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Sunday, May 26, 2024

We Love Pizza

Why do we love pizza?
That’s an easy answer — but not a short one. It’s customizable, shareable, delectable, portable, and we can’t get enough of it, making Evansville a perfect place for us. Pizzerias cover this city and its surrounding areas, each with its own twist on a piece of pie.

People Behind the Pizza

Pizza makers explain their passion for their pies  By Jenny McNeece • Photos by Jerry Butts

Eric Weber
By The Slice Gourmet Pizzeria

The idea for By the Slice Gourmet Pizzeria, 2011 Lincoln Ave., near the University of Evansville, started 20 years ago as a graduate school project while owner Eric Weber was a student at Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York. He envisioned a pizzeria where customers could come in, choose a slice from an assortment of specialty pizzas, then sit a spell while it baked to bubbling, browned perfection.

“That’s how I like it best,” says Weber. “We usually make 12 different kinds of pizza, some daily, but others vary on different days of the week. And we try new stuff all the time, too.

“Customers can come up to the counter, take a look at what we’ve got made for that day, pick what they want, and we put it back in the oven to finish it off.”

Weber says his pizzeria, which opened in 1994, has become a popular place for young professionals looking for a quick slice of pizza on their lunch hour or even groups of regulars who look forward to the ever-changing daily specials. Some of their most popular pies, he says, are a spinach and feta cheese pizza garnished with garlic, olive oil, and mozzarella, and another with creamy ranch dressing, red onion, mozzarella, and tomato.

Weber has created pizzas that meet the rules of popular fad diets, all because his goal, he says, is to give people what they want all while encouraging them to think outside the usual pizza box.

“We have a group of regular guys who always comes in on Tuesdays,” says Weber. “They’re the kind of customers I like because they usually like to play around a little bit with what they choose.

“But I think the idea for a pizzeria like this works because there are a lot of times when you don’t want a whole pizza,” he says. “You just want a snack, and we can give you that.”

For more information about By the Slice, call 812-402-8518.

(Eric Weber sold The Slice to Tom Ruhl in summer 2024.)

Tom and Kathy Groves
Kitchen Sink Pizza of Evansville

People often ask Tom and Kathy Groves about the meaning behind their pizzeria’s name, Kitchen Sink Pizza.

And the answer is just as one might expect.

“Well, it comes from the phrase ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ because that’s exactly what we put on our pizza,” Tom Groves says with a laugh. “That is our specialty, and we try to keep those in stock at all times because people love them so much.”

Kitchen Sink’s business model is different than most. The couple doesn’t operate a store front business; they simply assemble the pizzas at 1815 John St. two days a week, and Tom Groves does daily deliveries.

The popular Kitchen Sink pizza is available most days. But those who want multiple pizzas — the minimum order is two — or other recipes must order ahead.

The pies then arrive frozen and ready to bake.

Tom Groves’ family once owned Evansville’s popular Pour House Restaurant, an establishment that originally opened in the 1970s as a bar on Mount Vernon Avenue. Groves tended bar while a student at Ball State University, and when he returned, his family opened the music club together.

But it was their entry into the craft of making specialty pizzas that catapulted them into the local restaurant business, and they operated successfully until 1986.

“I never thought another thing about making pizzas,” says Groves. “Then about five years ago, somebody mentioned something on Facebook about the pizzas we used to make. It got all kinds of hits and likes, so we started making them again for friends and family.

“From there, it just took off.”

Tom, a sales associate with Indoff, an office supply and furniture company based in St., Louis and Kathy, a fourth-grade teacher at Holy Rosary School, have enjoyed their return to the pizza-making business, but they have no employees and don’t necessarily want any.

“It has worked really well for us,” says Groves. “We are as busy as we want to be, and we hope to continue doing this when we retire.”

Orders can be emailed directly to kitchensinkpizza@gmail.com or called into 812-305-4412. They also can be found on Facebook by searching Kitchen Sink Pizza of Evansville.

