As I have told many in the past, the best pizza I have ever eaten was in Washington State of all places. Mario's Pizza offered their version of... what was it... either New York Style or maybe it was Chicago Style pizza. In either case, it was (1983) one of the best pizzas I have ever sampled. That being said, Washington State is way to far and who knows if they are even in business any more to get another slice of that fantastic crusted delicacy. So jumping forward, here's The Pizza Scene in The Woodlands Texas; we are always on the lookout for great pizza.
Grimaldi's Pizza - The Woodlands, Waterway Ave - A New York Style Pizza restaurant offering a limited selection of toppings, less than what you see at many other pizza restaurants, which means they also don't offer any combo pizza's, like a supreme pizza, or a veggie combo. With the understanding that food is served in different ways as you go across the country or even within Texas for that matter, pizza palettes will vary. Texas style pizza is different than what you will get at Gino's East, or Grimaldi's coal fired pizza. The story goes that Grimaldi's Pizza is just like the pizza in Brooklyn (because of the water) and people from the greater New York Area seem to enjoy it. According to Grimaldi's, the imported water used to make the dough (filtered by reverse osmosis) and combined with their own recipe, creates the genuine article pizza dough."
Another attempt at making pizza pie was "Gozzetti's Pizzeria" occupied the previously failed "Pizza Buffet and Smoothies" on the I45 feeder ( how can you miss with a name like that!? ). They soon opened a second location on McBeth lane near Sterling Ridge Village - now that's confidence, opening 2 stores so quickly and not knowing if even one can actually support itself. As it turned out, neither store turned out to be profitable and they soon closed. The McBeth location has been reborn, a few times since then and a recent incarnation is Stoner's Pizza Joint, may not be what you are thinking.... the name is tied to the stone, pizza oven in use. One other eaterie in the Marcell Crossing Retail Center is "The Breakfast Place", which is open for breakfast and lunch. We like to try the mom and pop / individual restaurants versus any of the chains like Pizza Hut, Domino's and Pappa Johns; so prevalent and many of them serve very poor imitations. Pizza Tonight, for example, in Panther Creek Village is standing room only, (no pulic seating) but so worth the drive if you are not in their delivery area. We make the trip every once in a while, would be more often if they had a dining room. Even when competing with a nearby Domino's Pizza that delivers to Panther Creek Village, Pizza Tonight would likely be able to hold their own. When it comes to having unique pizza ovens, Grimaldi's uses a coal-fired, stone oven, Stoner's Pizza has a stone pizza oven, and the recently incarnated Bonfire Grill in Tomball, has a brick pizza oven.
Crust Pizza Company currently has locations in three different Villages in The Woodlands; Alden Bridge, Creekside Park, and Panther Creek and a fourth in Spring Texas, on Rayford Road just south of the grand parkway (all) offering a very tasty, Chicago style thin crust pizza. The counter service experience enjoys a strong following in The Woodlands. Zazza Pizza, a recent addition to the Pizza options is just north of The Woodlands on FM 1488, also offers a tasty, thin crust pizza. Russo's New York Pizzeria, a chain from the northeast is enjoying a nice following as well with some four area stores all featuring full service dining. Pallotta's Italian Grill in nearby Oak Ridge North isn't known for pizza like the other main dishes they offer; full service and a full belly before you leave that Italian restaurant. One other notable pizza restaurant is the California Pizza Kitchen in Hughes Landing; you may recognize the name from your local grocer where you can find the frozen version. Currently, one of only four stores in the greater Houston area, California Pizza Kitchen is located in what is known as Restaurant Row, The Woodlands.
There once was a "Gatti's" Pizza on Rayford, a delivery/takeout location that had at least average tasting pizza and definitely still had the familiar Gatti's-Pizza flavor, apparently using same recipe as the Gatti's Pizza Restaurants chain. For those who are keeping count, there are only a small handful of Gatti's Pizza in the greater Houston area. Competition has grown with Double Dave's Pizza on Rayford and Donnelly's near Imperial Oaks (also closed, after a long run), and of course pizza delivery chainstores like Domino's Pizza and Pizza Hut. The Imperial Oaks area didn't have many choices when it came to pizza delivery but the residential growth in the area has increased to the point that chains like Domino's moved in and their appeal and (likely) consistency along with fast delivery times, won out. There is a huge profit margin when it comes to pizza and people love to jump online, or make a simple phone call to get hot, fresh pizza at their door in short order. It's a very inexpensive to make food, all you need is a large oven & a fridge and you are in business. Making pizza is not a difficult process, so long as you have a good (unique) recipe and use fresh ingredients, you'll have a shot at the big time.
Extreme Pizza at Market Square as you may recall, closed it's doors some time ago only to be temporarily occupied by "Pizza by Marco" a franchise from the Dallas, Texas area which also failed. A unique feature regarding their brand of pizza was that the sauce is made under a secret recipe, even the owner of The Woodlands franchise was not told the secret recipe. Apparently, daily trips to Centerville, Texas to get however many gallons of the tomato based sauce was not as affordable and possibly not as reliable, as expected. Double Dave's Pizza, with headquarters in Austin, had three stores in The Woodlands at a max, has recently reduced their local presence to only one store on Rayford Road in Spring, Texas.
|Pizza Restaurants The Woodlands::
Brio Tuscan Grill
Crust Pizza Panther Creek
Crust Pizza Company
Crust Pizza Alden Bridge
Luca & Leonardo
Mama Mia Italian
RC's New York Pizza
Russo's New York Pizza
Via Emilia Italian
Villa Emilia Due'
Zazza Pizza Cafe
Pizza in The Woodlands
Zazza Pizza Cafe