I've driven past Pizzeria Scotty!, 9809 W. Oklahoma Ave., a few times over the years (have you noticed I do a lot of driving?), but never got around to stopping in. I also don't know anyone who has eaten the pizza there.
I happened to be in the area on my way to a Fantasy Football draft, so I figured it was time to try it out and pick up a couple of pies to share with the guys in my league.
I walked in a little before 6 p.m. on Tuesday evening and had the privilege of placing my order with owner Scott Vaughn himself. He happened to be entering some information at the register when I walked in.
It didn't take long for me to notice that this place was hopping! The phone was ringing almost non-stop with orders. I counted three different delivery drivers picking up orders and heading back out on the road. Another five guys were working hard in the kitchen, prepping and cooking and communicating with each other.
This was on a TUESDAY! I can't imagine what it will be like on the weekend with football games on Saturday and Sunday.
This business is a well-oiled machine, from the guy kneading and rolling the pizza dough to the guy pulling pizzas out of the oven and expediting orders. The latter also assisted the occasional customer picking up an order. He greeted them with a friendly and very genuine smile. These guys really cared.
What really got my attention was that the staff was having fun. It was clear as day that this crew actually loved working at Pizzeria Scotty! (the exclamation point is part of the name) and took pride in their work. Most of the kitchen staff looked like college students in their late teens or early 20s.
While I waited for my order, I heard them communicating, yelling "behind" as they walked past each other to pick up or drop off items.
One guy was working on a chicken parmesan order and asked for clarification on what to include with the dinner and when to cook it so it was ready with the pizza. He wanted to get it right. His coworker patiently answered the question. There was no eye-rolling, just one guy helping out a teammate for the common goal, a happy customer ... but I digress.
You want to know if the pizza was any good. It was actually better than good. It was "simply superb." That is what Pizzeria Scotty! strives for and they guarantee that you will love their pizza.
Pizza crust options are thin, double dough, Chicago Pan Style and a stuffed pizza. Vaughn moved to Milwaukee from Chicago in 1985, so you know he takes the Chicago-style pizza seriously. It does not disappoint.
The crust is buttery, but not too buttery like other pizzerias in Milwaukee. It's lightly crisp on the outside and then chewy. Since the crust is thicker than the thin or double dough, more sauce and cheese are added. When I bit into a slice, the sauce squeezed out from the sides of the slice onto my face. Yup, that's the right amount of sauce!
Normally, when I taste the tomato in a pizza sauce, I am disappointed because the sauce typically doesn't have the sweetness or spiciness that I'm looking for. It's like those pizzerias just poured a can of tomato sauce on the pizza. Not so at Pizzeria Scotty! I did taste the tomato, but I tasted it with a flavorful blend of spices that created a perfect sauce harmony.
The thin crust pizza is also among the best I've had. While the crust wasn't as crispy as I like throughout, it was still crispy around the perimeter and the center slices were strong enough to hold the sauce, thick layer of cheese, chunks of Italian sausage and pepperoni without falling apart and making a mess.
The menu also includes salads, pastas, appetizers, a fried chicken dinner, "Inferno Wings" and sandwiches, including the "Big Cheese" Italian beef and a meatball sandwich. Pizzas start at $9.79 for a 10-inch cheese pizza, but remember there are always specials and coupons available, like the "two 12-inch one-topping pizzas for $17.99" deal currently running.
I learned from their website that Vaughn has been working in the restaurant industry since 1968, except for the two years he spent serving in the U.S. Marine Corps after he was drafted in 1972.
The mission statement at Pizzeria Scotty! includes "delivering outstanding performance and providing value" to its customers. The website features a Specials/Coupons section. "Pushing the limits of excellence" certainly describes what Pizzeria Scotty! wants to deliver to its customers and staff. I witnessed this first-hand while waiting for my order.
When I asked Vaughn how long he's been at the current location, he answered, "27 years ... I must be doing something right." Yes you are, Scotty, and then some.
I absolutely LOVE Pizzeria Scotty! We've been going here for years and have never been disappointed. If you haven't tried the "Big Cheese" or the stuffed pizza, definitely put them on your list. And the deep fried garlic bread sticks, I could keep going on and on.
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