Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Zachary's Pizza - Ride Report and Pizza Review!

Zachary's Pizza
1028 E 6th St
Tucson, AZ 85719
(520) 623-6323

Since I had a long weekend, a road trip of some distance was in order. I needed to spend several hours in the saddle anyway, since I've only been riding a paltry forty miles (on average) each week.
On Saturday, Lady Luck pushed me out the door, shoved my helmet into my hands, and told me I'd better not come back until well after dark.

Apparently I've been a little grouchy due to how little I've ridden recently.

I'd been meaning to ride to Tucson and do a pizza review anyway, so it seemed like a good opportunity to check out this place "Zachary's Pizza" that I'd heard about. I mapped out my route, grabbed a camera and set out for a three hour pre-lunch ride.

I wanted to avoid taking the 10 to Tucson. Sure, it's fast(ish) and easy to navigate, but it's also one of the most terrifying roads in Arizona. There is a ton of traffic, 24 hours a day, bunched together so tightly that evasive maneuvering is impossible.

Apart from the "certain death-iness" of the 10, it's just a boring ride. It's almost entirely straight between here and Tucson, and those of us who ride motorcycles of a sporting nature prefer our roads curvy.

I opted to entirely avoid freeways, which was a poor choice in hindsight. I spent half an hour just getting to highway 87. I rode on 87 to 77, until I reached W. Fort Lowell Road.

The desert is beautiful, but even in winter it is an unforgiving beauty. The vegetation along the highways would love to snag your skin and leave a long scar on your arm. Guess how I learned that lesson. I passed through some farm country as well. Here in Arizona, we mainly grow cotton and cattle. Cotton, if you didn't know, is one ugly plant. Of course, the cotton itself looks like snow, giving a rider the impression that winter has hit Arizona unusually hard this year.

In fact, I passed through an intersection where a great deal of cotton had spilled. I braced myself momentarily, expecting a slushy, snowy mess to get my adrenaline pumping. Of course, it was only cotton, dry and easily avoided. I was grateful it was only cotton, and not steel wool on the road. We grow that here too, you know.

Along my ride, I passed several restaurants that looked ripe for reviewing. I had my destination firmly fixed, however, so I made a mental note to return and rode on towards Tucson.

Around three o'clock, I found the restaurant. Apparently, Zachary's gets a lot of word of mouth advertising, or so I gathered from their lack of signage. I nearly rode past the restaurant twice, but I spotted their sign at the last second.

There were only a few people in the restaurant, and just one waitress working. I chuckled to myself looking around at the other people in the restaurant. There were a couple of other folks, sitting by themselves, talking on cell phones. Eating is a social activity, yet a cellphone is inherently isolating.

The restaurant is in a pretty rotten building, and the interior was well-worn, and mismatched. Perfect!

I had an order of super-garlicky cheese toast while I waited for my deep-dish, Chicago-style pizza. The toast was good, and the marinara rocked (peppery and tangy!), but I was eager to find out whether or not this restaurant would have the pie I've been searching Arizona for these last six years.

My deep dish pizza had sausage, pepperoni and green peppers on it. The crust was buttery and surprisingly crisp for how thick it was. It really needed a side of sauce to eat the crust on it's own, but a fine crust all the same. The sauce, by the way, was perfect. There could have been more, of course, but what was there made Lucky a happy man. Overall, the pizza was almost perfect.

The service was AMAZING. The waitress kept on top of my coffee refills, and provided me with plenty of foil to bring home my leftovers (funny how hard it is to fit a pizza box into a tank bag). This was on top of having to contend with a huge group of children who came in not long after I got my cheese bread.

So, I give Zachary's pizza an enthusiastic Five Crying Luckies. If you're in the area, make a point to stop in for a slice.


Simon said...

"An unhealthy obsession with pizza and motorcycles"?

Unhealthy they might be, but they sure are fun

Lucky said...

Well put!