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Pizza Diaries, Volume 2 | Arts & Appetite

Reviewed: Zeeks, Elliott Bay, and Venice Pizza

 

Last updated 2/11/2021 at 10:58am

Maria A. Montalvo

The Mama Lil's peppers elevated the Spicy Italian pizza from Venice Pizza & Pasta in Edmonds.

After the first volume of the Pizza Diaries in The Beacon's Arts & Appetite column last month, Beacon readers shared many of their experiences searching for the perfect pizza pie in our area.

One reader, a fellow East Coaster who grew up coveting the traditional New York-style pizza, suggested that there was no need to look any further since I found and recommended Brooklyn Brothers.

Several others recommended pizza parlors from Mill Creek to Lynnwood to Edmonds, so here we go with Volume 2.

Recommendations came in for a local franchise of the Northwest pizza chain, Zeeks Pizza, and a locally owned pizzeria that started in Seattle, Elliot Bay Pizza & Pub, as well as Venice Pizza & Pasta, an Edmonds local.

Two of the three deliver – Zeeks and Venice.

I had never tried any of them, but ventured out with the same baseline for each of these reviews – the cheese pizza, a pizza with a crust that is both crispy and chewy, a tomato sauce with perceptible oregano and other herbs, and a healthy covering of Italian mozzarella and provolone cheeses.

Zeeks

I was most surprised by our Lynnwood location of Zeeks Pizza (4309 196th St. SW). Since first opening in 1993 with a commitment to good pizza and beer to fuel days on the ski slopes, they have grown to 18 Puget Sound locations.

The 30-plus pizzas on traditional and adventurous base sauces can satisfy pizza lovers who will try a ranch dressing sauce, as well as the purists, like me. We ordered a Cheese Pizza (large for $22.30) and the Flannel Blanket ($35), one of their collaborations with local producers.

The Flannel Blanket has a delicious house-made caramelized onion base, Olsen Farms potatoes, Salt Blade chorizo, and Ferndale Farmstead asiago, goat cheese, and mozzarella. The cheese pizza was a good, classic rendition, but the Flannel Blanket was fantastic.

All of the flavors and textures somehow worked; it balanced sweet and salty and bordered on too much, but was not. The next day, the two leftover slices with a fried egg on top made our week! Oh, and the Zeek the Greek Salad ($14 for a whole) was fresh and tasty on the side.

Zeeks is open daily (4-9 p.m. Monday-Tuesday and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday). For more information, go to http://www.zeekspizza.com.

Elliot Bay

Elliot Bay Pizza started in Seattle, but its Mill Creek location (800 164th St. SE) is locally owned and clearly beloved by its patrons. The short drive over the freeway from Edmonds was quick, and the pizza made it home intact. It's three-page menu features pizza, pasta, subs, and much more, but this is the Pizza Diaries.

I did try one of their calzones (the Twilight Zonie with pepperoni and sausage, $14.25), but it fits the brief since it is a pizza folded in half, along with the Classic Cheese (large for $17.25), and the Tivoli (Pepperoni) (large for $18.90).

The calzone was a work of art – the crust was crispy and the addition of ricotta to the cheese and meat filling made every bit a pleasure. I'd have that again and again. The Classic Cheese and Tivoli met the mark for good pizza, although I wish the cheese did not include cheddar in the cheese mix. Their very personable service and attention to detail makes me want to try more on the menu, Info: http://www.elliottbaypizza.com.

Venice Pizza

Venice Pizza at Firdale Village in Edmonds is one of those pizza places that I have said for years that I needed to try. It has a classic pizza joint look but actually has quite a large Italian menu.

We remained focused on the Cheese pizza ($15.50 for a large) and tried the specialty Aristos ($14.05 for a small) and the Spicy Italian ($14.05 for a small), as well as the Venetian ($8.25 for a half) and Caesar ($7.95 for a half) salads.

The salads were fresh and full, and the sauce on the pizza very tasty. The toppings on both the Aristos and Spicy Italian were very good, balancing creativity with classic, pizza flavors. I do wish the crust was a little less bready, but we all seem to have strong feelings about pizza crust.

My waistline may need a break before another installment of these diaries, but based on the response so far, the Pizza Diaries will return, and we look forward to more recommendations.

 

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