Searching for great pizza is like searching for the Holy Grail. Dine magazine recently did a "best of" pizza feature. Predictably, Some Guy's Pizza Pasta Grill and Bazbeaux dominated the list.
But new competition has emerged. Greek's Pizzeria already has outposts in Fishers and Muncie, but now the brand has been brought to Broad Ripple. Athanasios Chris Karamesines, who has supposedly worked in every American pizzeria chain there is, is the daddy.
A medium gourmet house ($13.67) introduced me to the Greek's brand. I was especially intrigued by the trendy feta that topped it, but the promise of meatballs and black olives alongside didn't hurt. I called it in.
The poor guy on the other end of the line didn't know what was coming at him. I hemmed and hawed over several other choices. "Well, how's the wing pizza?" "The mozzarella sticks?" "Do you make your own dressings?" The man-boy on the receiver relayed my questions to someone else until I finally solicited his personal choice on an item. "I don't know, ma'am, it's my first day," he politely replied.
But I couldn't be thoroughly difficult enough without requesting if their cordon bleu à la Rafael pizza could be made into a shell ($5.97) (calzone). It could, the messenger returned with the answer. The order would be ready in 20 minutes.
I swung by to pick up my orders and immediately regretted not dragging a cohort to the small, cozy venue next to Broad Ripple Vintage store. It's a checkered tablecloth establishment with flat screen TV mounts, license plate and clock décor on the walls, and beer and wine, too. Definitely a place to gorge with someone you love.
Back home with the goods, I took my first few bites of the gourmet house. The feta-caked top layer immediately conjured images of the salt water jars where my uncle stored this briny cheese. But that salty first layer gave way to a slightly sweet tomato sauce with a hint of roasted garlic. Slivers of oily, crunchy onion provided more textural counterpoints. And the meatballs were moist and irregularly shaped, not seemingly more desiccated, burnt mounds.
The crust, a gluten-rich, pliable delight, was possibly the crowning jewel.
On to the shell. It was, in fact, a take on chicken cordon bleu, chock-full of cheese and ham-wrapped chicken. The flakey shell crust was baked to golden perfection, possibly the most impressive part of the whole deal.
Flash forward to Monday. I wanted to try one more pizza from this place, which has already gotten my Monon Coffee Company friends hooked. Really. Every time lunch rolls around, they start buzzing about Greek's.
I decided on a small gourmet chicken ranch pizza ($8.90), which promised special garlic ranch butter, bacon, blended cheeses and grilled chicken. I ordered it with the special garlic butter crust, available upon request. The most striking thing about this 'za is bacon. The flavor dominates all the others, and screams to be paired with ranch. I suppose that's why the pizza is named as such - because it doesn't actually have any ranch on or in it, to my taste.
In all, a good, quick, cheap addition to the Broad Ripple landscape.
834 E. 64th St.
Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Friday: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Food: Three and a half stars
Service: Four and a half stars
Atmosphere: Four stars