Whenever a new pizzeria opens, I’m always torn between wanting to try it right away and wanting to give it time to work the bugs out.
Well, the other day, Pizza Boy Pizza opened on North Clinton Avenue downtown, and this time I decided not to wait, especially after seeing their advertised everyday deal of a large thin crust cheese pizza for $4.97. It seemed highly unlikely that I could get a decent large pizza for that price, but I figured at worst I’d only be out five bucks, so why not?
I went in around lunchtime and ordered my pizza in person. I was told it would be about 30 minutes. I showed up 30 minutes later and was told that because I hadn’t paid in advance, it hadn’t been put in the oven, but had been “half made,” so, once I paid, it would be another 10 minutes. Although nobody had said anything about this rule when I ordered, I was only mildly annoyed, as I figured this is what I get for going in during their first week of operation.
One silver lining was that while I was waiting, they put out samples of their Tex-Mex pizza, so I got to try that. It wasn’t bad, kind of like a taco on a pizza crust.
At last my pizza came out. On inspection, I found that it measured 14 inches across, and had been screen baked. The browned underside had a few charred spots, was fairly crisp, and was not greasy.
This was a cheesy pizza, with relatively little sauce. There was a fair amount of neon orange oil or grease on top, which I imagine oozed out of the cheese. It did after a while soak through to the bottom, especially in the center of the pizza. A few napkins might be advisable here to soak up the oil.
I did detect a faint herbal flavor in there somewhere, from the sauce I guess, but overall the predominant components here were the crust and cheese.
The crust didn’t have an especially great interior, and wasn’t particularly bready, but it wasn’t bad by any means. The thick lip at the edge seemed to have been brushed with oil and was something like a lightly oiled breadstick in both flavor and texture.
Pizza Boy has a pretty standard list of pizza toppings, and eight specialty pizzas, including a Country Sweet Chicken pizza and a breakfast pizza. They also offer calzones, strombolis and breadsticks (aha!), “mega wings” (nine sauces), hot and cold subs, salads, and a handful of packaged refrigerated desserts.
As for the setup, there is just a little seating, with a few chairs and a few stools. There’s no parking to speak of, although there is metered parking nearby, and I was able to park right out front.
The prices here are a little odd - it’s $4.97 for a large thin crust cheese pizza, and $11.95 for a large cheese pizza with a 2-liter soda. I would not pay $7 extra just to get a 2-liter bottle of Pepsi (I guess the latter deal isn’t limited to thin-crust pizza, but I still wouldn’t pay that much extra).
In any event, the $4.97 deal is a good one, and I have no real complaints. Despite the mixup over prepayment, service was friendly and earnest. This was not the best pizza I’ve ever had, but it certainly wasn’t bad, and pizzawise it may be the best value for the money around here. I have to wonder how long a deal like this will last, so get it while you can. I was thinking B- or C+ on this one, so giving them a little boost for the price, I’ll round it up to a B-.
Pizza Boy Pizza, 154 N. Clinton Ave. 454-1934
Mon. - Wed. 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., Thu. - Sat. 11 a.m. - 3 a.m. (no delivery after 10 p.m.), Sun. 2 p.m. - 9 p.m.