New kid on block: Stonehouse Pizza

I love pizza. So naturally, when I heard about a new pizza place located on East Lamar Alexander Parkway where the old Dairy Queen used to be, I was pretty excited.

Pizza is the ultimate college food, in my opinion, and a new pizza place meant an opportunity to find a new favorite restaurant. Excitement building up inside me, I got in my car, roommates in tow, and drove to Stone House Pizza.

When I arrived, I was surprised at how much the building had changed. What was once a ruined Dairy Queen had been transformed into something completely new.

The building is crisp and clean and feels like every pizza parlor we see on sitcoms and after-school specials. The dining room is very open, with a lot of natural light. The atmosphere is trendy meets cozy. Stone House Pizza appeared to me to be a place you could go with the guys, with the girls or with the family.

We walked into the restaurant only to find it surprisingly empty.  A little unsure, I approached the counter to order. Stone House Pizza has a menu that is both filled with choices and also simple enough not to be over the top. I ended up ordering a pepperoni-and-mushroom pizza and a side of garlic knots, which are one of three kinds of specialty bread served at the parlor.

The employees were super nice and efficient, but the food was by far the deciding factor of this experience. The garlic knots I ordered looked and smelled delicious. They tasted even better. These wonderful, delectable pieces of bread had it all. They were buttery. They had garlic. They were salty goodness smothered in marinara sauce and eaten in total bliss. These garlic knots could bring down empires. Everything about these morsels screamed, “Eat me! Eat me!”

Unfortunately, the pizza was mediocre. When the server brought out the pizza, it was on thin crust and steaming. It looked delicious. However, biting into a slice left me wanting.

The cheese was kind of bland, and the sauce was just wrong. I could write a book on just the sauce itself; to be short, it tasted like generic pizza sauce from a can that can be located at your local grocery store. I did not find the sauce to be outstanding or even flavorful.

There was nothing particularly outstanding about this pizza at all, in fact.  After I ate, I felt let down. After those wonderful garlic knots, I was expecting a taste of the pizza to cause my tongue to leap out of my mouth, run up the side of my face and slap me right in the eyebrow saying, “Now that’s pizza!”

Sadly, this did not happen.

Overall, Stone House Pizza has a great atmosphere, great service and wonderful garlic knots, and it’s not very expensive. However, when the pizza is mediocre, what is the point of going to a pizza place at all?

I’m sorry, Stone House Pizza, but my heart still belongs to Papa John’s.

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