Hey-o everyone! I feel like we’re going to need a 450-pixel [UPDATE: 520-pixels!] wide graphic/logo for the great pizza hunt articles. If only I knew a group of designers who were participating who wouldn’t mind making something awesome with no hope of reward aside from the respect of your fellow man. In fact, I think I might be willing to do some reviewer-pics, 1PT.Rule-style, as a thanks.

NEXT STOP: Sgt. Peffer’s, Tuesday, September 8, 5:30 p.m. Map? Website. Well known for being directly across the street from the legendary Omaha bar, The Homy Inn, Sgt. Peffer’s is the default choice of many a mid-town pizza eater and drunkard. It was here we dined last Spring with Justin Ahrens, Steve Hartman, and Christine Taylor, on the craziest party night in my recent life. Perhaps a repeat?

Also, as promised, after the jump I’ve collected all of the Zio’s Reviews from our previous outing.

Zio’s Pizza (132nd and Center) Reviews:

Donovan Beery:
I love that Zio’s serves broccoli, so this is what I ordered for my topping. Unfortunately, that was the highlight of my slices. The dough was bad that night, and to be fair to the other places we plan to review, that night is all I will base my opinion on. 2 stars out of 5 is the best I can do. Disappointment and no desire to return for the season.

Craig Hughes:
I had a slice of four-large-animals-died-to-give-you-this-much-meat pizza and a slice of pineapple and pesto pizza (in an attempt to find something to rival Yia-Yia’s Pacific pizza). The crust itself tended to be either a little soggy, a little burnt, or somehow both at the same time. The crust is relatively thin New-York style, but somewhere in the middle they’ve squeezed an edible rubber product. It’s nearly impossible to slice through with a fork and knife, and you don’t dare pick it up with your hands lest the whole soggy mess fall in your lap. While I love me some eccentric pizza, I can’t say that any magic was captured with Zio’s pesto+pineapple. I think the crust made any grandeur of the toppings essentially moot.

The meat-plant pizza was literally a chore. I’m not exaggerating at all when I say it took me a half-hour to eat the single slice. Not because it was a lot of food (it wasn’t), but because it was just a labor to eat. Separating a bite from the rubber crust while still keeping the cheese and meat in a centralized location was essentially impossible. My plate was littered with messy pizza guts. Even accounting for our semi-large group (14…maybe?), customer service left MUCH to be desired. Definitely wouldn’t come back with a group of friends. Single or double-date? Maybe.

For some people pizza is about the cheese, for others it’s the crust or the sauce. In my opinion, its the overall culmination of flavors, textures and visual presentation of the slice. And while we all know, any pizza joint in the beef capitol of the world can kick out a really awesome hamburger pizza, I thought the real test would come when the establishments are tested against their rendition of the veggie.

Jessie Long:
Zios boasts their toppings as “always fresh and bountiful” and indeed my veggie request came piled with sliced mushrooms, spinach leaves, white onions, green peppers and broccoli florets. This was covered with a perfectly tanned mozzarella and topped with glistening artichoke hearts. Definitely one to approach with a fork and knife. The first bite was deliciously warm with the meaty taste of mushrooms and the perfectly blanched crispness of the broccoli. As the sun shone bright on the patio, I knew this glorious veggie would trump all others.

But as glorious as the first bite was, it was quickly overshadowed as the Omaha breeze placed the darkening rainclouds over our patio. As I progressed on the slice, I found the mozzarella, when baked over fresh, water infused veggies formed a dome that, when heated, left the moisture to go nowhere but through the crust. In turn, this caused what little of the sauce that remained to run right off the slice before it was served. So now, well into the slice I was eating fresh produce on a soggy new-york style crust. Great veggies, but not glorious pizza.

So the questions remain. Would I order it again? Would I recommend it to a friend? I would order it again, but only sans spinach and onions. Recommendations might be a little more difficult to pull off at this point, since I wouldn’t order it straight off menu.

Zios rating for veggie slice: Meh. I’ve experienced better. (2)

Tony Montgomery:
Well, I have to say, I am a bit of a traditionalist. I went with the pepperoni and garlic. I wasn’t expecting something magical, just a slice of pizza that would satisfy my growling belly. After drinking plenty of free water, I started to wonder if I would ever see this pizza that I had ordered so long ago…

tick… tick… tick… still nothing.

The entertainment at Zio’s consisted of Nate Voss fighting a table umbrella in his desperate attempt to avoid the intense blinding light of the sun. We admired the cool shoes that Bob Hankin and Donovan Beery were sporting, and dodged the spatter of raindrops that would soon remove us from our tables. … and then it showed up. One beautifully arranged slice of pepperoni and garlic pizza. Definitely not match for my girlfriend’s artichoke chicken pizza, but I’m simple like that. It tasted good. I probably wouldn’t brag about the quality of the pizza, but it satisfied my angry stomach and served it’s purpose. Sadly, I would have to say that I’ve had better. No hard feelings Zio’s, it’s not you… it’s me. No wait… it’s you. 2/5 


I went in calling Zio’s the best pizza in four states and man if they didn’t do everything in their power to disprove this. I went with a 4-topper of pepperoni, green pepper, pineapple, and onion, and it was, as best, okay. I don’t know much about rating pizzas, but it was a bit soggy for my tastes, and unfortunately a little bland. It was, overall, a fine meal to be sure, and on any other night I would even call it enjoyable, but when you go out specifically to be wowed by pizza, and you get what I got, you can’t help but come away a little disappointed.
2 1/2 Stars.