A large oak tree looms over the gravel expanse of the parking lot, various metal chairs, bicycles, and oven paddles hanging from its branches, like the project of an overworked and over-caffeinated art student. Ingleside Village Pizza, the sign reads in a mismatched font. The quiet colors and tinted windows are, whether intentional or not, misleading, because the inside is so colorful and vibrant it’s almost like walking into a different world.
There are, by my calculations, at least a billion different sets of string lights, lamps and glowing neon signs in total. Every inch of the walls are covered by some sort of poster, mirror or painting, with a vast array of musical instruments, lights and art pieces hanging from the ceiling. A medieval suit of armor guards the restrooms, his body filled with multicolored christmas lights. It honest-to-god looks like the set of an ISpy Book, if the theme was “inside the mind of an indie filmmaker.”
Ingleside Village Pizza has definitely earned the single dollar sign by its name. With a party of seven, splitting the cost of two pizzas and a basket of breadsticks, each person only had to pay $3.25. I don’t know how this is possible, considering how expensive the electric bill must be to maintain their aesthetic, but I won’t question the miracle.
Our breadsticks came to us in a green basket, insulated by wax paper and swimming in a pool of butter, oregano and shredded mozzarella cheese. A generous container of marinara sauce followed, and the picture was beautiful enough to make my eyes water. The bread itself was soft and doughy, without the fear of being undercooked. Combined with the sauce and cheese, it tasted as otherworldly as everything else in the pizzeria.
The main event, the pizza itself, lived up to the high standards that its butter-laden predecessor had set. The sauce to cheese ratio was perfect, and while I don’t think the seasoning made much of a difference taste-wise, it definitely made one aesthetically. The crust had the same softness I had come to expect from the breadsticks, and after months of just scraping by using pepsi50 for Papa Johns, I have grown to appreciate a good crust.
This is definitely not the place to go if you’re on the verge of collapse and need something fast. The wait time was somewhere upwards of 20 minutes, but I’m willing to excuse it because they are making a pizza from scratch, and these things take time. I suggest using an appetizer to fill this gap.
I only saw our waiter twice, but since the soda fountain was out in the open, this wasn’t as big of a deal as it might have been otherwise.
The Mosaic of Elvis Presley Hanging in the Bathroom
This isn’t so much of a complaint as it is a question. Why? Why is there a puzzle where every individual piece is a picture of Elvis’s face, which fits together into a larger picture of Elvis’ face? Why does it exist, and why did anyone think directly above the bathroom toilet was a good place to put it?
The outside decor and small, gravel parking lot were the only things that put me off to Ingleside Village Pizza, but since they were the first things I noticed about the pizzeria, they could easily put potential customers off.
This restaurant probably isn’t the place to go if you’re trying to keep your New Year’s’ resolution.
“I think the breadsticks increased my cholesterol, but in a good way,” says Monica Stephenson, a member of our party, and none of us were inclined to disagree with her.
Overall, Ingleside Village Pizza has all the makings of a college student’s type of restaurant; delicious, affordable and aesthetically pleasing.