Sometimes the urge for pizza strikes at strange times. Thus, instead of a big pizza party in the evening with friends, I felt like pizza at 3:30 in the afternoon. Coincidentally, that is the time that Smoky Mountain Pizza in Meridian has their daily Happy Hour. So what better then pizza and an adult beverage? I ventured down to Smoky Mountain Pizzeria and took a seat at the beautiful copper-topped bar. Drink specials abounded, very reasonably priced. Beer, both bottle and draft, wine and a full liquor selection made it easy to find exactly what I wanted. Mark, the bartender, greeted me with a smiling face and took my drink order. A nice bourbon and soda soon sat in front of me. Thirsty, I enjoyed the cool drink as I perused the menu.
Smoky Mountain Pizzeria has a nice regular menu with entrees, appetizers and pastas. For Happy Hour, many of the drinks and appetizers are specially priced and, judging from others at the bar, very popular. However, I had one thought only—-pizza. Smoky Mountain Pizzeria has a good selection of pizzas, from personal 8” size to an XL 16” size. An excellent selection of toppings can be added to them, either by your own choice or as one of the combos listed on the menu. I settled on a personal sized Ultimate Pizza, a combo with pepperoni, Canadian bacon, mushrooms, olives, onions, bell peppers and Italian sausage. Mark suggested the Original Hand Tossed crust, not too thick but with plenty of bite. They also have a Thin and Crisp, New York/New Haven style crust as well as a Gluten-Free crust.
As I worked on my second drink, expertly prepared by Mark, my pizza came. I was delighted to see that the edge had some char and some bubbles, the sign of a good pizza cooked in a nice hot oven. All the toppings were fresh, a really nice sign. As I folded and bit into the first slice, the flavors popped into my mouth. The crust had crackle but chew too, holding with the better pizzas I’ve had in not only Boise but pizza towns like New Haven and New York. The sauce had layers of flavor and just enough kick to perk up the tastebuds. For a small chain of pizzerias in Idaho and Utah, I was pleasantly surprised to have found such a quality pizza. One piece ran to two, then three. I reached the last piece, feeling satisfied. I bit into it, savored the toppings and the still-warm cheese and finished it off. The personal size is just about perfect for someone who gets a pizza craving and wants a satisfying pizza with no leftovers.
By the time I was ready, I not only felt that I had enjoyed just the meal I was craving, but was happy to find such a welcoming atmosphere there. Mark and the other staff at Smoky Mountain Pizzeria certainly were welcoming, cementing a reason to come back again. When the pizza craving hits, I can’t think of a better place to satisfy it.
Smoky Mountain Pizzeria
980 E. Fairview Ave.