Friday, August 22, 2008

Pizza Perfection

When we lived in the city, Paul and I got into the unhealthy habit of dining out at least once a week - sometimes more - out of mostly laziness, and the occasional (ok, frequent) overwhelming urge to chow down on our favorite authentic Mexican fare at our favorite authentic Mexican hole-in-the-wall.

Moving to the outskirts of Tenino has been a blessing in so many ways, but the very fact that restaurant options are so limited has definitely been among the biggest. Tenino claims one Mexican restaurant, a diner, a great breakfast spot for weekends, a Subway sandwich shop, a deli in the grocery store, a Chinese place, a tavern and a pizza place. Oh, and Ed's Sunset Grill, which sounds sort of metropolitan, but is really a trailer serving hot dogs and things on a busy corner near downtown can't miss it if you drive down our main's the one with the old rusty car painted with the name of the business on the side.

So. Given the few choices we have, we normally opt to thaw something meaty from our freezer and slap it on the grill, and if we're completely exhausted and physically unable (or unwilling) to cook, we'll go with grilled cheese sandwiches and soup. But not last night.

Last night I had a major pizza craving. Paul had been up in the tractor scoop working on the barn roof for hours and had nothing thawing for dinner, and I wasn't even home yet from work, so I almost gleefully proposed he meet me at the Tenino Smokehouse and Pizza Parlor, which shares a parking lot with the grocery store, Chinese place, diner and Subway sandwiches. (It's the only "strip mall" in town, if you can even call it that.)

I now find myself happily eating leftover "Ultimate" pizza for lunch. The Smokehouse does everything right and by hand...they make their own bread for sandwiches and pizza crusts and tomato sauce for pizza and calzones, smoke chickens (and pork ribs for Friday and Saturday only) by themselves...let's just say not only will the smell from the road as you drive by be enough to turn you around and direct you through their doors, but the food and service are heavenly!

Paul doesn't love their pizzas only because he likes to E-A-T and to him a pizza should have the thickest, doughy-est crust imagined. The Smokehouse does a thinner crust, and it's devine. Even Paul admits liking their pizza when he's resigned to eating it (like last night). We actually hadn't been there in over a month and yet the proprietors (a husband and wife team around our age, plus the mother of one, I think) not only remembered our faces but also our prior conversation about our chicken woes! That's just cool!

So, if you're ever in Tenino and find yourself in need of food (and you're not coming over to our house for a pre-planned meal!), stop by the Tenino Smokehouse and Pizza Parlor. You'll love it!

Tenino Smokehouse and Pizza Parlor
722 Lincoln Ave E
Tenino, WA 98589


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