(Kitchen Sink Pizza has closed since the publication of this article.)

Brad Niemeier
Azzip Pizza

Brad Niemeier opened Azzip Pizza — that’s pizza spelled backwards — in February of 2014. Fresh out of college and armed with $20,000 in prize money after winning Purdue University’s Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition, he searched high and low to find the perfect spot to implement his plan of providing quick, made-to-order personal-size pizzas.

“I thought about doing it at Purdue, but I decided I wanted to bring my idea back to Evansville,” the hometown boy says. “I knew all the support and connections I had made in this community, and I eventually found the perfect spot on the West Side.”

Azzip Pizza, 5225 Pearl Drive, offers what Niemeier likes to call “fast, casual pizza.” The pizzas come in either 8- or 11-inch sizes, and customers pick their preferred toppings.

“They make it right there in front of you, and it bakes in just 2 minutes and 30 seconds,” he says proudly. “And all of them are made with fresh ingredients, fresh dough we make and roll out in-house everyday.”

The community he loved embraced him as well. Azzip has done well on the West Side, says Niemeier, who is partnered with local chef Blake Kollker, formerly of the Evansville Country Club. He recently opened a second location in Newburgh, Indiana, at 8680 High Point Drive.

Kollker has since helped Azzip to launch some of its most unique specialty pizzas, ones like the Westsider, which features Marx Barbecue sauce, cheese, pork, red onions, and crushed Grippos sprinkled on top, as well as the Mr. Potato Head, which boasts a ranch-based sauce, red-skinned potatoes, bacon, cheddar cheese, and chive sour cream.

“The response has been great,” says Niemeier. “We’ve got people who have come in every week since we opened. It’s been phenomenal.”

For more information about Azzip Pizza, call 812-401-3572 or visit azzippizza.me.

The Right Rise

Experiment in the kitchen, and find your perfect hand-tossed pizza crust.
By Eli Haddix • Photos by Heather Gray

When experimenting in the kitchen, sometimes using a recipe is best. Particularly when it comes to baking, essential chemistry for a great final product can be missed if you’re not careful. On the other hand, half the fun of novelty can come from “winging it.”

Pizza exists firmly in both of these categories. For the crust, knowledge of how various ingredients interact can determine whether or not you achieve the perfect texture. From a thin, cracker-style crust to a thick, deep dish, Chicago-style pie, the yeast (or lack thereof) is the key. How you handle yeast determines, for the most part, how much rise you will have in your crust.

My personal favorite, stylistically, is a hand-tossed crust — not too thin, not too thick, flavorful, but not so much that the flavor takes away from the toppings. This style provides for a more artisan aesthetic as well, leaving symmetry to be an afterthought. Adding your best-loved meats, veggies, and cheeses gives this pizza an end result much greater than the sum of its parts. Let the little ones join in, because this pizza is fun for everybody!


• 2-2½ cups all-purpose flour
• 1 packet (¼ ounce) of rapid-rise yeast
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
• Various herbs of your liking
• Pizza sauce (Marinara sauce works)
• 1 cup warm water (120-130 degrees)
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• Cornmeal (available in the baking section)
• Granulated garlic
• Toppings of your choice


Begin by combining two cups flour, dry yeast, salt, and sugar. Mix in a generous amount of granulated garlic and dried (or fresh) herbs. Add warm water and olive oil to flour mixture. Slowly add just enough flour to pull the dough from the sides of the bowl and make it nice and soft. I prefer to use my stand mixer for efficiency, but just a fork and some elbow grease works just fine. Using the bread hook attachment (or just your hands), knead until smooth and elastic, roughly 5 minutes. Cover with a damp cloth and let your dough rest on a floured surface for up to 30 minutes. Depending on how long you let it rise and how large you choose to make your pizza, you can get up to two whole pies out of this crust.

