U.S. Pizza Company
710 Front Street
No. 8: 5.2 percent finished reviewing Conway resturants
She Said: I love pizza! It’s one of the things I break a lot of my food guidelines for when the opportunity arises (low carb, no mammal meat, small helpings, low gluten). It was my mother’s last night in Conway with us, and we had begun her visit to us six weeks before with U.S. Pizza take-away, so we thought she should have the dine-in experience of this Arkansas chain before returning to South Dakota. It’s my favorite pizza in Conway (since we don’t have Pizza Café), and like daughter like mother: She loves pizza!
He Said: Pizza is a particular challenge to somebody on a low-fat diet. It is virtually impossible to get a low-fat pizza, which would mean no cheese, no meat, no grease. All the things that make pizza pizza. So I had my work cut out for me to find a low-fat alternative at U.S. Pizza.
She Said: It’s a relaxed and casual family environment, that’s for sure. The big TVs (which, if you are sitting under them and in another patron’s eyeline, can give you self-consciousness complex!), the primary colors, the concrete and diner-type seating all fit the good-time vibe. It’s not too loud, though, and I feel comfy and at ease here.
He Said: The concrete floor gives it a kind of warehouse feeling, and it’s essentially a sports bar, with several TVs going . So I guess you’d call it a relaxed atmosphere, certainly with no frills. It’s definitely a family place: When we first sat down, in the back area where there were four other tables, two of the tables were occupied, with a total of seven children between them. When those two tables left, two other family groups arrived, one with seven children, the other with three. So it’s definitely a comfortable place to bring your kids. If you don’t like kids, maybe not so comfortable.
She Said: It’s hard to resist beer when ordering pizza. I chose Amber Bock on tap. One is too few; two is too many. But it’s a delicious problem to have.
He Said: They do have beer, which definitely goes with pizza. They had soft drinks as well—Coke products specifically, and I was able to get a Barq’s root beer, which was exactly what I wanted.
She Said: I’m glad you got a kind of beer, at least, Ruud. Because we were reviewing, we thought we’d try the breadsticks. These look more like hotdog buns, open with mozzarella cheese and garlic butter in them. We each had one, and we took the last one home, but tossed it when we got the left-overs out; it didn’t seem like it would have held up very well. My mother and I split the large, or 13-inch, pizza, ordering sausage on half (for her) and pepperoni on the other half, with green olives and mushrooms on all of it. I love that you can get a custom pizza here. This ended up to be four slices each. I ate three and she ate two of hers, so she took the rest home and ate it on the trip north. I like this pizza because I prefer thin crust. It’s crispy without being too dry, and they were just generous enough with the toppings we selected. Merely writing about it makes me want to eat another slice!
He Said: So let me begin with a rant, which is not aimed specifically at U.S. Pizza, though I do include them in the rant: Here is one of those menus that you run into so often these days where nearly everything on the menu is touted as being “gluten free.” Now I’m fine if you don’t want to have gluten. But the fact is that, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, only perhaps one in 141 Americans suffer from Celiac’s disease, or gluten intolerance. Others are “sensitive” to gluten, but not in any danger from it. Cardiovaculsar disease, however, is responsible for nearly one out of every four deaths in the United States. And what should a person with cardiovascular disease avoid? Gluten? Uh…no. It’s fat, folks. Just because there is currently an anti-gluten fad, restaurants should be more concerned with providing customers with low-fat options, and stop jumping on the gluten bandwagon to give the impression they are health-conscious.
Which brings me to my order. There are not a lot of options, but I managed to find a delicious low-fat salad to begin with—the Primavera Salad, which included mixed lettuce, Anaheim peppers, yellow squash, asparagus, broccoli, zucchini, purple onions (which gave it a little kick) and feta cheese. Had I been thinking more clearly, I’d have asked them to leave off the feta, which adds a fair amount of fat, but also much deliciousness. But I pushed most of the cheese off when I got the plate. I added a honey-mustard dressing, which was low fat and tasted terrific. I was really happy with my salad.
The entrée was more difficult. But they do serve spaghetti at U.S. Pizza, though most of the pastas have some kind of fatty cream that comes with them. But I asked for the spaghetti and meatballs with marinara sauce, but without the meatballs. The sauce was tasty and it proved not a bad meal.
She Said: Our server was prompt, efficient and helpful, though probably not the friendliest waitress we’ve ever had. She got the job done, though, and everything was right and relatively quick.
He Said: The young woman who waited on us was attentive and unobtrusive, and got us second rounds of beer, both the lager and the root variety, without our having to run her down. Everything was timely and we had no problems.
What We Got and What We Paid: Two Amber Bocks, root beer and Diet Coke, bread sticks and a small salad, spaghetti and one large pizza, for $48.52.
She Said: Best pizza in Conway in a casual and comfortable atmosphere. I’ll be back for both dine in and carry out… in fact, I’m craving it right now!
He Said: I wouldn’t mind coming again, if just for the salad.
So…He Said and She Said: Go here. Eat and drink.