Relocating from the Crescent Hill area, I’ve lived in the Hikes Point neighborhood now for nearly five years. It was admittedly at first a struggle to find much to do in close vicinity to my house, at least in comparison to the massive amount of fun shit to get into on Frankfort Avenue. But the longer I’ve lived in the Bon Air part of town, I’ve more often than not found more and more reasons that my ‘hood is pretty damned cool in it’s own way.
Case in point: The Hikes Point Pizza Place. Nestled in at 2931 Richland Ave (right off of Brown’s Lane) I had no idea this place even existed until a week ago when my wife came home raving about how good their pizza is. I dismissively thought to myself, “Um, I’ve lived in Louisville for almost my entire life, and I’m pretty sure I know about all of this city’s premier pizza places.”
She talked me into going last Sunday by informing me that Pizza Place has the NFL Ticket (the Direct TV package that includes every NFL matchup every Sunday), and considering we were looking for a place to watch the 1PM slot of games, I figured “Sure, whatever. They have beer, so that’s good.”
We arrived shortly after 1 o’clock in the afternoon, and as we were walking into this unassuming place across the street from a Dollar General my eyes immediately locked on to their small selection of awesome arcades, most notably X-Men: Children of the Atom (HELL YES!!). The machine was sandwiched in between a classic claw grab machine and a Crusin’ USA cabinet which caused me to have a semi-orgasmic flashback to the feeling of walking in to Showbiz Pizza as a kid.
OK, nerdgasm over. We were seated at a table near the bar surrounded by televisions, all of which were showcasing an ever-so-important NFL football game. Breakfast seemed like so long ago, and we were really hungry so we decided to maximize our pigskin watching experience by ordering some wings. After perusing their options, we decided to order six each of the Sriracha, Habanero and Cajun Dried, all of which weren’t fried, but baked. They wings themselves were decently sized, plump and full of juicy white meat. While all of the flavors were enjoyable, my personal favorite was the sticky, delicious Sriracha variety.
Here’s what the wings looked like when they were delivered to our table:
The wings didn’t stand a chance as they were quickly devoured, which allowed us to move on to the main course and reason we came to this place to begin with. We didn’t go over the top with our pizza order simply asking for half to be topped with pepperonis and jalapeños, and the other to have mushrooms and onions — we wanted to stay simple to get the essence of what their pies are all about. As I said before, I’d never heard of this place and had literally no expectations, so at first glance as our pizza arrived, I quickly grew excited about what I was about put into my stomach.
Here’s what the pizza looked like at arrival:
What separates this rendition from other pizzerias in Louisville for me is the fact that they stick to the basics allowing each ingredient and flavor to shine on it’s own. And I love that there isn’t too much or too little of anything — you don’t have a heaping load of stringy cheese to deal with, and the crust is thick enough without serving as a heaping lump of dough with some toppings on it. Yeah, it’s a bit misshapen, but dear God, what a fantastic almost-circle of food this was. Everything about this pizza was fantastic, from the perfectly cooked, buttered crust, to the brown and yellow cheese and hot tomato sauce. I mean, look at that photo above and tell me your mouth isn’t watering.
It’s also worth mentioning how warm and friendly the staff is at The Pizza Place that makes for an alluring sense of camaraderie. Yeah, this was my maiden voyage as a pizza patron here, but it didn’t take long to feel as if I’d been hanging out at this bar/restaurant for years.
Maybe you’re looking for a new spot to watch the big game, or perhaps you’re just searching for fantastic pizza. Shit, you may already know about The Pizza Place and how awesome it is. Whatever, either way, the next time you’re fiending for pizza, get your ass out to Hikes Point and treat yourself to what might be the best pie in the city.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Phillip Olympia is absolutely, positively not a food critic. Having said that, he really, really loves food, and he really appreciates Louisville’s effervescent independent restaurant scene which is why we have decided to embark on a series of posts documenting a singular item from a particular menu from one of many local spots. We’re calling this series “Food For Fun” because, well, I don’t know. It’s a dumb name, but you’ll get over it.