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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Monday, Nov. 24, 2014

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In Dining Blogs

Bobanna's Meat Lovers Pizza.

In Dining Blogs

Bobanna's Hawaiian Pizza.

In search of the perfect pizza: Bobbana's Pizza


I recently purchased an online "coupon" for Bobanna's Pizza, 1403 Summit Ave., so I paid a visit.

Bobanna's is located in a small strip mall. When I entered, I found three booths and three tables in the dining area on the left. Three chairs sat in the lobby on the right for carry-out customers.

The walls were painted a light beige with a pizza chef painted on one of the walls near the entrance. Behind the counter was the pizza oven, and to the left of the oven was the work station where the pizza is prepped to be baked.

A 13-inch color TV/VCR combo was placed in a cove in the wall within the dining room for my viewing pleasure, but I was more interested in reading the menu.

Five years ago, Manual Castellanos, Jr. was looking for a new opportunity after working as an auto worker at a GM plant. He found Bobanna's for sale so he and his family made the purchase.

Business was a bit slow as to be expected on a Monday evening. The phone rang a couple of times while I visited, and another customer came in to pick up his order.

Aside from pizza, the menu includes appetizers, wings, calzones and sandwiches such as Italian Beef and Jumbo Hot Dogs. The menu also includes Mexican food items such as tacos, chicken flautas and Bobanna's Burrito Bomber.

The pizza sizes come in 10, 12, 14, and 16 inches. The 10-inch cheese pizza starts at $5.99 with additional toppings starting at $.59 each.

Single slices are available at lunch for $2.39, although there is currently a special offering the slices for $1 for lunch.

Bobanna's is also running a couple of dinner specials. Monday nights offer a large (14-inch) pizza with one topping and two cans of soda for $7.99. Wednesday nights offer specialty pizzas for half price for a limited time.

One of the specials on my visit was a large pizza with any toppings for $10.

Available toppings include Italian sausage, pepperoni, ground beef, bacon, Canadian bacon, grilled chicken, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, black olives, green olives, pineapple and spinach.

Specialty pizzas include Bobanna's traditional, veggie, chicken alfredo, Hawaiian, BBQ chicken, and the Meat Lovers.

The traditional is topped with sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, and black olives. The chicken alfredo is topped with alfredo sauce, parmesan cheese, spinach, fresh chicken, mozzarella cheese and a special blend of seasoning.

Specialty pizzas start at a range of $8.80 for the 10-inch Hawaiian to $13.36 for the 10-inch Meat Lovers. I'm guessing those prices show a conscious effort to be on top of food costs while providing a fair price.

All pizzas are made on a thin crust. Castellanos makes the dough fresh daily with the goal of making thin and crispy crusts, so the dough is run through a dough rolling machine several times.

The pizza sauce starts from a can, and then a house recipe of seasoning is added for flavor. The alfredo sauce also comes from their distributor and the BBQ sauce used on the BBQ chicken pizza is the popular Sweet Baby Ray's.

On my visit, I tried the Hawaiian Pizza and the Meat Lovers Pizza.

The Hawaiian was topped with Canadian bacon, pineapple, and Bobanna's blend of cheeses.

The crust was a little too dense for me and coated with a little too much flour. That made it dry and a little bland. The crust was also a little chewy. It didn't have the cracker crunch that I believe Castellanos, and I, was looking for.

I would suggest experimenting a little to create flaky layers in the crust and bake it a little longer, or at a higher temperature. I'm not a chef, but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night, and that's what I would do.

The toppings and cheese brought a nice flavor and worked well with the sauce.

The Meat Lovers Pizza was topped with Italian sausage, pepperoni, ground beef, bacon, Canadian bacon and Bobanna's blend of cheeses.

This time the grease from the toppings provided a little moisture for the crust, but overall, I still tasted too much flour.

The sausage and pepperoni both added good flavors, but neither were particularly spicy. The ground beef could have used more seasoning, but the bacon was a highlight as it was chopped from real strips of bacon.

The sauce was flavorful and a little on the spicy side. Again, all of the toppings generated a nice blend of flavors and worked well with the sauce, but the crust missed the mark for me.

Others may disagree with me, but that's the beauty of pizza, and anything else for that matter. We all have different tastes and that helps keep a lot of restaurants in business.

Feel free to visit Bobanna's and take advantage of one of their many specials to see if the pizza is to your liking. Buon appetito!


Talkbacks

get_rad | May 3, 2013 at 9:03 a.m. (report)

Score. :) "Im not a chef, but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night..."

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