In search of the perfect pizza: Mequon Pizza Company
For the sixth straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee.com, presented by Concordia University. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as the winners of our "Best of Dining 2012."
The Mequon Pizza Company, 12020 N. River Rd., in Mequon, was started just two months ago, but the owners have over 10 years experience in the pizza business. Nancy Horrigan established the Mequon Pizza Company and runs it as a family-owned operation with her husband and children.
A co-worker has been suggesting that I pay them a visit, so I obliged with a recent stop. I sat at the bar and was greeted by a very friendly woman who told me that their thin-crust pizza represented around 90 percent of pizza sales. I learned later that the friendly woman was Horrigan.
A couple sitting near me ordered the homemade chicken tortilla soup. It looked delicious, and I was envious, but I was here for pizza. I placed my order and anxiously awaited my newest dining experience.
The location of the Mequon Pizza Company gives it a "middle of nowhere" feel, but it is definitely well-known by the community. There was non-stop traffic for carry-out orders, as well as families coming in for dinner.
The building looked fairly new. Three 40-inch high-definition TVs hung above the U-shaped bar. The exterior and interior of the building were very well-kept and everything was clean. I felt like I could eat off the floor.
The menu includes options for everyone, even gluten-free pizza! If you aren't in the mood for pizza, you'll find homemade soups, salads, wings, burgers, chicken sandwiches, pastas and a kid-friendly menu featuring hot dogs, grilled cheese and chicken fingers.
Mequon Pizza Company also features weekly specials Monday through Friday, such as a "Family Night" one-topping large pizza, garlic bread and a pitcher of soda for $20 on Monday nights.
The pizza is definitely what brings people in the doors. Choose from deep-dish pan or the popular thin-crust pizza. I love leftover pizza any time of day, so I decided on both with sausage and pepperoni on the deep dish and sausage, pepperoni and pepperoncini on the thin crust (I'll explain this one later).
The deep-dish crust was around an inch and a quarter around the edge and maybe a third of an inch in the center. Mequon Pizza Company puts a layer of cheese on the crust, then sauce, then another thicker layer of cheese and finally the toppings.
I'm used to the crust on a deep-dish pan having too much butter or oil. In this case, the crust was dry, which I was fine with because my hands didn't feel greasy after holding a slice. However, I would have a preferred a light buttery flavor and texture on the crust. The crust was crispy and chewy around the perimeter and less so toward the center.
The sausage came in the form of small meatballs. They were delicious with a spicy flavor and paired well with the pepperoni. The sauce didn't taste spicy or sweet to me, but it definitely was not bland. I could taste tomato, but not too much, so I guess I would say the sauce had a balanced flavor.
What I found really interesting is that the sauce on the thin crust pizza tasted different to me, probably because on these pizzas the sauce goes on over the cheese, and then the toppings sit atop the sauce. I was assured that the same sauce is used on both styles of pizza.
I will say that I am a fan! The crust was thin and crispy throughout. With the sauce on top of the cheese, I could really appreciate the flavor. Horrigan explained that the special spice blend in the sauce is purchased from another pizza company.
The spiciness of the pepperoncini brought out the flavors of the sauce even more and complemented the sausage and pepperoni perfectly. I first experienced this flavor combination from a frozen pizza at a buddy's house. I highly recommend it!
After trying both pizzas, I can see why the thin crust is so popular here. I liked the deep-dish pizza, but I loved the thin-crust pizza.
The deep-dish comes in sizes of 6-, 12-, 14- and an 18-inch "Terminator"(take the challenge for immortality) with the 12-inch starting at $14.75 and toppings starting at $.50 each. The thin-crust sizes are 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 inches, with the 12-inch starting at $12.75 and $.50 per topping.
The Mequon Pizza Company provides great food and a clean, family-friendly environment. If I lived closer, I could see myself becoming a regular. If you're a deep-dish lover looking for a new option or a thin-crust lover looking for a unique and delicious style, take a trip to the North Shore and give this place a try!
The Mequon restaurant is too far to drive just for pizza from downtown, near south side. When will we get a restaurant serving deep dish pizza as Pizza Man did before that fire near downtown/lower east side?
Very nice article! Just a quick F.Y.I. these are the same peeps that ran the franchised Tomaso's Pizza at this location. Just changed their business name ... but it appears that the pizza recipe remains Tomaso's trademark ... i.e. cheese on the bottom!
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