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Dining out: Spedelli’s mixes it up with out-of-the ordinary pizzas and more

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(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) The carne asada pizza and a schooner of beer at Spedelli's, a Salt Lake City Pizza Parlor and bar, Wednesday April 10, 2013.

By Heather L. King

Special to The Tribune

First published Apr 24 2013 01:01AM
Updated Jul 7, 2013 11:35PM

Spedelli’s pizza and sub shop draws diners from every walk of life.

There are often twenty-something guys who appear to be actively engaged in skateboarding/snowboarding. But one evening there was a rotating number of families with young kids. And at lunch there were plenty of businessmen in shirts and ties.

In practice, everyone is welcome at Spedelli’s and each time I visited we were always warmly greeted and served with a smile.

Crispy, flat-crust pizzas are the star and come in 14- 16- and 18-inch sizes. While there’s the usual supreme ($17, $19, $21) with fresh green peppers, onions, mushrooms and olives alongside spicy sausage and pepperoni, it’s worth digging deeper into the menu to discover some of the more creative combinations.

The carne asada pizza ( ($18, $20, $22) with fresh pico de gallo and a kicky sauce with a bit of peppery heat was my favorite. Our server recommended adding the green "guac sauce" from the salsa bar. The creamy coolness of avocado brought this entire pizza together, creating something I was initially skeptical of but now crave on a regular basis.

Another unique choice is the Wake’n’Bake ($19, $21, $23) which offers a choice of ham, bacon or sausage, scrambled eggs, jalapenos, green peppers, onions and cheddar and mozzarella cheeses over a spicy sauce. Spedelli’s crust does an excellent job holding up to the variety of toppings and a gluten-free dough is available for an additional charge.

If an entire pizza is too much, Spedelli’s also offers a two slices and drink for $5.50 — which is the greatest value on the menu.

Besides dine-in services, Spedelli’s does offer a brisk takeout and delivery business.

The menu also includes deep-fried or baked stromboli ($7.75) and calzones ($7.50) made with mozzarella and ricotta and served with a side of zesty tomato sauce. Add additional ingredients for 50 cents each. However, after trying both, I recommend sticking with the traditional and crispier pizza.

For customers looking for greens, Spedelli’s offers more than just iceberg on a plate. The Spedelli’s Salad ($4 half/$6 full) has mixed greens, red onions, green peppers, slices of tomato and chunks of feta. The bleu cheese dressing is a house favorite and lived up to the server’s recommendation.

The same creamy bleu cheese dressing is served alongside the buffalo wings ($.90 each, minimum 6). While they don’t look particularly appetizing, they are a solid appetizer — especially since regular, extra spicy and barbecue flavors are available.

Check the special board behind the bar for daily specials include $1 Taco Tuesday or Hot Snake Sunday featuring Cobra Dogs.

Sandwiches, ranging from a generously stuffed and gooey Philly cheesesteak ($8) and tangy barbecue chicken bacon ($8) complement more traditional offerings such as the meatball sub ($7.50) and chicken or eggplant Parmesan ($8). The sandwiches are filling, but for $8 a supporting side would have been welcome.

To drink, you’ll find a typical soda fountain but also fresh batches of Kool-Aid ($2). I steered away from this sugary sweetness but laughed as our server did an impression of the 1980s ad campaign, "oh yeahhh"!

Beer is the primary beverage at Spedelli’s with Uinta Brewing on tap along with PBR. A schooner ($6 Uinta, $4 PBR) is the most popular size and requires two hands to lift when full. There are three wines available — merlot, pinot noir and chardonnay — by the glass ($6) but you can bring your own bottle in and pay only a $5 corkage fee.

If you’ve saved room for dessert, there’s a menu of deep-fried creations such as The Camboli ($8), that will surely cause a sugar spike. It’s a Twinkie wrapped in a dessert stromboli dough and fried. It’s served with vanilla ice cream enveloped in a deep-fried cornflake shell and then cover everything with agave nectar, chocolate and strawberry sauce and whipped cream. It’s a pretty presentation and big enough to feed a table. However, next time I’ll reserve my calories for the deep-fried ice cream ($4.50) by itself, as I quite enjoyed the sweet cloud of cold vanilla with that crispy, cornflake crunch.

In short, Spedelli’s delivers a casual atmosphere and friendly service with creative and quality pizzas and more.

features@sltrib.com

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