If you’re among the politically correct, you’ll want to skip dining at Louie G’s Pizzeria in Fife.
But if you’re simply hungry, come on down.
The pizzeria features specialty pies named for various mobsters. There’s the Gambino, the Lucky (for Mr. Luciano), the Gotti and a few others that might prove offensive to zealous members of the Sons of Italy.
But for the rest of us, the pizza titles are just plain fun.
And the generously topped pies served by owner and chief pizza maker Louie Galarza could feed an entire army of wiseguys.
Galarza opened Louie G’s last November on Pacific Highway, Fife’s busy thoroughfare. A wrong turn led him to the business. Searching for an exit to I-5, he drove past a restaurant and noticed its resemblance to Presti’s, a landmark Italian eatery in Maple Valley, where Galarza once worked.
When he later learned the Fife business was for sale, he knew he’d taken a wrong turn for a reason.
He remodeled, brought in gas-fired brick ovens from New York and started selling pizza.
The scene: Leatherette booths and red vinyl chairs complement faux brick walls in this family-friendly restaurant. Ask about the painting of John Presti on the wall; it’s a tribute to Galarza’s old boss.
Type of food: Louie G’s advertises itself as a pizzeria, but it’s much, much more. Pizzas range from the 8-inch mini-pie ($3.99 for cheese, added toppings 50 cents each) to the mondo 28-inch Little Italy ($39.95 for cheese, added toppings $3 each). The menu includes subs, salads, nine kinds of pasta, ravioli, veal and chicken Parmesan and more.
Dishes sampled: My family of three sampled two kinds of pizza, a pasta dish and a specialty called a stromboli, which is a sort of Italian burrito. I hadn’t seen stromboli on a menu since childhood, so I ordered the Mama Louie G’s Veggie ($8.99). It’s named for the owner’s mom, who is a vegetarian.
My stromboli was a tasty dough roll packed with onions, black olives, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, tomatoes and white sauce tinged with garlic. I could only finish half.
My teenage daughter liked the pasta marinara ($7.99), topped with a sauce that sported plenty of chunky tomatoes.
My husband tasted the creative Marty’s Artesian pizza (prices from $5.99 for a mini to $23.99 for an extra large). It came with white sauce, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, cashews, black olives and feta cheese. The original Marty’s comes with grilled chicken, but our waitress cheerfully agreed to leave it off when we told her we are vegetarians.
We also sampled a most delicious appetizer called Technician Bread ($1.99 for the 6-inch; $3.99 for the 12-inch). It’s garlic bread topped with brown sugar, cinnamon and mozzarella.
And finally, the gold standard in any pizzeria: a plain cheese pizza had crust to die for but could have used a bit more sauce.
The greatest: Louie G’s has got pizza dough down cold. Or should I say hot? Galarza uses a 100-year-old dough recipe adapted from one developed by John Presti’s grandparents in Sicily. Galarza takes the dough and fluffs it up nicely in his New York ovens. It comes out crispy and delicately charred to perfection. The standard crust is neither thin nor deep-dish, but a nice in-between.
Louie G’s does offer a thin-crust New York-style pizza, the Gotti ($14.99), which comes with no top cheese layer and is cut into extra-large slices.
Coulda been better: I like my red sauce a tad more tart than Galarza, who favors additional sugar and modest amounts of garlic and herbs. He says most customers enjoy the sauce, which elicits less heartburn than some more fiery versions. I say heartburn is a small price to pay for sauce that talks back to you.
Stop the presses: When was the last time you heard of a restaurant lowering its prices? Galarza just did, shaving $1 off each of his five specialty pizza sizes.
Drinks: Louie G’s just got its liquor license approved, so patrons can now enjoy beer with their pizza.
Debbie Cafazzo: 253-597-8635
Louie G’s Pizzeria
Where: 4802 Pacific Highway E., Suite B
Hours: 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. or later Mondays-Fridays; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. or later Saturdays; closed Sundays
Details: Discounts to active military, police officers, firefighters, truckers and seniors.
Online: louiegspizza.com should be up and running soon
Phone: 253-926-9700 or 253-926-9701
Price Range: $$
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