Each week, Kristy Alpert highlights a restaurant where $8 or less goes a long way.
This week I headed out to Serious Pizza in Deep Ellum to satisfy a … wait for it … serious pizza craving. It’s been a while since I’ve ventured out that way during lunch hours, and the scene was definitely less than hopping. That is, until I walked in the restaurant. All the booths were taken by chatting co-workers and debating seminary students. Even the spots at the bar were full with people watching the chefs toss enormous sheets of dough behind the counter. Lucky for me it was a sunny day and they had open tables outside, shaded by umbrellas along the sidewalk patio.
Serious Pizza is new to Dallas. They opened on March 24. Owners Andrew Phillips and Mike Turley have already made a decent mark on the local pizza scene with their hand-made vegan dough and ridiculously huge pies. It was fun to watch customers struggle to fit their to-go XL pizzas (30”) through the door. (Casual Observer’s Tip: tilt one side up.)
My lunch mate and I both ordered calzones ($7.95 each) after a zealous recommendation from the girl at the counter. We grabbed our sodas, perused the beer selection (they sell 40!), and went back outside to wait.
After many synthesized renditions of what I can only assume was an “original song” from the homeless man with a keytar on the corner and two sodas down, the calzones arrived. My first reaction? “This is meant for one person?” Each calzone, roughly the size of a standard NFL football, comes with a bowl of freshly-made marinara sauce, and is loaded with mozzarella, ricotta, and Parmesan cheeses along with fresh garlic and herbs, and a choice of two toppings. I ordered pepperoni and jalapeños (or jala-roni as I call it), while my friend opted for a bit more sophisticated choice of grilled chicken and marinated artichokes with a side of homemade ranch dressing($0.50). Both were great, but my friend definitely won with her chicken-Alfredo-esque selection.
Why so serious? Well, as I mentioned, the calzones were seriously big, came seriously packed with cheese (easy on the ricotta; which I enjoyed), and were seriously heavy on ingredients. Mine was seriously cute with a little pepperoni baked on the top of the crust (insert obnoxiously cutesy smiley-faced emoticon).
Overall: Loved the vibe. In true Deep Ellum form, the owners with tattoo-sleeved arms toss the dough in the open-air kitchen/bar. Live music if you’re lucky enough to catch the keytar-playing man on a good day. For $7.95 I got lunch and leftovers to feed me and my husband for dinner that night.
2807 Elm St., Dallas, 75226
Well Dishers? Where should I go next for my $8 lunch?