Archive for November 23, 2011

Lamppost Pizza

Do you like your pizza not too thick, not to thin, but just right?  If so, Lamppost Pizza may be for you.  There are 42 Lamppost Pizza restaurant’s in the US, mostly in Southern California but there is just one outlet in Reno.

Lamppost makes its dough fresh daily and lets it rise a minimum of 12 hours.  The pizzas are hand rolled and tossed and then cooked in a conveyor style gas oven for 8 mins at 475 degrees.

Lamppost practices moderation in all things - crust, cheese and sauce


The result is what I would call a decidedly medium crust pizza, not too thick, but definitely not thin.  When I saw the conveyor style ovens and medium crust, I feared the worst because normally a medium crust cooked like this would be pretty heavy and doughy.  However, despite these hurdles, Lamppost manages to turn out pizzas that are surprisingly light with a slightly crisp crust, a likely benefit of letting the dough rise for 12 hours.  It’s a tough pizza to classify, but if I had to take a guess, I would classify it as a generic, American pizza.

A Decidedly Medium, Yet Light and Airy Crust


For thin crust purists the crust will still seem too thick and too doughy, but if you like a robust, yet relatively airy crust, Lamppost should fit your pizza cravings nicely.   The plain cheese pizza has a medium amount of cheese and sauce on it to go with the medium crust.  We also had one of their specialty pizzas, the Veggie Jackson and were impressed with the fresh, crisp veggies that adored our pizza.

The Veggie Jackson, Yes You Did Eat Your Vegetables Today

In addition to pizza, Lamppost serves wide assortment of appetizers including Chicken Tenders, Onion Rings, Wings, Potato Skins.  They also have a number of salads, pastas and sandwiches as well as a kids menu.  If you have someone in your party that does not like pizza, they will not go hungry.

Speaking of parties, Lamppost is tailor made for large parties.  You could seat well over 50 people in the main dining area and there’s also a large separate bar area with lots of different beers on tap.  There’s also a game room to keep the kids occupied while you wait for the pizzas.

Service is fast casual.  You order at a counter and then the pizzas are brought to your table when ready.  The people working at Lamppost are courteous and reasonably efficient, but since this is a chain and often busy, you shouldn’t expect a lot of enthusiasm and people going the extra mile, it’s just a job.

Lamppost is located in South Reno in a relatively new building in the same commercial development as a Home Depot.  There is plenty of free parking around the restaurant.

From a value perspective, Lamppost is roughly in line with other casual pizza joints.  An extra large (about 18 inches) will set you back $18.05 which is in line with most other places.  The specialty pizzas are kind of expensive, but they do include a lot of toppings.

The dreaded conveyor oven ... was actually not that bad

Lamppost Pizza is not going to win any Neapolitan or New York Pizza prizes.  It is a decidedly middle of the road pizza with a medium crust, medium cheese and medium sauce.  This makes sense because with its party-ready interior and large menu, Lamppost is clearly trying to hard to please as many people as possible by taking a decidedly middle of the road approach to just about everything.  For the most part they pull off this balancing act well and are well suited towards a large party looking for a variety of pizza and non-pizza options.


Name: Lamppost Pizza
Address: 1141 Steamboat Pkwy #930, Reno NV 89521
Phone #: 775-853-7887
Pizza Type:  Medium Crust
Oven: Gas
Slices? N
Large Pizza Cost:  $18.05


Pie Face Pizza Co.

Located a couple blocks from heart of downtown’s casino district, Pie Face Pizza Company sells thin crust, American style pizza.   While their pizza is thin enough to qualify as New York style pizza, Pie Face has two traits that mark it as more of a “American Style” pizza: 1.  They use more cheese than the average New York pizza. 2.  Their pizzas have a unique “braided” end crust.

A cheese slice with the braided crust from Pie Face Pizza Co.

While the braided end crust is interesting, one big drawback is that the braiding appears to the compress the dough and it results in a rather dense end crust (see picture below).

Braided end crust = dense end crust


Pie face is located right next to the entrance to the low rent El Cortez Hotel on the northeast corner of 2nd and N. Arlington streets.  It’s actually kind of tough to find because their sign blends in with that of the Hotel.

Pie Face Is Right Next to the entrance to the El Cortez


The interior looks nicer and more inviting than the exterior and has about 30 seats.  There’s even a small hang-out couch/chairs up front with a big screen TV if you want to veg out a bit while scarfing down your slice.

The service is fast casual where you order at the counter and then they bring your pie/slice out to you.  The people that work there are friendly and low key.

Pie Face has about 30 seats, plenty for a late night group


From a value perspective, Pie face’s pricing is very close to Blue Moon: $3.50 for a plain slice and $19 for a large (although their large is a full 20″).

Pie Face reminds me a bit of Blue Moon, in that the pizza is better than what you will get from Domino’s or Pizza Hut, but nothing I would go out of my way to consume.  In both cases, what prevents the pizza from reaching the next level is the crust.  In Pie Face’s case, the crust is quite thin, but it’s relatively dense and lacks chewyness and crispness.   I wish they would replace the braided crust with something lighter and more airy.

Pie Face apparently does a good amount of late night business (they stay open very late on Fri/Sat) that attracts a lot of people looking for a quick slice after a night of reveling downtown and in that regard I think the pizza probably hits the spot nicely.  If you are out and about downtown and craving a thin crust slice with ample cheese in a laid back environment, Pie Face is a good choice.

Name: Pie Face Pizza Co.
Address: 239 W. 2nd St.

Phone #: 775-622-9222
Pizza Type:  American
Oven: Gas
Slices? Y
Large Pizza Cost:  $19