ready to order dinner.  I asked for a 5:02 Amber in getting a second beer and asked....

ME:  What is your best selling pizza?

BARTENDER DOING THE TRAINING:  Our best sellers are probably The Banick and the Around The Horn.   The Banick is kind of a meat lovers pizza and the Around the Horn is more like a supreme with meat and veggies.

    The Banick:  Spicy Capicola ham, chicken, Italian sausage, pepperoni, sweet pepper bacon & Andouille sausage.

    Around The Horn: Pepperoni, Italian sausage, Andouille sausage, onions, black olives, mushrooms, yellow pepper

ME:  The meat lovers kind of thing sounds good, I'll do the Banick.

Wichita Brewing Company
I ate half the pizza before I realized I could get shaved Parmesan...

BARTENDER DOING THE TRAINING: I'll get that ordered for you (she said as my 5:02 Amber was served up by the trainee).

The 5:02 Amber was a better beer than the Thunder Blonde.  Not that the Thunder Blonde was bad, it's just that the amber features caramel and toasted malt, it's a more robust beer and a better pairing with The Banick pizza. 

My pizza was set in front of me in what seemed like just a matter of minutes and it was DELICIOUS!  It was a concert of high quality meats, set on a superb, thin, nicely seasoned crispy crust and what put it all over the top was that sauce! This was no typical red sauce and all the notes were spot on.

BARTENDER DOING THE TRAINING:  How is the pizza?

ME:  Fantastic (I uttered with a mouthful), thank you for the recommendation!

As I was enjoying my pizza and a better beer, some friends showed up.  After a review of the menu and seeing my pizza, they too ordered The Banick, along with some house well drinks at half price to wash things down with.

Wichita Brewing Company
Whiskey and beer

Their pizza also arrived in short order, but they got freshly shaved Parmesan cheese on their pizza right there at the bar!  Feeling slighted, I asked the gentleman bringing out their order to hit the remaining half of my pizza with the Parm.  "No problem," he responded.  The pizza was excellent without the parm, but it was even better with!

Why I didn't get that option when my pizza was delivered, is a question that went unanswered by the bar staff.  And that's when the service went steadily downhill.

While the obligatory questions up to that point were asked by the bartender trainer and the trainee (how is your pizza? for example), now we were at a point where we had to ask for drinks to be refilled and my friends weren't asked how their pizza order tasted.  The bar hadn't gotten busier either.

I ordered some Leopold Brothers BlackBerry whiskey for tasting.  My friends and I all enjoyed it and agreed it was dangerously smooth, pleasurably fruity and sweet. 

The beverages were top notch, the pizza was fantastic but the service was minimally obligatory.  To repeat, we had to ask for drink refills, we weren't even asked if we wanted dessert and it took forever to get our checks and settle our respective tabs.

My pizza, select beers and whiskey cost me $42.10 to include tip.  I usually tip 20%, but on this occasion, I only did 15%.

The Wichita Brewery Company gets four out of five Metro Pursuit stars.  They could have gotten a five if they had better service.  I'll tell you this, their pizza represents the Air Capital well.  It's damn good and a repeat buy, despite the less-than-stellar service.

4 stars

The Wichita Brewery Company visited is located at 535 N Woodlawn Blvd #375, Wichita, KS 67208

But my search has only just begun....  I'll be visiting a large variety of restaurants and sampling all types of food, getting input from patrons and restaurant gurus alike, trying to get a feel for what Wichita's Signature Dish might be.....  Oh, and national chain restaurants will NOT be a part of this challenge, I'm keeping it as local as possible, a true evaluation in finding what might be Wichita's Signature Dish.   

Stay tuned!

What a challenge huh?  I am SO looking forward to the rest of this challenge!

What do you think might be Wichita's signature dish?  Comment below.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Enjoy this post?

Buy Me a Coffee

If you appreciate the article you just read and want to support more great content on BachelorontheCheap.com, you can help keep this site going with a one-time or a monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

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Does Gambino's have the best pizza around?

By Mike Thayer

Signature dishes, it's food that embodies a region, it's a celebration of iconic cultural flavors, where natives and tourists alike embrace that bowl, that plate, that sandwich, that finger food and say, "You HAVE to try this!".... 

Examples of iconic signature dishes includes the Rueben sandwich in New York; crab cakes in Baltimore; The Philly Cheese Steak in Philadelphia; Fried Chicken in Atlanta; Deep dish pizza in Chicago; Bratwurst in Milwaukee; Gumbo in New Orleans and Cedar plank Salmon in Seattle.

So with all that iconic food in mind, does Wichita have a signature dish, or is the Mid-Continent City a melting pot of foods and flavors?

Having fun and inspired by this Signature Dish Challenge, I decided to visit Gambino's Pizza......  But is pizza worthy of Wichita's Signature Dish status?

Gambino's Mobster Pizza
Gambino's Mobster Pizza

I really like Gambino's, it's my go-to place for pizza and in my humble opinion their pizza is WAY better than anything Pizza Hut, Papa John's or Domino's cranks out.  I got my first taste of Gambino's back in February and I've been hooked ever since.

On this occasion, I ordered the Mobster, a specialty pizza and one of Gambino's most popular.  The Mobster features toppings of Beef, Pork Sausage, Mushroom, Pepperoni, Italian Sausage, Green Pepper, Onion, Black Olive, Canadian Style Bacon, Salami, and Extra Cheese.  It's an outstanding combination of meats, veggies and melty cheese.....  I placed my order online for a large on original crust.  The confirmation stated the pizza would be ready in 20 minutes and indeed it was, it was ready for me when I walked in the door, right on time!  My order only cost me just $11.02 and it was DELICIOUS!  Every bite was jam packed with flavor and the pie was baked to perfection.  The Gambino's Mobster would be a fine representative of Wichita's Signature Dish and gets five out of five stars!  The service, impeccable timing, the quality of the ingredients and most importantly, the flavors of the Mobster made for an excellent pizza experience!

5 stars

The Gambino's visited is located at:  1520 S. Webb Rd., Unit 120, Wichita

But my search has only just begun....  I'll be visiting a large variety of restaurants and sampling all types of food, getting input from patrons and restaurant gurus alike, trying to get a feel for what Wichita's Signature Dish might be.....  Oh, and national chain restaurants will NOT be a part of this challenge, I'm keeping it as local as possible, a true evaluation in finding what might be Wichita's Signature Dish.   

Stay tuned!

What a challenge huh?  I am SO looking forward to the rest of this challenge!

What do you think might be Wichita's signature dish?  Comment below.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Enjoy this post?

Buy Me a Coffee

If you appreciate the article you just read and want to support more great content on BachelorontheCheap.com, you can help keep this site going with a one-time or a monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

follow me on twitter @Bacheloronthe1

follow me on Pinterest

follow me on Instagram

Facebook