by Todd Barron @ FoodieCuisine.com
I’ve been a patron of Damgoode Piesfor many years now, including back when it was called Pie 2 (square) Pizza in the Heights. They now have two sit-down locations, one in the Heights and one on Cantrell, and a take-out location on Rodney Parham. They also have a location in Fayetteville. For this review I went to the one on Cantrell with a good friend of mine for a quick dinner.
We arrived at 5:30pm on a Friday and were greeted by an empty restaurant which was to be expected given the time of day. We were quickly seated and placed our drink orders. Damgoode Pies is a very casual place to eat and you can expect to see plenty of people in shorts and t-shirts. The decor reminds me of old-school punk and rock clubs with all black paint, odd lighting, and even foam noise insulation stuck about the ceiling. It’s funky and welcoming. I especially like the clouds painted on the ceiling in the back area. The only think I would change is the bright lighting in some areas. It reminds me of the lights that used to go on after concerts were over or when bars were closing.
I ordered the usual which for me is a Large Stuffy (+$5) Greek Pizza (+$16.95) with pepperoni added (+$3.25) and topped with their Spicy White Sauce. Yes, they are on the expensive side. Damgoode Pies is the only place in Little Rock I will go to for a Chicago Style stuffed pizza. There are other places that claim to have stuffed pizzas but they pale in comparison to what I have had many times in Chicago. I used to travel to Chicago for my work and spent over a year commuting there almost every week. My favorite thing to do was to go by Gino’s East Pizza or Giordanno’s Pizzaand get a stuffed crust pepperoni pizza. I don’t go to Chicago very often anymore so Damgoode Pies has to do it for me. Luckily, they almost always deliver on quality.
The Spicy White Sauce is a sauce made with Parmesan cheese, garlic, ricotta, basil, and red pepper mixed in. They also offer a very garlicky Pesto Sauce, a “traditional” Red Sauce, an Alfredo Sauce, a Tomato Basil Sauce, a Pesto Cream Sauce, a Garlic Butter Sauce, and a Pink Sauce. The sauces are really what makes the pizzas and I recommend you try them all to see which one(s) you really like. The Greek pizza comes with spinach, feta cheese, tomatoes, and black olives. I like to add pepperoni for the salt and the depth of flavor. Unless you are a vegetarian I highly recommend this step if you order the same thing.
The pizza came out about 20 minutes after we ordered it and looked great. It was almost over-cooked but had a decent texture to it. They also didn’t cover the entire thing with the Spicy White Sauce. The stuffed pizza is made first with a layer of dough. They then cover the dough with the toppings. And lastly, another layer of dough is put on top before they bake the pizza. When the pizza is almost done they remove it from the oven and add whatever sauce you order. They then put it back into the oven to finish cooking the pizza and the sauce. The only problem I see them run into with this method is that sometimes they don’t use enough sauce. The sauce is so good that I don’t want any bare spots on my pizza; therefore, I usually end up ordering a side of sauce to fill in the gaps.
The pizza as ordered has an amazing texture and taste to it. You get a tiny crunch from the pizza crust that is quickly followed up by the smoothness of the sauce. The vegetables come next which are very moist and the whole thing is finished with the spiciness of the pepperoni and an after-kick of the red pepper. This is one of the few pizzas that I don’t have to add red pepper to it since it’s already baked in! The flavor is amazing and has kept me coming back over the years.
Make sure you bring your appetites or a to-go box as you will get plenty of pizza if you order a Large Stuffy Pizza!
6706 Cantrell Road
501-664-2239 (All LR Locations)