Sunday, November 18, 2012

Eschew the popular sports bars, The Plaza Pub serves the best bar pizza in town.

The Plaza Pub is an unassuming dive on the corner of 62nd and Douglas, across the street from the less-popular side of Merle Hay Mall.

A couple of visits here recently afforded me some quality time to quaff down some big-ass mugs of good beer – on both occasions the seasonal Oktoberfest from Sam Adams – and feast on the best pizza I've had in a true bar setting in these parts.

No glorified toaster ovens more suited for frozen discs of Tombstone used here. No indeed. At the Plaza Pub, they utilize a proper double-decker, gas-fueled oven. If you come early enough, expect a wait for the ovens to get up to temp. That's the way it is, and all the more reason for that big mug of beer to while away the minutes awaiting awesomeness.

As a time-saver Plaza Pub employs a par-cooked crust. But once you take a bite of their cracker-crisp house-made crust, any doubts of the quality slip way with each delicious bite.

Scanning the simple, functional menu on my first visit, I was compelled to try the Pella, topped with Pella bologna and sauerkraut. Here's where some of you reading this recoil in disgust at such unusual, seemingly discordant toppings.

The aroma of the sauerkraut entices; its tartness pairs well with the bright red sauce. The abundant cheese and the rich, meaty Pella bologna offers up a complimentary contrast.

On my next visit I opt for the more traditionally topped Mad Max, laden with pepperoni, sausage, black olives, and seasoned with Cavender's Greek Seasoning. The seasoning adds zip but is not overpowering. I should note that Cavender's does contain monosodium glutamate (MSG) but I wouldn't have guessed so at the time.

The Plaza Pub is also known for its signature shot – the '63 Chevy, made with Amaretto, Southern Comfort, Yukon Jack, orange and pineapple juices. Not being a regular I lacked knowledge of this dangerous combo, and instead washed down my last slice of the Mad Max with a neat room-temperature shot of Stoli Hot, a jalapeño-flavored vodka. On its own the crisp, distinct heat creeps up fast. I was singularly impressed and will keep an eye out for this gem.

I was dismayed it came in a disposable plastic shot cup. They move a lot of shots in this bar – on this day it was chilled Fireball cinnamon-flavored whiskey liqueur – so I can understand the necessity. But for this drinker who prefers to sip, I like my hooch in glass.

Despite this personal preference I look forward to more visits to the Plaza Pub. On those days when I'm down in the dumps, I can't think of a better place to drown my sorrows and feed my soul. A Bacon Cheeseburger pizza and couple of '63 Chevys should suffice. Discount chocolate from Target across the street would be a decadent bonus for the bus ride home.

The Plaza Pub on Urbanspoon

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