Compared to the stomping grounds of most Philadelphia suburban youth, Parkersburg, West Virginia offers very little when it comes to good eats (especially good pizza). Growing up, I couldn’t even begin to count the many birthday parties catered to by fat, hairy men with questionable bathing habits bearing Dominos or Papa John’s delivery. However, despite the overload of chain restaurants and fast food, the simply named “Pizza Place” never failed to provide slice after slice of greasy, crispy-crusted perfection.
Quite honestly, unless you’re trying to watch your weight or strongly opposed to greasy food, you’ll find it hard to find a single fault in their classic square thick crust pepperoni pizza, which undoubtedly, is the way to go. Sorry to all you vegetarians out there, the pepperoni just completes the picture. By no means is it any less delicious, though, just ask Winthrop Stevens.
I had driven eight hours cramped inside of an AC-lacking sedan, and besides a nap and stretch of the legs, I was craving Pizza Place. After receiving our long awaited slices from behind the counter, I waited and watched as Winthrop took his first bite into thick crusted bliss. As he sank his teeth into his first slice since overpriced turn-pike Sbarro, he closed his eyes in enjoyment as he crunched his way into the most perfectly reheated crust he’d ever experienced. Unlike most places, who’s reheating of single slices often turns crust to a mediocre, chewy average, the Pizza Place’s oven, by some mysterious Pizza-God black magic, returns the crust back to its original state of fresh, made-from-scratch, awesomeness. If the jukebox (which hasn’t been updated in years) isn’t blaring, you would swear your friends brought there own Captain Crunch. A single slice of sicilian with pepperoni towers over most other thick crust pizza and would easily satisfy the craving of the most intense munchies. One of the most memorable characteristics of this pizza, however, is not only the quality of their thick, hand-cut pepperoni, but the way the delicious, artery clogging, grease sits inside the round, curled up, pepperoni like a bowl of milk after you’ve finished the cereal. And as a side note, the only people who I’ve ever seen dab the grease off with a napkin are the girls who stick their fingers down their throats and my mother (hopefully you aren’t either of those). The mere thought of altering this pizza gives me the chills.
Moving on, The Pizza Place has barely changed since the mid 90s. As mentioned, the jukebox hasn’t been updated in years. I think the most recent addition was Now! 17 (released in 2004) which leads me to believe they’ve lost the keys to open it. Nonetheless, we settled for Foghat’s Greatest Hits and a few tracks from Dookie as I finished a taste of hometown nostalgia. The classic arcade games, broken wood fireplace, and seldom-swept tile floor surrounded us, just as they did years before.
This greasy little number could easily be passed by if you’re not from the area, but after satisfying a craving nearly 4 years in the making, I was on my way. Beyond what’s already been said, there isn’t much more to say about The Pizza Place. Its cheap, its filling, its old-school, and its damn good pizza.
The Pizza Place
2208 Dudley Ave, Parkersburg, WV -(304) 485-5601