Now, I’ve had O.W.’s pizza before… but I haven’t sat down in the original location before this, just darted in to pick up an order and take off. Their veggie meets everything I need in a pizza — a lot of vegetation, good quality cheese and an Arkansas-style cracker crust. Still, with all the news about the new menu and such, I needed to go have a sit-down there myself.
My dining companion and I dropped by after a mad rush of a lunch hour. It was close to 2 p.m.; the restaurant was emptying out and we had the run of the place. We had a seat and went through the new menu.
I knew I wanted to try the new chicken salad… I’d heard it was awesome. But I couldn’t pass up a chance to try something really new — the Pizza Masala ($4.65 a slice, $6.99 personal and up). A pizza made with chicken and mushrooms on a tikka masala sauce? Are you kidding me? Of course I had to try it.
My companion chose to pick up a personal sized Butcher Boy pizza, with the addition of meatballs on the pie. Our waitress had really talked up the meatballs, the Uncle Ellen meatballs specially made right on site, so he wanted to give them a try.
We were discussing matters of the day when Miss Kim approached us — she’s one of the forces behind O.W. Pizza. She asked if it would be okay if she sent out a few things to sample. How could I resist?
The Caribbean Chicken Salad, one of the brand new offerings, is just something else. It’s a party. It’s shredded, not chunked, chicken. It’s Craisins and red grapes, Granny Smith apples and peanuts, and it’s a yogurt instead of mayonnaise base. And it is neat. I could so see having this on some wheat berry bread.
The bread now comes from Mama’s Manna Bakery, which I think is an awesome improvement. I know just from that association that the bread is going to be consistently good.
The potato salad… is incredible. I thought at first those tell-tale red bits might be bacon. They’re not. They’re skin-on red potatoes in a nice creamy sauce, very nicely balanced. You know how some potato salads taste like the condiment mixed in them? Not this. It tastes like potatoes. Yay. I like it.
So, there are all these salads and sandwiches and gumbo and such — but how’s the pizza? I’m happy the crust hasn’t changed. It’s still cracker-thin and crispy, just like I like it.
So, I’m going to have to go back. Going to have to take Hunter once she’s better so we can sit out on the patio, enjoy the perfect spring weather and let her draw on the concrete. I think that’d about float her boat.
O.W. Pizza is in the shadow of the State Capital on West Third Street (yes, it’s West Third there, not Markham). It’s open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. You might stop by on your mad dash home from work and pick up something to take home. Really, sounds like a good idea to me. (501) 374-5504 or check out the Facebook fan page.