It took me a while to get around to trying Pizza Perfection after they opened up. Let’s be honest, pizza is one of those foods that people are pretty passionate about, and like most people who take it seriously, I have my favorites. Flying Pie, for example, is about as close to perfection as you can get: great atmosphere, friendly employees, fresh top-quality ingredients, creative combos, and I swear I’ve seen people finish their shifts, grab a beer and hang around talking to customers and co-workers. I can’t see myself hanging around work after my shift even if we had the amazing beer selection that Flying Pie does. Guido’s does the best NY style pizza in town, hands down. If you’re craving a more traditionally Italian pie, I doubt you can do much better than Casanova. And of course Papa Murphy’s never fails to pile the ingredients high, plus you cook it yourself so if your pizza turns out blackened and destroyed, it’s all your fault.
|You can enlist while your pizza is cooking!|
For the longest time, those were the places I went to, but I was missing one thing: a cheap, crowd-pleasing pizza place. I don’t like Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Papa John’s or Little Ceasar’s, no matter how good their coupons get (see, I didn’t even link to them!). And my experience with most of the hole-in-the-strip-mall places has been pretty underwhelming. So the first time I was driving down Overland in Meridian and saw it nestled in between the Army recruiting office and Harry’s Bar & Grill, I also saw one of the ever-increasing legion of sign shakers out in front and put them out of my mind almost immediately. I can’t help it, I hate those sign-shaking bozos. Still, one day I got a “buy one get one free” (equal or lesser value of course) coupon during a week where money was tight, and that was that. That coupon may be one of the best advertising gimmicks ever, because it’s completely worthless. Pizza Perfection’s pizzas are always buy one get one free.
|Be careful when photographing oily food with a flash camera…|
I’m not exactly sure how to describe the pizzas here. I can tell you that they hand-toss their dough. Other than that, on the surface they’re like most of the other strip mall pizza joints. What sets them apart is what I can’t capture with a camera: flavor. For example, they have about half a dozen sauces to choose from.
|Pesto and sausage, a winning combination|
In my circle, we have a lot of disparity over pizza sauces. I personally don’t dig creamy or white sauces, but that’s my Mom’s favorite by far. My sister’s boyfriend is pretty fond of it too, whereas my sister herself is happiest with the old-fashioned red sauce. In my experience when there’s a war over white or red sauce, I find pesto to be the great equalizer, and Pizza Perfection has one of the best pesto pizzas I’ve come across. On this occasion, it was just myself, my girlfriend and the kids, so we kept it nice and simple: pepperoni for the wee ones and pesto with cheddar cheese for the grown-ups. The cheese-only side is hers, the meaty side mine. Interesting note here: when I called, I ordered a pizza with pesto sauce, cheddar cheese and liguica sausage on half. What I got was liguica and (Italian) sausage. Oh well, the more pork the merrier, yes? “But Track,” you might say…or might not, doesn’t matter, “where are the vegetables?” This is another area where Pizza Perfection really stands out…
For some reason, it appears to have been decided that a salad at a pizza place should cost roughly $3.50. I’m not sure how we arrived at this consensus, but there it is. At some places, that $3.50 doesn’t get you much more than dry greens and a little cup of dressing, but not so here. In this instance, I’m happy that my incompetence with the flash reared its ugly head so you can see how moist that salad is, and I can assure you that it wasn’t at all slimy. While the little cup of dressing issue also applies here (I paid an extra fifty cents for another little cup, Track’s girlfriend likes her dressing) and they only have ranch dressing to begin with, it’s still very worthwhile to get the salad here. For example, look at it compared to the fork. That’s a pretty big pile of greens, and by itself it would easily be a meal. Better yet, it’s a build-your-own salad, and so far as I know you have access to everything on the pizza menu including artichoke hearts, and they’re pretty generous with them. The picture above is what you get if you call and say you want “a salad with all the veggies, tomatoes on the side” (Track’s girl doesn’t like them).
This is another case of looks can be deceiving. There are a lot of little upstart pizza joints that come and go, but Pizza Perfection started in Moscow and has expanded to four locations including Lewiston and Pullman, WA. They may not be traditional, gourmet or regionally-styled, but they’ve very good and very reasonably priced. Give them a try the next time you have to buy four pizzas because you’re with a big group of people who can’t agree on toppings or sauces. If it’s a harmonious group, you can always try their 26″ giant pizza, but I can’t personally recommend it. Maybe someday if I’m ever in a harmonious group…