Thursday, January 08, 2009

Katie's Pizzeria

Ratings Guide:
Half handshake, half chest-bump hug – 5 stars
Chest bump – 4 stars
Fist bump – 3 stars
High five – 2 stars
Handshake – 1 star
Manly ass slap – ½ star
Fone and fone – 0 stars

Restaurant: Katie’s Pizzeria Cafe
Location: 6611 Clayton Road

I’ve got big news! Are you sitting down? While watching porn? With a sock nearby? GREAT! Get this: I finally found a restaurant in St. Louis that I LOVE! CAN YOU TELL I’M EXCITED! OR THAT I JUST READ MORE INFORMATION THAN YOU REQUIRE!

But seriously, I found my new favorite St. Louis restaurant, and it’s called Katie’s Pizzeria. I can’t say enough about it (which is probably a bad thing, because then you’ll go and it won’t live up to the unrealistic expectations I’m giving you).

I love the atmosphere. It’s located right on Clayton across from a strip mall, which is the only real knock on it. But once you step inside you feel like you’re transported somewhere far away. Until you look out the window and see the strip mall, then you know exactly where you are, which is at Katie’s Pizzeria. When you do that, turn back around and get re-lost in Katie’s. The place has a great rustic feel to it. I love the fact that every set of table and chairs in the place is different. I could sit in there all day eating pizza and drinking wine.

Which brings me to the fact that they have a decent wine menu, which I also love. How do I know it’s a decent wine menu? I don’t, because I know nothing about wine. But it’s got several to choose from, so I consider that a good thing.

You know what else I love about Katie’s? THE FOOD!

The first time I went they had an appetizer special of fried mozzarella. Fully expecting it to just be fried cheese sticks, I was presently surprised when it wasn’t. Just perfect, fresh mozzarella medallions pan-fried. And they were delicious. Super simple, but super satisfying. And we also got the Gorgonzola & artichoke toasted ravioli. Again, was just expecting typical toasted ravs with a twist, but the pesto dipping sauce put it over the top. Not that I’m a pesto expert, but it was the best pesto I’ve ever had in my life. That could be really impressive, or really sad. I’m not sure which. But I am sure that I loved it. On another visit, Amy’s friend Les got the fried artichoke salad, of which I had a bite, and it was pretty tasty as well.

But the reason I loved Katie’s wasn’t the apps. It was the pizza.

My wife got the shrimp, pesto, cherry tomatoes, and pecorino pizza. I’ve tried shrimp on pizza several times, and every time I do I’m disappointed. It usually just ends up being one of those “shrimp just shouldn’t be on pizza” type of feelings. But not this time. I genuinely liked it. I think the pesto helped, and the shrimp was nice and plump, which was also nice.

But the pizza that made me weak in the knees? Proscuitto, sliced apples, and Brie. Good god. I don’t even know how to describe it other than “perfect”. The perfect balance of saltiness and sweetness and cheesy goodness. Now, it wasn’t the best pizza I’ve ever had in my entire life (maybe top 8), but it was the best one I’ve had in a long time. And both times I’ve ordered it it’s been great.

What I love is that the pizzas at Katie’s are unique, but they don’t try too hard. The ingredients aren’t so complex that they fight against each other, but there are enough of them to add the perfect amount and balance of flavor.

And there’s one more reason I love Katie’s. I was reading some other online reviews for it, and most of them were from right after it opened, and one of the reviews had a comment posted. Here’s a snippet (anything in [parenthesis] is my comment to the poster’s comments):

“The visit to Katie's Pizzeria was the most disappointing and frankly antagonistic restaurant experience I have had in a long time. We waited an hour for pizza, the ONLY entree on the menu [probably why it’s called a “pizzeria”], only to have the waitress try to drop the neighboring table's pizza off on us. She said "oops, the other table had eaten ours". We declined the pizza we didn't order and waited patiently for our pizza, which was ultimately somewhat cold and tasteless. I know these things happen at a new place, but when one person in our party gave constructive feedback to the owner [I can only imagine the tone of this “feedback”], Katie, the response was insulting and defensive, apparently this mix up has NEVER happened at their open-a-week-long restaurant and the person who gave the feedback was given a psychiatric evaluation – something I didn’t know Katie was qualified to give. Admittedly Katie did slam a bottle of wine on our table, but she never apologized or engaged in any kind of conversation. When leaving Katie told us to never come back and to "have a nice drive back to West County." [Reading this caused me to nearly wet my pants, divorce my wife, and propose to Katie] When I told Katie that I lived in the city, I was told "I didn't look like it" [the only thing that would have made this better is if Katie made fun of the ladies mom haircut (assuming she had one)]. By her tone of voice I can tell you that living in West County is the ultimate insult [and let’s be clear, it is, and for good reason (no offense, Doug, if you’re reading this)]. I’m not proud to say that at this point I lost it. So if you want bad pizza, bad service and the ultimate- bad ownership, visit Katie at her Pizzeria. I give them a month at best. You'd think Zoe Robinson would have trained her niece better than this. It was shocking. Maybe Katie should have a reality TV show instead of a restaurant.”

So there you have it. Two totally different opinions on the place. But anytime an owner has that much sass, count me in.

Katie’s Pizzeria – half handshake, half chest-bump hug.
Using the word “love” 9 times in a review – fone and fone.


At 7:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No offense taken, you d-bag. I'm never inviting you to any of the four Applebee's on Manchester Road again.


At 9:02 AM, Anonymous Dru said...

"Have a nice drive back to West County"...I love it. Reminds me of when i threw a dollar chip at that old at the poker table and told her to go play the slots.

At 6:22 PM, Blogger Josh Kell said...

Sadly, I've actually reviewed Applebee's before.


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