February 1, 2011 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
(Blogger’s note: This is a restaurant that multiple people have recommended. Think you know of a better place? Let me know.)
There’s a few foods and restaurants that can drive a woman to gluttony.
Baked Cheetos maintains a high post on the list of items that will drive me to eat in excess, as does Mama Eats’ spaghetti and oatmeal-raisin cookies.
And it even has the same effect on others. Exhibit B:
Now let’s talk about what drove me to such un-ladylike behavior.
“Philly’s Own” Spinelli’s Pizzeria has carved out a small chunk of the Louisville pizza scene. The restaurant brings a big-city feel to its little piece of Baxter Avenue (and I imagine at its east end location, as well).
I wish I had known about Spinelli’s before my $10 Challenge visit. I wish I had known about a restaurant whose front door evokes memories of door-knocker earrings and Spandex with a sign that encourages you to “Push it, push it real good” to get into the place. I wish I had known about a place where a car that can seat a handful of diners sits in the front dining room and nobody takes a second look. And goodness, I wish I had known about a place with one wall covered in comic book covers and another with a painting of a semi-nude Burt Reynolds.
Spinelli’s provides its hungry masses with more than just interesting decor; there’s late-night delivery until 4:30 a.m., pizza by the slice that starts at $3 ($2 if you come during the restaurant’s happy hour) with 50 cent toppings and a selection of sandwiches that can be ordered by halves for those with small appetites.
The menu keeps things simple. There’s a handful of pizzas (starts at $15; $2 for each additional topping), appetizers that include fried ravioli ($3.25) and fries with Cheez Whiz or mozzarella ($5) and a few cold sandwiches, strombolis and desserts.
I really wanted to see how far my money could go at Spinelli’s on this particular visit. I ordered half of a Philly cheese steak sandwich with provolone ($4) and a slice of pizza with spinach ($3.50). When in Rome, right?
The portions on both of my dishes were huge. A slice of pizza runs over the flimsy paper plate on which it is served, and a half sandwich could pass as a full one in most parts. But the taste drove me to eat all of it.
First, the cheese steak. A crusty sandwich roll was stuffed with strips of tender steak, mushrooms, onions and green peppers and held together with provolone cheese. Though it took a while for the food to come it, it was obviously made to order because it was still hot and fresh by the time it made its way to the table. The pizza was just as delicious. The crust is thin, but malleable, qualities optimal for folding the whole thing in half and really getting in there (see Exhibit A). The slice was surprisingly light and lacking the coat of grease that sometimes sits on top of pizza. The ladies and gents behind the counter were thankfully not stingy with the toppings, so the spinach was present in every slice. With a couple of shakes of crushed red pepper and Italian seasoning, the pizza stood out as a strong contender for my food love and affection. Neither dish was fancy or artisan or any other buzzword. They were just good. Period.
Spinelli’s, with its pizza by the slice and Philly cheese steaks, was one of the more memorable Challenges. The food was great, the atmosphere was quirky and two hungry Louisvillians stuffed their faces and left drove home smiling.
Notes about Spinelli’s Pizzeria:
- Spinelli’s doesn’t deliver throughout the city, only to the areas surrounding each restaurant.
- If you’re dining in at the Baxter Avenue location, walk by the car/table and and counter and step down into the dining room to your left. A server will be there shortly.
- Rob was quite pleased that the restaurant has the Marvel vs. Capcom arcade game. I was more excited about the Zoltar next to it.
- If you’re into Italian sausage, this restaurant will make you shed tears of joy. Rob ordered a slice with this meat, and the pieces of sausage were the biggest I had ever seen on a pizza.
- Spinelli’s Pizzeria, 614 Baxter Avenue, Louisville, Ky. (another location at 2905 Goose Creek Road, Louisville, Ky.)
- Philly cheese steak (half portion): $4
- Spinach pizza (one slice): $3.50
- Total (with tax and tip): $9.50