While the dough is rising, preheat your oven to 400, and lightly oil a round pizza pan. Sprinkle pan with cornmeal (this adds texture and helps keep it from sticking). Shape your dough into a smooth ball, and begin rolling. As I mentioned earlier, symmetry is almost impossible to achieve, so delight in the imperfections. Leave a little extra dough on the edges for a risen crust feel.

For this example, I softened a 1/3 cup of butter and combined it with 1 tablespoon of granulated garlic, a 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, a 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, 1 teaspoon of oregano, and 1 teaspoon of basil. Using a pastry brush, generously coat the entire crust with the garlic butter mixture. With the remaining toppings, less is more. A little of each ingredient goes a long way. I used spinach, sliced cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, prosciutto, capocollo, roasted red bell peppers, and shredded mozzarella (any pizza blend works). Cheesing the pizza on top or directly on the crust has little to no bearing on the final product, merely the presentation. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the edges are golden brown and cheese is melted.

A Slice of Heaven

Photos by Michael Wheatley

Try not to drool — here we give you a rare side-by-side visual comparison of slices from select pizza joints around town. We welcome you to taste your way through each piece and place.

WHAT: Angelo’s Supreme
WHERE: Angelo’s Italian Restaurant, 305 Main St.
WHY WE CRAVE THIS PLACE: Angelo’s menu options range from Veal ala Limone to this loaded slice. Perfect for a dinner date or lunch meeting, Angelo’s combines atmosphere with a sophisticated cuisine and extensive wine list.

WHAT: Spinach and Feta
WHERE: By The Slice Gourmet Pizzeria, 2011 Lincoln Ave.
WHY WE CRAVE THIS PLACE: Creative pizza slices like this Spinach and Feta piece are on display when first entering By the Slice. Customers pick a piece and sit back or play pool while the sumptuous slice bakes in the oven.

WHAT: Schaum’s Special
WHERE: Schaum’s Pizzeria, 210 S. Green River Road
WHY WE CRAVE THIS PLACE: Schaum’s Pizzeria, formerly Greek’s Family Pizzeria, is known for a family-friendly environment and its Schaum’s Special. Customers chat, chow down on the Gourmet Wings Pizza or the Cordon Bleu Pizza, and can listen to a band each Wednesday night.

It’s Hip to be Square

Photos by Michael Wheatley

Through our tasty research, we discovered Evansville is a square-town. The tradition of the una style — a light cracker-thin crust, cut in a grid — began in Evansville more than 40 years ago, and it’s caught on.

WHAT: Roca Pesto
WHERE: Roca Bar, 4600 Washington Ave.
WHY WE CRAVE THIS PLACE: Roca Bar offers daring flavor combinations. Surprising pies include the breakfast pizza and this sundried tomato, spinach, and black olive combination.

WHAT: The Supreme
WHERE: Kipplee’s, 2350 E. Division St.
WHY WE CRAVE THIS PLACE: Kipplee’s has a long history in Evansville, starting as Harold’s Tavern in 1948. Today, it’s known for tasty pies, like the BBQ Chicken, Cajun, and this Supreme.

WHAT: Spankey’s Supreme
WHERE: Spankey’s Una Pizza, 714 N. Sonntag Ave.
WHY WE CRAVE THIS PLACE: With its cracker-thin crust, melted slices of mozzarella, and fresh vegetables, it’s no wonder people keep coming back for these delicious squares.

WHAT: Ham and Pineapple
WHERE: Deerhead Sidewalk Cafe, 222 E. Columbia St.
WHY WE CRAVE THIS PLACE: Deerhead serves up its famous double decker pizza alongside live music. Deerhead also offers traditional pies like this ham and pineapple piece.

Una and Only

Una-style pizzerias serve Evansville’s signature style

It’s difficult to miss the multitude of pizzerias proudly displaying the phrase una pizza: Steve’s, Spankey’s, Harmes’, Jimmy’s, Rick’s, Stan’s, Una-Tu, and Covert — eight locations in the area from Boonville, Indiana, to the West Side. Though all use the term una, the restaurants do not make up a chain and are wholly unaffiliated except for the style of each shop’s handmade pizza pies.

