This is Pastor Tim’s article that appeared in the Evening Leader on Monday, Dec 7, 2020
It was the Sunday after Thanksgiving and I decided I wanted some pizza for lunch. I have had all of the pizza chains, so I decided to try something a little more local. I ordered a pizza from Villa Nova and I have to tell you, it is the best pizza I have had in town. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I would recommend that you give them a try.
That got me thinking, what do people like on their pizza? FYI, there is a correct way and an incorrect way to make a pizza. The only correct answer: extra cheese, extra sauce, tomatoes and mushrooms made on Villa Nova’s fresh crust. I have never quite understood the need to put meat on pizza, even prior to becoming a vegetarian. Meat makes pizza greasy, especially pepperoni. Do you know the ingredients of pepperoni? If you order that on pizza, you obviously don’t.
Pizza and I go way back. It has always been my favorite food, even those horrible school lunch pizzas they used to serve us. Zero nutritional value, but man, were they good. Friday was always pizza day, and it was the high-light of my week. Did I mention that I also had to have bariatric surgery back in 2006? I am sure these are not related in any way.
I worked my way through college by working at two different pizza places. I worked at a place called Padrone’s, which was located in Ada right next to the movie theater. I delivered a lot of pizza to spoiled college kids, most of whom did not have jobs and were in their rooms ordering pizza so that some poor working wretch like me could brave the elements to bring it to them for usually no tip. I finally got tired of drunk college kids claiming I didn’t give them the correct change (yes, when your order is $4.50 and you give me $5.00, you get two quarters back). I was ashamed to say that I actually had that argument with a kid who was in the same math class I was in. To this day I pray I got a better grade than he did.
I decided to upgrade, and I started delivering for a place called the Alger Freeze. I loved that job because it was in my hometown, so the vast majority of the people I delivered to were people I knew either from my church or from school. There were no dormitories, spoiled college kids or alcohol to deal with and it was wonderful. Also, the food at the Freeze was far superior to Padrone’s. The pizza at Villa Nova’s reminds me a lot of pizza from the Freeze.
When it comes to chain pizza stores, I think the best I have had is East of Chicago. They don’t have the hometown flavor or quality of a Villa Nova, but when it comes to cookie cutter places to eat, they are probably my favorite. Papa John’s is also good, but they are very pricey. It’s a “you get what you pay for” for thing, I guess.
But now comes the biggest controversy of this article. Ranch on pizza? Yes or no. Again, this is a question with a clear and obvious correct answer. And that answer is YES! Ranch on pizza is excellent. I highly recommend Hidden Valley Ranch Southwest Chipotle Ranch. Get a bottle of that with your next pizza and you can send your notes of appreciation to my email.
There are essentially four parts of a pizza that can make it good: crust, sauce, toppings and cheese. Normally on a good pizza, one of these four things will stand out. If you like crust, no one beats Pizza Hut. They used to have a pretzel crust you could get thin and crispy. I was very sorry when that was discontinued. Sauce needs to have some tang to it but not overpower the pizza. I really like Villa Nova’s sauce; it brings the pizza together perfectly. Toppings need to work together, which is why you need fresh vegetables and not meat to weigh everything down. Dominos’ strength is in their topping mix and I very much enjoy their fresh vegetables. The downfall of all chain pizza places is the cheese. You cannot skimp out on cheese on a pizza. This is why the best cheese experience is probably the bowling alley here in town, but JTs has a gluten-free crust pizza that is excellent and has plenty of cheese.
You got a favorite pizza? I’d love to hear about it. Feel free to email me your best pizza in town, or if you are enraged because I think meat doesn’t belong on pizza, feel free to let me know that too and I will politely point out where you have gone wrong in your life.
Do I care what you have on pizza? No. I just figured all of us could use a break from everything else going on and what better distraction is there than pizza?