Avoid greasy pizza via Via’s Pizzeria

ReAnne Utemark

Pizza Hut and Papa John’s are great when large crowds of people need to be fed, or you just don’t want to cook and the idea of a nice, greasy $6 pizza sounds fantastic. However, if your pizza craving is a little more complex there is a great alternative to Pizza Hut and Papa John’s in Topeka.

Via’s Pizzeria, 738 SW Gage Blvd., is small but has a homey atmosphere. First, don’t go if you are starving. Second, don’t expect much more than good pizza.

The pizza takes about half an hour to cook because Via’s stone-bakes their pizza and brings it out on the stone. The crust is herbed and comes in white or wheat, original or thin and crispy. Either is good, but the white is more tender.

According to their menu Via’s features local produce, and they pile it on their pizzas. The pizzas themselves are good, not just something to feed the masses. The L’Opera is a great mixture of wonderful veggies and meat that has incredible flavor. The Tutto Carne is basically dough, sauce and as much meat as they can fit on the pie. This one isn’t for the weak of heart, literally.

The restaurant serves locally-brewed beer in addition to a fairly wide-ranging beer and wine selection. The pizzas come in whole pies, but one can order a large slice of pepperoni, beef, Italian sausage or cheese, or they can order an individual pizza. The desserts are another adventure. They have a classic dessert fruit pizza and then a “PBBP,” a peanut butter and banana pizza. I have not had the guts to try the “PBBP” yet, but one of these days I may be able to step up to the plate.

Via’s is a also nice place to hang out. There are foosball tables and big screens to watch what is usually a game. It would be a good place to take a date during March Madness. Of course, they have to accompany you with the knowledge that they may not have much of your attention. It might not be a great romantic date place, but there are other places to work your magic.

The pizzeria offers carryout – just the pizza, not the wine. Call ahead and make it fancy pizza night in.