“We’re not a chain,” says Ryan Huck, co-owner of Spankey’s Una Pizza at 714 N. Sonntag Ave. “Spankey’s put una in its name because of the style of pizza we serve. But we don’t have a connection to the other una pizzas. Other pizza places make una-style pizzas, like Turoni’s (Pizzeria), but they just don’t put it in their name.”

A tradition more than 30 years old, Stan’s Una Pizza, 1101 Harmony Way, is one of Evansville’s most enduring una pizzas.

“Stan’s Una Pizza was started through Roca Bar,” says Judy Davis, an employee of Stan’s. “It’s a recipe that goes back over 40 years, and Stan’s revived and tweaked the una pizza recipe.”

The una-style pizza starts with the light crust. Taking a piece of pizza dough, the una chefs fold it multiple times and use a dough press or roller to achieve the iconic cracker-thin crust. Then they slather on the sauce, layering meat on top. That’s right — the meat is baked under the cheese, which is sliced rather than shredded. Then any combination of fresh vegetables is heaped on top. Once assembled, the pie is popped into the brick, wood-burning oven atop a pizza stone. According to Huck, the sliced cheese layer holds the heat closer to the baking stone.

After being a part of the region for so many years, the una-style pizza has become integrated into our food culture.

Pizza Spin-Offs

We’ve all been there — the waitress asks if you’d like to add anything else to your order, and the temptation sets in. Maybe you select a hold-you-over appetizer, delicious dessert, or an alternative to a pizza pie altogether. Here are four tasty takes we can’t resist.

Photo by Julie Hope

Nom! Nom! Strom! Strom!
A Midwestern stromboli, the baked-in-foil sandwich sold by University of Southern Indiana Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity at the Fall Festival or made every day at Pizza King, has little in common with the Italian version of the sandwich, which is made in pizza dough with Italian meats and cheese, layered and rolled, baked and sliced. Sounds great, but that’s not our stromboli. Pizza King is an Indiana brand — there are 74 stores throughout Indiana. In Evansville and Newburgh, it has operated for 45 years. Pizza King strombolis (6-inch or 12-inch) are made with zesty sausage, specially seasoned cheese, onions, and tomato sauce on a crusty-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside Vienna loaf. We call the Pizza King stromboli an Evansville tradition. Of course, a place called Pizza King should do pizzas well, too, and they do.

Pizza King, East Side, West Side, and Newburgh, Indiana; pizzakingevansville.com. Local and nationwide delivery.

Photo by Heather Gray

Calzone Prone
For those who want the great pizza taste without ordering a pizza, calzones are the way to go, and Milano Italian Cuisine serves seven flavors of the tasty pastry hot and fresh everyday with a side of marinara sauce. Milano’s fuses two Italian classics with the stromboli calzone. Stuffed with ground beef, Italian sausage, green peppers, and onions, the stromboli calzone is a favorite among Milano’s customers. For those who prefer meatless, choose spinach or a cheese calzone. Each pastry is baked for 10 minutes until the tops reach golden-brown perfection, leaving the crust soft on the inside.

Milano Italian Cuisine, 500 Main St., 812-484-2222, facebook.com/milanositaliancuisine.

Photo by Heather Gray

A Sugary End
After enjoying a pizza, Heady’s Pizza offers a finger-licking good dessert that will have sweets lovers wanting more. Akin to their savory garlic knots with melted butter dipping sauce, Heady’s serves up cinna-knots with a warm white icing dip. Think of a cinnamon roll with the cinnamon, brown sugar, butter, and vanilla, but instead of a pinwheel formation, Heady’s ties knots with its homemade dough. Offered in orders of six, the knots are never complete without the white icing dipping sauce. Made from powdered sugar and butter, it’s tempting to lick the container clean.

Heady’s Pizza, 4120 N. First Ave., 812-437-4343, headyspizza.com.

