SouthCreek Pizza’s a pleaser

WHAT’S $10 OR LESS: South- Creek has a solid selection of salads and “sammies” on the lunch menu. Salads are priced at $6 or $7 and include the requisite Caesar, wedge and garden salads, as well as house specials Daggi (bleu cheese, bacon, avocado) and Solstice (goat cheese, walnuts, cranberries and pears.) Sammies range from $7 to $9 and are served in house-made pita bread, include meatball, mortadella, Italian and mozzarella. If you and your lunch companion can agree on a pizza, all selections come in at $20 or less and can easily feed two on a lunch appetite.

THE PLACE: SouthCreek Pizza opened in late 2013 and quickly has become a hotspot in South Reno. Located within the South Creek Shopping Center alongside other local favorites like Bibo Coffee, Los Compadres, Squeeze In and Yosh’s Unique Deli, you may find yourself circling for a parking spot during the lunch rush.

THE LOOK: Unless you’re bringing a group of five or more, you won’t wait long even during busy hours. Grab a table in the main dining room; belly up to the bar stretching across one of the walls and grab a local brew; or, if the weather’s nice, ask to be seated on the outside patio near the rear of the restaurant.

THE MEAL: This wasn’t the first visit to SouthCreek for my wife and me, and it won’t be the last. We’ve enjoyed our experiences here from date nights to large family gatherings, including toddlers (and although the staff was nothing less than accommodating, this feels more like a date-night restaurant than a bring-the-kids pizza joint.) My wife is partial to the pear-a-dice pizza, topped with sliced pears, Niman Ranch bacon, bleu cheese, arugula and honey. I am partial to pizza that does not have sliced fruit on it. Instead of sharing a pizza for $20, we opted for separate lunch specials.

She ordered the pizza and salad lunch combo for $12 — a personal bianco pizza (mozzarella, Parmesan, basil and garlic) with a garden salad and an iced tea. The oven-fired pizza was crisp and warm; the garden salad served its purpose of making you feel like you’re eating a healthy meal. The pizza itself is in that unfortunate zone of being too large to eat for lunch, but not quite large enough to take extra as leftovers. Might as well eat it all and feel sleepy all afternoon.

I ordered the classic sammie for $8, stuffed with prosciutto, mozzarella, roasted red peppers, arugula and balsamic vinaigrette. SouthCreek doesn’t skimp on sammie ingredients; it’s much more filling than I expected.

KUDOS:We were seated rather quickly for our 1 p.m. arrival. The neighborhood might not have enough of a 9-to-5 workforce base to cause a lunch rush, or perhaps South- Creek’s customers tend to think of it as dinner-only. The service was quick, giving us more than enough time to enjoy a leisurely lunch.

QUIBBLES: Flavored iced tea was the only iced tea option available. I thought it was great, though my wife wasn’t a fan.

ALTERNATIVES: Just about anything, if you can agree on a pizza. The most expensive item on the menu is the $20 nomad pizza, featuring mozzarella, mushrooms, truffle cheese, black truffle oil and a fresh farm egg. Vegan and vegetarian options abound throughout the menu; the pizza menu alone features two vegan options and seven additional vegetarian options

RETURN TRIP?: I’m surprised we haven’t already been back for dinner.

by Brett McGinness
Reno Gazette Journal, May 3, 2015