By Lydia Denney / email@example.com
When it comes to pizza toppings, pineapple just isn’t radical enough anymore. For the Lewis County residents wanting to put their taste buds to the test, the Weekender went out to search for the most unusual pizza toppings in the area.
Tiki Tap House has plenty of unusual pizza toppings that all seem to work together. However, the most unique pizza topping is Spam, owner Jordan Peabody said. The Spam topping comes on the Tiki Tap House Spamango Bay pizza, combined with mangos, onions and potato chips.
“Spam is probably our most divisive pizza topping,” Peabody laughed. “People either love it or they’re scared to death of it.”
The Spamango Bay pizza was created by Peabody’s son, Anthony. They felt brave enough to try serving the pizza, not knowing whether their customers would like it or not, Peabody said.
“We obviously field test everything in the kitchen,” Peabody said. “My wife and I are not going to put anything out on somebody’s table that we wouldn’t eat ourselves.
Another restaurant in the area with original pizzas is Jeremy’s Farm to Table. They have their own original pizza combinations mixed in with the classics, but there is also the option for customers to build their own pizza for those who want to try their hand at creating a new mashup of toppings. The restaurant has served pizza since they opened, using recipes and pizza combinations created by former owner Jeremy Wildhaber. Head chef Falisha Christen said their most popular pizza is the Angus Prime, but what people really like about the pizza is the sourdough crust, which is virtually gluten-free.
“People like the dough … they know we make our sauces and a lot of the stuff we pre-make ourselves. We have a lot of fresh things that come out of the market,” said Vanessa Lopez, a cook at Jeremy’s.
Though the predetermined pizza combinations at Jeremy’s might not include very unusual toppings, the kitchen will see some unique choices in orders for a build your own pizza. Some of those toppings include cashews and corned beef, (not together, but maybe someone should try that?). The corned beef option was created by some servers at Jeremy’s, which eventually became a requested topping, Christen said. Christen will also create new pizza combinations for special events throughout the year, like the buffalo chicken pizza they made for the Superbowl.
“All of our pizza cooks here are our longest employees, so they’ve been around since we’ve opened,” Christen said. “They know what they’re doing and they do it right.”
Another uncommon pizza topping at Jeremy’s is their guava-mango BBQ sauce, created in the kitchen like the other sauces. Everything at Jeremy’s is organic and locally sourced. Almost all of their ingredients from the market next door, Christen said.
“Everything is made from scratch, we’re not getting anything out of a bag,” Christen said. “That’s really the main difference here compared to other places.”
McMenamins is known to have a changing menu from one location to the next, but one of their pizza constant is their house-made dough. The Olympic Club Pub in Centralia offers four different pizzas: Electric Mayhem, Omnivore, Hammerhead BBQ Chicken and Dirty Dave’s.
Manager Jessy Thayer said the pizza at the Olympic Club is her favorite thing on the menu, with the Omnivore and Dirty Dave’s being the best sellers. Along with their homemade dough, the pizza at the Olympic Club is made to order and is topped with fresh ingredients, Thayer said.
As far as unusual toppings go, the weirdest combination exists on the Dirty Dave’s pizza, which is topped with pepperoni, sausage and roasted cashews.
“(Dirty Dave’s) is a crowd favorite,” Thayer said. “Everyone loves that one.”
Sahara Pizza is another themed pizza joint with two, soon to be three locations in Lewis County: Chehalis, Napavine and Winlock. The menus vary between Sahara Pizza locations, but one of the unique combinations at the Chehalis location is the Chicken Gorgonzola.
Brian Norris, owner of the Chehalis and Napavine locations, said the most unusual toppings at Sahara are the smoked salmon on the Ketchikan pizza and mangos on the Caribbean Crunch.