The Art of Pizza

Artisan pizzas’ popularity rises rapidly

Artisan pizzas are the newest culinary trend sweeping the nation, and pie lovers are rejoicing. Forget the mess or dripping grease of a quickly thrown together pepperoni and cheese — that’s child’s play. An artisan is defined as a skilled worker who practices a trade, which describes the mastery and craftsmanship applied to each pizza. While there are many artisan pizzas waiting to be devoured in Evansville, here are four pizzas in particular that make our mouths water.

Vecchio’s Italian Market & Delicatessen

Vecchio’s Italian Market begins serving its artisan pizzas at 11 a.m. each day. They are available as long as supplies last, which means around noon you may be out of luck. Newburgh, Indiana, native Anna Smith, who has worked at Vecchio’s since its opening, admits to stashing pizza away for her own consumption. “We are never sad when there are leftovers and we get to eat them,” says Smith. “There aren’t leftovers very often. I will admit to taking some and hiding them in the back.” Vecchio’s recently moved from 14 W. Jennings St. down the road to 300 W. Jennings St. in Newburgh after chef and owner Amanda Hancock received a liver transplant. The market also is for sale. The pizza dough and sauce are made from scratch everyday with the freshest ingredients. Generally, Vecchio’s serves three types of pizzas — a cheese, meat, and veggie — but those can change depending on what fresh ingredients are available and “what we feel like making that day.” A typical veggie pizza is topped with spinach, Boar’s Head mozzarella cheese, bell peppers, mushrooms, black olives, artichokes, and roasted red peppers.

(Vecchio’s has closed since the publication of this article.)

Azzip Pizza

Azzip Pizza makes personal pizzas entirely customizable to your taste, and the options are endless. With sauces, meats, cheeses, and vegetables, Azzip cooks an 11-inch Big Zip or an 8-inch Small Zip in 2 minutes 30 seconds flat. The pizza crust is made daily, in-house. “It’s a thinner, crispier crust,” says Azzip owner Brad Niemeier. “We also add some of the Azzip Pesto into the dough to give the crust a little more flavor.” With two locations at 5225 Pearl Drive on the West Side and 8680 High Pointe Drive in Newburgh, Indiana, Azzip artisans construct your pizza while you make your way down the line. The sauce varieties include zippy ranch, garlic butter, and sweet and sassy barbecue, and the meat selection is just as extensive with choices like Marx BBQ shredded pork and Gerber’s Amish Farm Chicken. The last step is veggies, which seem nearly unlimited: sundried tomatoes, baby Portobello mushrooms, and chopped garlic to name a few. But if all the options are overwhelming, try the specialty “Potato Head” pizza, with a ranch base topped with red-skinned potatoes, or the “Kraut Pleaser,” with Thousand Island dressing and corned beef, strewn with sauerkraut.

For more information about Azzip Pizza, call 812-401-3572 or 812-490-0588 or visit azzippizza.me.

The Pizza Revolution

At The Pizza Revolution, owners Aaron and Stephanie Peckenpaugh insist on fresh, homemade ingredients. Specializing in Neapolitan style pies, Pizza Revolution stretches their in-house, handmade dough, crafted from high heat flour imported from Italy, and starts from curds to make a creamy mozzarella cheese. Popping up at events and festivals, the mobile pizzeria uses a wood fired oven to bake pies to perfection. Constructed from tile stone and firebrick, the oven reaches temperatures of about 1100 degrees in the dome and 900 degrees at the floor, burning seasoned hardwoods like Ash and Oak. “Wood fired ovens are more traditional and old school,” says Aaron. “And you don’t just let the pizzas sit. You have to turn them, and look at them, and see where the pizza is cooking and where it needs more heat.” One of the most popular pizza pleasers is the sweet and spicy “Buzz Killa,” including a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, spicy pepperoni, chili oil, and a drizzle of honey. The “Fig ‘N’ Pig” is another staple in their pizza line-up, with fig preserves, salty prosciutto (a dry-cured Italian ham), Gorgonzola, and mozzarella cheese crumbles.

