October 17, 2007
Fresh takes on the traditional pie: Pizza that thinks outside the box
By Vanessa Chang
Pizza is more than just food. We love it because it's quick, it's filling, and when done well, is the stuff of memories. What other foodstuff, so pervasive and so popular, can a college student, working parent and sports fan equally wax poetic about? And fewer still food items spark such intense debate about what makes the a pie quite possibly "the best."
The Tribune discussed pizza around the Wasatch Front in 2005 (go to www.sltrib.com/food). Now we're adding to our pizza reportage with three more venues. Be warned: These aren't strictly traditional pizza places. You couldn't compare the pie at these eateries to a deep-dish experience in Chicago or your favorite place in New York that proffers hangover pizza until the wee hours of the night, or even what Settebello offers locally. Nor should you. If anything, pizza has proven to be as malleable as a proper crust. And these local venues offer something different than that standard blue, red and white delivery box.
Ambience reigns at Davanza's
The original Park City location of Davanza's gets props for ambience alone. You could spend a good chunk of time marveling at the sheer number of beer cans lining the expansive walls.
It's an impressive collection of vintage PBR and tall boys from companies, long defunct, from impressive endeavors by buddies wanting to have a good time (you'd like to think). And really, that's the vibe and appeal of the venue, which also has two other locations, in Kimball Junction and on Foothill Drive in Salt Lake City.
It's not only that it's one of the few places where you can get a bite to eat without purging your wallet on Park City's posh Main Street. Or the fact that it does have a locals-only feel; students can get a slice, fries and a drink for $5.50. Davanza's motto is "saving the world one slice at a time," though they're also saving local pocketbooks with everything from hot wings with a tomato-based sauce to chicken fingers to burgers to subs and even tacos. Football night draws a crowd for 50-cent hot wings and $1 slices.
Out of the good-sized menu, the pizza wasn't my favorite. By the slice ($2.50; pepperoni or cheese only), the dough was thick, dense and pillowy, emphasizing a processed flavor I didn't enjoy with the tangy sauce or the smoky pepperoni that was cooked to an appealingly crisp state.
Pies come in 10- to 16-inch sizes with concise options. The Mucker Supreme ($12 to $21) with its pork products, ground beef and a few vegetables for good measure, is a hearty party companion for domestic beer and local microbrews.
And the best part about Davanza's: They deliver everywhere in Park City. A welcome option for the Pizza Hut-fatigued.
Tribune's rating system
1 star Good
2 stars Very good
3 stars Excellent
4 stars Extraordinary
$ Entree under $10
$$$$ Above $25
1 bell Quiet (under 65 decibles)
2 bells Can talk easily (65-70)
3 bells Talking somewhat difficult (70-75)
4 bells Raised voices (75-80)
A bomb Too noisy for normal conversation (80+)
The Tribune covers the cost of all meals at reviewed restaurants. Star ratings are based on a minimum of two visits. Ratings are updated continually based on at least one revisit. There is no connection between reviews and advertising.