Don Bauder 7:35 p.m., June 19
Located in the food-friendly section of University Heights by the intersection of Park and Adams, this pizza place saw some renovations at the end of last summer and has become quite the charming location. The intimate interior and very cozy patio make the space inside ideal for convivial times, even if dining solo. I popped in by myself for a quick slice of pizza and the staff made a genuine effort to engage me, even going so far as to spur on conversation between customers at the bar.
With Peroni in bottles and four beers on draft ($4.50 pints and $10.75 pitchers), "pizza and beer" is a viable option. The restaurant has a more impressive wine list, however, with bottles under $20 and glasses in the $5-$10 range. There is even an post-pizza Port, which you don't see every day.
Any pizza can come on herb, whole wheat, or traditional crust and the selection of specialty pies is wide enough that excessive customization may not be necessary for most diners. A small Sophia ($9.50) came with handmade meatballs, sweet onions, and roasted tomatoes that were luxuriously deep in flavor. The crust was neither thick nor thin and had enough body to resist folding limply in half when lifted. Cheese was heavy but remained under the threshold whereby the pizza was able to cook completely.
The care in preparation of the meatballs and tomatoes definitely gave the 'za an upscale touch.
Large pizzas are sensibly priced $4 more than smalls and a gluten-free option adds a $3 charge to the cost of a large.
The Bangkok pizza also looked very intriguing. Topped with chicken, peanut sauce, and vegetables, it might be a worthwhile departure for anyone, particularly those who eschew red sauce.
The anti-pizza crowd can choose from a wide variety of salads and sandwiches, none of which exceed $8 in cost. Light eaters can get a single slice of pizza baked to order for $3.50.
Happy Hour runs from 4-6 every day and puts a 20% discount on the entire check. Mondays and Tuesdays, the discount grows to 30%.
Delivery is available in the restaurant's immediate area. The range is limited since all the food gets driven via golf cart, so call and check before considering delivery a done deal.
4615 Park Boulevard