For more information about The Pizza Revolution, call 812-430-5945, or thepizzarevolution.com.

Pizzeria Pangea

Our eyes and noses already are on the future opening of Pizzeria Pangea, which plans to open this summer. Owner Randy Hobson of Evansville recently retired from Berry Plastics after 25 years. The name Pangea is inspired by the scientific term for the supercontinent and Hobson’s way of bringing Italy to Evansville. Located in the former retail space formerly occupied by Excursions at 4910 Lincoln Ave., Hobson plans to serve Neopolitian pizza, which is cooked in a wood fired oven, very similar to the way pizza was first cooked in Naples, Italy. Pangea also will serve gelato ice cream. “We will be using a lot of ingredients imported from Italy, and all of our equipment is imported from Italy. We want to bring the very heritage of where pizza began to Evansville, with simple ingredients that are very good and very artisanal.”

Destination Pizza

This short list is all the excuse you need to get out of town

Clear your schedule for next weekend and push back catching up on the yard work. Once you experience even a whiff of these pizza places, you’ll be out the door and heading north on Interstate 69.

Villa Pizzeria
Jasper, Indiana • 67.1 miles

Traveling youth sports teams and TripAdvisor reviewers have discovered Villa Pizzeria in Jasper, Indiana. I did, too, on a recent trip to the county seat of Dubois County for a grade school basketball tournament.

Villa Pizzeria is located just across the railroad tracks from the Jasper Riverwalk and across the Patoka River from the Jasper City Mill — a pretty part of town. Its website says the establishment is family owned by Bob and Michelle Cates. They opened the restaurant at its current location in 2006.

The interior of Villa Pizzeria looks like a diner. Online reviewers note its convenient and tasty lunch buffet. Pizzas can be built from fresh regular toppings or premium toppings, or a specialty pizza can be ordered. I arrived late in the afternoon and ordered a small Popeye & Olive (fresh spinach, fresh garlic, black olives, Roma tomatoes, mozzarella and provolone; $9.99, $12.99, $16.99). It was hot and delicious, and exactly as billed. I was tempted by the Southwest Fiesta (ground beef, red onion, green peppers, Roma tomatoes, banana peppers, and black olives over a bean sauce, topped with cheddar and mozzarella, served with a side of fresh salsa; $9.49, $11.49, $17.49).

Oven baked subs (choose from eight, with chips and a pickle) and several sandwiches, as well as a kids menu are offered. Dessert is warm baked cinnamon sticks with icing, almonds, or chocolate chips, or a root beer float. Beer and wine are offered. —Kristen K. Tucker

Villa Pizzeria, 124 Third Ave., Jasper, IN; 812-482-2555; villapizzeria.com.
Mother Bear’s Pizza
Bloomington, Indiana • 124 miles

Every time I visit Bloomington, Indiana, Mother Bear’s is always my first or last stop — sometimes both. During my most recent stop, my swift decision to wait 40 minutes to be seated while the first half of the Indiana University basketball game began without me was worth it.

Nestled on Third Street with a view of IU’s campus just across the street, the restaurant is frequented by students, parents, alumni, and high school seniors fresh out of orientation. The dim, cabin-like dining space provides a cozy and inviting atmosphere to socialize and reminisce. The wooden walls and booths are masked with doodles, signatures, and promises of forever love authored by past patrons.

Most online reviewers credit Mother Bear’s with “the best pizza in Bloomington” and “the place for comfort-food style pizza, a must-have.” Between traditional pan crust, deep-dish, and toasted sesame thin crust, customers choose their favorite dough and have the option to create their own or choose from the 18 specialty pies.

My family, who often visits with me, orders the deep-dish Deluxe pizza ($8.55, $15.30, $22.60) with a generous blend of pepperoni, sausage, onions, mushrooms, and green peppers, all topped with the award-winning Mother Bear’s red sauce. My choice is the Treasure of Monte Cristo ($7.65, $14.05, $20.75), layered with white sauce, mozzarella, spinach, bacon, tomatoes, and fontina cheese. The flavors and corresponding names range from funky to classic throughout the menu pages, bright with scribbles like a child’s coloring book.

