In Dining

Gumby loves Pizza Shuttle.

In Dining

The only thing better than pizza is beer and pizza.

Pizza Shuttle provides all peeps with a piece of the pie

There's nowhere else in the city quite like Pizza Shuttle, 1827 N. Farwell Ave. The zany establishment is a popular teen vortex, trusty delivery service, bar time oasis and kid-friendly, dine-in eatery tossed into one location.

Recently, we stopped in on a weeknight for dinner. At nearby tables a couple of shaggy-haired teens drank sodas and photographed each other with a digital camera, a group of college-aged guys ate onion rings and played the jukebox, and a handful of regular-looking folks waited for their pizza to go.

We brought the 30-something/nuclear family demographic to the scene, and were pleasantly surprised to find a plethora of high chairs. Best of all, no one gave our chatty, Matchbox car-throwing group a look of disgust.

The space is clean and upbeat, with four friendly employees -- one with pink ponytails and another looking either very focused or stoned -- taking orders, making pizzas, tapping tall beers and filling cups and cones with custard. Recently remodeled by Flux design, the new look is colorful and fun, with swirly brushed metal accents and IKEA-looking chairs that add a few extra morsels of style.

We felt slightly overwhelmed by the menu, expecting to find pizza and a few pasta dishes, but instead found wraps, salads, appetizers, entrees and more. Finally, we settled on deep-fried calamari for an appetizer ($5.95), a large pizza with black olives, tomatoes and chicken pieces (regularly $18.36 but on special for $9.99), a chef salad ($7.25) and two Capitol Amber 16-oz. beers ($2.50 each).

While we waited for our grub, we checked out the game room and burned a few quarters in Centipede and Pac Man. Then, we heard our number over the intercom system and picked up our drinks and appetizers from the counter.

Our calamari was okay. It looked like mini onion rings, circular in shape, and although the breading was quite good, the calamari itself was way too rubbery. The portion, however, was very generous.

Our chef salad was very good; a crisp bed of lettuce piled with tomatoes, black olives, turkey bits, ham squares and cheese. We liked that it came with Newman's dressing and there was definitely enough to serve as a main course or for a pre-pizza group nibble.

Then came the 'za. Hand tossed into a medium crust, we were delighted to find it less soggy than when we had it home delivered. It was hot and soft, without being too chewy, smothered with a slightly spicy sauce and a load of toppings. Our only complaint was that the slices were too big -- ridiculously mammoth triangles -- forcing us to cut each one into two or three smaller slices which made us prolong the pleasure of chowing down.

To keep with gluttonous theme going, we finished the meal with dishes of vanilla and chocolate custard, both a little grainy but flavorful and not too frozen.

No, Pizza Shuttle isn't gourmet food, but it's good food and the prices rock. Plus, the joint's locally owned and the owners have donated a quarter of a million dollars to local organizations.

Pizza Shuttle is open from 11 a.m. until 3 a.m. during the week, and until 4 a.m. on weekends.

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Talkbacks

OMCreader | Aug. 28, 2005 at 11:20 p.m. (report)

Tammy said: @Sara rotfl! Not in the least afraid of the artists...if so I wouldn't be on the East side that for sure! LOL

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OMCreader | Aug. 27, 2005 at 5:17 p.m. (report)

Cheese Costs More! said: To all who say that the Shuttle's prices are higher, I ask that you think about the price of cheese in the past few years, or think about the price of a gallon of milk. Milk used to be 1.79-1.99 per gallon. Now it's $2.39-$2.59 per gallon. Now, think about the quality of the cheese at the Shuttle. Do you think they put the stuff in the plastic bags on the pizza, or do they use fresh cheese? Answer is obviously fresh. Last, for anyone who says the price of a small pizza has gone up, I ask that you look at the single slice pizza for $3.50 ($5.50 with a beer). This is a great deal if you ask me. And the custard, employees, and ambience are top notch. Mark & Lou rule! Go Shuttle!

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OMCreader | Aug. 26, 2005 at 11:38 a.m. (report)

Barb said: I've gotten food poisening 2 times at Pizza Shuttle - never going there again!

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OMCreader | Aug. 23, 2005 at 4:48 p.m. (report)

Sara Cast said: Tammy, by "sketchy" people, do you mean to say you have a fear of artists?

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OMCreader | Aug. 16, 2005 at 9:43 a.m. (report)

Heather said: I love pizza shuttle! I agree that the prices have gone up over the last few years, but thats life - prices are always on the rise, no matter where you dine. Their coupons are great. I always use the 9.99 3 topping large deal. That can't be beat and their appetizers are awesome.

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