The $10 Challenge: Bearno’s Pizza*

*The Better-Late-Than-Never Edition

Ordering your own pizza is a display of equal parts independence and self-reliance with a pinch of gluttony.

“Look at me,” I often tell myself while perusing online pizza menus as I plot the night’s meal. “I can order any combo of toppings I wish. I need consultation from no one. Take that, cruel world.”

I reserve this treat for the long days when nothing is going right, and the smallest joy can make you feel like you’re back on top. On a recent crappy day, I relaxed with a Golden Girls DVD, some leftover Dragon King’s Daughter sake and my own medium pizza from Bearno’s Pizza.

Bearno’s is a local chain that has been in Louisville since 1977. There are 14 locations scattered across the city, which makes it one of the more accessible local pizza places in the city.

I discovered Bearno’s almost 10 years ago. I fell in love with the restaurant’s hot sandwiches and crisp pizza crusts. A decade later, not much has changed, and that’s fine by me.

The Bearno’s menu sticks with all the items you would expect from a pizza place, but offers a few surprises. For example, the appetizer selections include healthier options such as baked chicken wings ($4.29 for six, $7.49 for 12) and garlic cheese sticks with fat-free cheese ($7.49).

Bearno’s entrées consist of a nice selection of pasta, pizza and sandwiches. Pasta selections, which include lasagna, chicken parmesan and spaghetti, are all less than $8 and include the option to add meatballs, mushrooms and homemade Italian link sausage. The sandwiches are some of my favorites in town – they are all baked, come with a side of potato chips and are all less than $9. I have a soft spot for the hot ham and cheese ($7.39), the first item I had ever tried from Bearno’s, but the pizza hoagie with pepperoni, green peppers, onion, olives, mozzarella and tomato sauce ($7.39) might find its way into my heart.

But the pizza reigns the Bearno’s menu. Bearno’s pizza has a memorable crust that isn’t crisp enough to be labeled thin but is not as heavy as its thicker counterparts at other pizza restaurants. The crust’s consistency is perfect for holding the mountain of toppings Bearno’s piles onto its pies.

Specialty pizzas range from $12.99 for a small veggie special to $37.99 for a super-large Super Bearno’s Special. But Bearno’s website offers lots of coupons that make ordering from the restaurant more affordable.

When I ordered from Bearno’s, I found a coupon for $14.99 for a medium Mama Bearno’s pizza that is normally $17.99.

Mama Bearno's pizza.

The pizza was loaded with fresh vegetables and spicy meats. Crumbled sausage covered the tomato sauce coating the crust. On top of that, there was a medley of green and black olives, pepperoni, onions, green peppers and mushrooms. And on top of that, there was a coating of mozzarella that trapped everything in. I’m usually opposed to eating a pizza with a knife and fork, but it’s a necessity with the toppings tumbling off the sides of the pizza. Let’s just say there was a small dog whose belly was stuffed that day with stray pieces of meat, veggies and cheese.

Technically, my pizza order did not meet Challenge standards. But the medium order fed me for three days, so with a little math, it works.

Notes about Bearno’s Pizza

  • You can order pizza online here.
  • There is a $15 minimum (before tax) to have your pizza delivered. Since my pizza was $14.99, I had to order something else. The cheapest way to meet this requirement is to add an order of garlic butter sauce or marinara sauce for 30 cents.

The Stats

  • Bearno’s Pizza, various locations throughout Louisville, Ky.
  • Medium Mama Bearno’s pizza: $14.99 (with online coupon)
  • Garlic butter sauce: 30 cents
  • Total (with tax and tip): $18
  • Total per serving: $6

Mission: Accomplished (if you spread out the pizza for a few meals)

6 thoughts on “The $10 Challenge: Bearno’s Pizza*

  1. The All-Meats is proof that some higher power wants us to be happy. Any pizza that’s has an inch-thick layer of meat on it is a good thing.

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