The $10 Challenge: Annie’s Pizza

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May 15, 2010 by Ashlee Clark Thompson

I didn’t mean to eat the entire sub sandwich.

Really, I didn’t.

I had just returned home from an evening women and finances event that included free wine (!) and platters of hors d’oeuvres. I filled my plate with enough grapes, little cubes of cheese and baby stuffed mushrooms that I should have been content to end the night with a snack.

But I decided to stop at Annie’s Pizza.

Annie’s is a local restaurant that evokes much hometown pride. There are three locations — two in Shively, the Louisville community in which I was raised, and one in Portland, the neighborhood I serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA. Growing up, it was a treat when the uncle who babysat me splurged for some Annie’s when my mom worked late.

Annie’s is a pizza joint that has probably survived because of its simplicity. The selection of pizza, subs and sides is wide enough to please everybody without trying to get too experimental with the recipes. Plus, it’s one of few local places in the areas that it serves.

The Annie’s restaurant I visited on Cane Run Road welcomes you with a sign featuring their mascot, a chubby lady holding a pizza. Their mascot is more representative of any tiger, bear or blob I know.

The small restaurant is filled with plenty of red booths, but the only patrons at about 7 p.m. were a small family parked in front of the TV showing Spongebob Squarepants.

I ordered a chunky barbecue chicken sandwich, which comes with a bag of Lay’s chips, banana peppers and a pickle. It is one of the most expensive sandwiches at the restaurant at $6.89 (the others at that price are the roast beef, fajita chicken, Philly and cheese, and Cane Run club).

At this point, I should complain about the 15-minute wait for my order. It had been a long day, and I just wanted to get home and pet the pup. But waiting for your order inside Annie’s is like watching the previews at a movie theater: it’s an important part of the process that gears you up for the main show.

The place was filled with the wonderful scent of baking mozzarella. It’s hard to be upset when you’re imagining that it’s your dish that’s going into the oven and emitting that mouth-watering smell. The scent got even stronger as a medley of employees marched in and out of the kitchen to deliver fresh pizzas and serve that family in the corner.

And fortunately, Annie’s has two TVs in the dining area, so I could enjoy Food Network, the perfect foreplay for a good meal.

Eventually, my sub was ready, I went home and the fun began.

Gooey goodness in a bun.

My fingertips were immediately covered with a sweet and tangy barbecue sauce when I unwrapped the foil that kept the sandwich hot. The sub was stuffed with shredded chicken that had been cooked in the sauce. The melted mozzarella I had fantasized about blanketed the chicken and and was topped off with diced sweet onions.

The bread was a beauty. Toasted on the outside. Buttery on the inside. Soft. Thick. Yummy.

(/salivating at the memories)

The sandwich is a mess to eat. But I have always found messy food to be the best. The barbeque sauce was sweet and tangy. The crisp onions (which are optional) give a nice texture to the otherwise gooey sandwich.

I thought I would just eat half the sandwich and save the other half for a future lunch. But that chunky barbeque called my name, over and over again.

It would have been rude not to answer.

And for such a great price, the sandwich, and everything else on Annie’s menu, can call me anytime.

Chunky barbecue chicken sandwich with chips: $6.89
Total (with tax): $7.30

Mission: Accomplished

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One thought on “The $10 Challenge: Annie’s Pizza

  1. […] Annie’s Pizza: This is one of my favorite overlooked restaurants in Louisville. With only three locations, it’s hard to get if you don’t live in Shively or Portland, but it’s worth a trip across town for their hot, over-stuffed sandwiches. […]

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