Wednesday, December 29, 2010
O-Zone Pizza Pub
If you've been keeping up, you know that my son & I like to walk though our neighborhood, which is a great place for families with all the parks & little shoppes to visit. We found J's Bakery quickly because it was so close to home, but as we continued to venture further from our house, we discovered all sorts of interesting places, from deli's & restaurants to antique shoppes. One gem that we came upon during a longer walk is a very old building that has spent portions of its life as a hospital & a school. It now has various functions as an office building, theatre, meeting space & restaurant. And you can't miss O-Zone, the Pizza Pub in what used to be the hospital's morgue.
O-Zone is tucked in the back of the building, alerting passers-by to its existence by little more than a brightly painted sign around the front. On the side of the building there is plenty of parking & the door is surrounded by ivy. There are some great tables outside that have mosaic tiles inlaid, but the inside is where the real interesting stuff is. O-Zone is a funky place to be, with the decor reminding you of youth through all the music memorabilia & arcade games. There is stuff, but its not stuffy. O-Zone makes you feel at home as soon as you walk in. The three
dining rooms are cozy & each has its own theme. The front room is the bar. You walk in above everyone, allowing for a birds eye view. Looking to meet friends for the game? This is the place to be. As soon as you walk in, you can find them, the bar stretches before you & it is downright cozy. If you're looking for something maybe a bit quieter, the middle room is small and painted to make you feel like you're in a collapsing ruin with the crumbling bricks open to the blue sky above. The back room is wall papered with slice art from kids of all ages. Just ask for a cup of crayons & design your own slice; next time you come in, find it while you wait for your 'za.
So on to the food, the dough & cheese, if you will. O-Zone has a lot to offer, from some awesome appetizers (LOVE the HUMMUS) & salads to regular bar food. But the best way to go is the pie. During lunch, pizza is offered by the slice for only a dollar with toppings for a quarter, but these slices seem to be best as just cheese; they make a good quick bite on the go. The way to do topped pizza at O-Zone, however, is to get a whole pie. Lots of choices, generous toppings. The crust is crisp yet light, and all the toppings are totally tasty. My son likes to stick with the plain cheese or 'roni, and I like to change it up. Once I got bacon, pineapple & cashews: canned pineapple bits & whole cashews with a ton of crumbled bacon. I also like fresh spinach, tomato, & feta. They've got killer roasted garlic too, which can be a good addition to any combo. The sauce is smooth & flavorful without being overly sweet & they portion it well; the pizza isn't drowning & the crust stays slightly soft beneath it while the bottom gets good & crispy. Even the staff is great. A bunch of free spirits looking to make you some tasty food. They're helpful & sociable without being in your face.
The whole place is really laid-back & makes for a great little spot, whether you're on the go between work & soccer practice or kicking back to watch the game, this is a fun place to be.Sometimes, O-Zone can get really crowded, especially with kids, but there is a park right across the street from the building that is great to eat at or you can rent out the back room for a kids birthday party or other events. Try one of the many micro-brewed domestic & imported brews that are available, or keep it simple with your old favorite. One thing to be sure to do: go back for more the next time you're in the neighborhood.
Posted by Erin Kadan