By Stacey Patton Wallace
I have had a close, loving relationship with pizza since childhood. When I was in single digits, I enjoyed the hamburger, cheese, pepper and onion pizza that Mama made. Later, I even learned to make it myself; however, as I’ve said before, I love to eat but not cook. Therefore, cooking pizza is not nearly as fun as eating it at a restaurant is.
When I was in my teens, I frequented Alex City’s local Pizza Hut with my friends Amelia and Leigh Ann. After we finished eating, we would ask the poor employee who had to check us out to “please split the bill three ways.” I’m sure the folks who worked at the Hut were glad to see us go off to college.
Awhile back, Jim Sikes, noted chef, writer and food expert, invited my husband Mike and me to his home in Opelika for a fun, unique experience: a pizza-tasting party. Chef Jim and his wife Amy were delightful, gracious hosts. He had chosen eight people of various ages and backgrounds to evaluate pizzas from four area restaurants: Johnny Brusco’s, Fratelli’s, Little Italy’s and Dough’s Pizzeria.
The pizzas had cheese and tomato sauce with no other toppings. Using a rubric, we evaluated each of them on seven or eight criteria, ranging from appearance to would we eat the pizza again.
This was a new experience for me, and I incorrectly thought that we would be given just a bite or two of each pizza. However, Chef Jim gave us generous slices. Trying to be a “good diabetic,” I asked him to cut my slices in half.
By the time we got to the last pizza, which was from Dough’s, I told Chef Jim that I wish I hadn’t made that request. Although he told me to go back for more, I managed to decline.
All eight of the participants ranked Dough’s as the best overall pizza. It had plenty of mouthwatering cheese, and life is too short not to have as much cheese as possible. Also, it had a delicious flavor; it was so hard not to go back and devour more slices. Mike and I agree that we would DEFINITELY eat Dough’s pizza again.
Dough’s is located on 8th Street in Opelika. As I have previously stated, I LOVE the small town charm of downtown Opelika, not to mention its plentiful free parking; therefore, Dough’s gets extra points from me for being in one of my favorite areas to dine.
One pleasant evening, Mike and I joined our friends Jack and William for supper at Dough’s.
The restaurant’s building is lovely, utilizing the original old bricks, and pretty, decorative light fixtures hang from the ceiling. Dough’s follows COVID-19 safety protocols. All employees wore masks, and social distancing was observed.
Hobson, our waiter, was a delight, being thoughtful and patient. He explained the various pizzas and kindly brought me a paper menu since this 20th century woman, who is trapped in the 21st, doesn’t do apps.
Diners may choose from a variety of wood fired Neapolitan pizzas which have thin crusts and are like personal pizzas. In addition, they may select from American style pizzas which have thicker crusts and are more like New York style. Also, diners may choose from a list of toppings and build their own pizzas.
Jack chose the Pesto Neapolitan pizza which had house pesto, fresh tomato, fresh mozzarella, olive oil and pecan dust. Mike and I chose an American style pizza with pepperoni, sausage and onion. William also picked an American style pizza with similar toppings.
Just like at Chef Jim’s, our Dough’s pizza was fresh, cheesy and outstanding. As usual, Mike and I didn’t need a box for leftovers – there were none. We now have a favorite new pizza place in Lee County. If you haven’t been to Dough’s yet, try it soon; you will really enjoy it.
Dough Pizzeria makes the grade with an A+ from this retired English teacher. Remember,
“Pooh-sized” people NEVER lie about food. Enjoy!
Stacey Patton Wallace, who retired from teaching language arts for 30 years, is a professional diner. Her column, “Making the Grade,” will appear each week in the Observer. Stacey may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org