Also on the menu are salads topped with yellow Goldfish crackers, homemade brownies, hot subs, pasta dinners, and pre-meal breadsticks. Beer and wine are available for dine-in and delivery. —Katelyn Phillips

Mother Bear’s Pizza, 1428 E. Third St., Bloomington, IN; 812-332-4495; motherbearspizza.com.

Indianapolis, Indiana • 174.7 miles

In Indianapolis, “Martha” refers to only one person: the pioneer of Indianapolis’ farm-to-table culture and Patachou Inc., her mini-empire of popular restaurant concepts.

Martha Hoover, (who Evansville can claim just a bit, as her brother-in-law, Dr. Michael Hoover, and his wife, Dr. Maria
Del Rio Hoover, reside here), is a former public sector attorney who founded Patachou Inc. in 1989. Her biography states, “Once I moved to Indiana, I couldn’t help noticing that the best ingredients were growing in the back yard. The best tomatoes, melons, wheat — the best beef, turkeys, and pork — were being raised on the farms in Indiana. … I was dumbfounded that a restaurateur in Indiana could not make the leap from the best ingredients to the best food. ”

Thankfully for all of us, Martha does pizza, too — and her pizzeria, Napolese (with three locations) is well worth the drive. I dined at its location near Monument Circle. As advertised, the pizzas pulled from its brick oven are classically Neapolitan with thin, blistered crusts.

The menu lists tempting Artisanal and Freestyle pizzas, where diners are advised to not pile on the toppings — the crusts are best with no more than three. Any pizza also can be made white, with extra virgin olive oil substituted for tomato sauce. Our party tried Hamaker’s Corner (pepperoni, Italian sausage, provolone, and mushrooms; $14) and a Freestyle with roasted tomatoes and imported green olives ($15). We also shared a vegetarian double chopped house salad — highly recommended ($10).

Napolese, 30 S. Meridian St., 114 E. 49th St., 8702 Keystone Crossing, Indianapolis, IN; napolesepizzeria.com.

Quick Trips for Tasty Pies

Sometimes a good pie calls for a little drive.

Only a few miles outside of Evansville, these places make our short list of where we’re heading for a slice — or four or five.

Lombardi’s (513 Barrett Blvd., Henderson, KY) promises a New York-style experience in Western Kentucky. Try the Sicilian Square Pizza, made from ingredients imported from Italy and a deep dish that tastes as if you’re in Brooklyn. For more than 20 years, Mister B’s (Henderson and Bowling Green, Kentucky) has perfected the combo of pizza and wings. Be sure to ask about specials when combining the two! Bordy’s Pizza (4222 Bell Road, Newburgh, IN) opened last September and is a popular destination for pizza and Italian sandwiches and pastas. If you want toppings packed to the edge on your pizza, Gardo’s Italian Oven (13220 Darmstadt Road, Darmstadt, IN) slices its vegetables daily and only uses fresh mushrooms. Patrons frequent Sandy’s Pizza (Fort Branch) for the food — and the atmosphere. On your next visit, sit in a room dedicated to Coca-Cola products (it seats 80). We first learned about Woody’s Pizzeria (518 Main St., New Harmony, IN) through Angie and Mike Woodburn’s second restaurant, Bliss Artisan, an ice cream shop. Both the Woodburn’s pizza and ice cream are made from scratch. Also in New Harmony is the Yellow Tavern (521 Church St., New Harmony, IN) known for its yellow historic structure and fresh ingredients on its pies. Susan Bobe’s Pizza’s (101 W. Broadway, Princeton, IN) reviews online are peppered with comments calling it “the best pizza in Princeton.” Try the Princeton Tiger with Italian sausages, hams, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, three cheeses, and black olives.

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