Friday, April 24, 2009

Cecil Whittaker's Pizzeria / Stumpy's House of Bar-B-Que.

Cecil Whittaker's Pizzeria is a regional chain with 25 locations (3 corporate owned with the rest split among 15 franchise owners) that first opened in 1983 in south St Louis County. My pie came from the St Peters restaurant. Their menu includes salads, appetizers sandwiches, pasta, and pizza. Cecil Whittaker's Pizzeria serves St Louis style, which means very thin crust and provel cheese. They also have mozzarella cheese available upon request, and a thicker crust ($1 extra) for their medium and xtra large pies. The location I ordered from is one of four very unique locations that in addition to the expected pizza joint fare, has the "Smokehouse Menu". The franchise owners also own Stumpy's House of BBQ, and offer a full BBQ menu at their 4 Cecil Whittaker's Pizzeria's.

I'm not a fan of true St Louis style pizza for one key reason, Provel cheese and won't knowingly spend my money on it. My order for this review was a small (9") pepperoni, Canadian bacon, hamburger and onion with mozzarella cheese of course (my standard variation). I also ordered a Smokehouse salad with pulled pork, with ranch dressing and sweet & smokey BBQ sauce. The crust is a uniform thickness all the way across and is nearly a perfect circle, it is perfectly able to support toppings with out any help. The bottom is golden brown and when you bite into it, it's both crispy and chewy. The sauce is a just a little sweet and spicy, and the amount of sauce is just bordering on to much for my taste, especially on this thin a crust. The toppings are all fresh and have good flavor. I do have a few small complaints about the toppings. First is that they used red onions on their salads, so why not on their pies? Second, I got that big giant hunk of onion with out a whole in it, and I really don't like it as it never gets cooked all the way through. Not so much a complaint, but you will notice in the photo above that the sauce covers the entire top of the crust, it goes all the way to the edge which leads to topping slide when the pizza is fresh and hot. If you don't sandwich a couple of pieces or at least keep one finger planted in the toppings it all comes off with the first bite. Leftovers the next day don't suffer the same fate, as the sauce thickens and keeps it all together.

The Smoke House salad (Stumpys salad) is a meal in it's self and can certainly stand on it's own. The lettuce and red onions were fresh, there was a generous amount of pulled pork and cheddar cheese. The dressing comes on the side so that you can add to your own taste. I got both ranch and sweet & spicy BBQ sauce, mixing in equal parts. The pork was very good, but may have been just a touch dry (maybe due to the car ride back to work), not a deal ender by any means.

St Louis style doesn't pass the "I'd pay for it" test, oh I'll eat it just not pay for it with my hard earned cash. Remember I'm a pizza slut, I haven't met a pizza that I wouldn't eat, but have met a few that I wouldn't pay for. Luckily Cecil Whittaker's Pizzeria offers the St Louis Style sort of (mozzarella in stead of provel) pizza. I do like Cecil's pizza as long as it comes with mozzarella cheese, but the kicker is being able to get an order of BBQ with your pizza, and at $12.50 plus tax and delivery for both the pizza (9") and salad it's a good value. Cecil Whittaker's Pizzeria (with Smokehouse Menu) is located at 620 Jungermann Rd. in St Peters, MO. You can reach them at (636)926-8121, for more information check out their web-site (click on the title link).

Recommended (if you go with the mozzarella cheese)


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