Saturday, January 19, 2008
Eat Salem at Apizza
High expectations can sometimes be the worst thing going through your mind when you try a new restaurant. You compare the food to the best restaurants in town and you notice every little flaw as you accept no less than perfection. As we walked into Apizza on 3rd Street in downtown Stayton, all my expectations went right out the window. It was totally different than what I was expecting. It's bright and open with wood floors and comfortable booths. Soft classical piano plays quietly in the background and you couldn't find a speck of dust in this place with a microscope. The dining room has high wood booths that are excellent for privacy and keep you focused on your family and your food. It's also nice and a bit of a surprise that there is no wait staff. You order at the front desk and pick up your plates, water and utensils on your way to being seated. I wish more restaurants would follow this model, ordering directly in front of the kitchen. Another thing Apizza is doing right is a very simple menu, pizza, Caesar salad, drinks and dessert. Restaurants that concentrate on one thing, usually do that one thing really well. If you want to know how well Apizza makes pizza you need to look no further than the stack of five pizza crusts piled up on my son's plate. He loved it and was bragging how he'd never eaten so much pizza in his life. The rest of my family thoroughly enjoyed the dinner as well. We ordered one Cheese Pie and one Combo Pie and a couple of Caesar salads. The Combo Pie is a Veggie Pie with sausage added for $21. Cooked perfectly, every bite seemed to have different flavors as I discovered a variety of vegetables throughout the pie. Most notably the red peppers and caramelized onions. One thing they put on this pizza and several others on the menu is Romano cheese. This extra touch adds a sharper flavor to the mozzarella and really shows the culinary skills of the chef. It's a bit strange that a place with this much class and metropolitan appeal is located in a town with less than 10,000 people. Staytonians are lucky to have such a nice place in their little downtown. If you haven't been to Apizza yet, it's definitely worth the drive out Highway 22 and might be an ideal place to go after a day of skiing up at Hoo Doo.