By Veronique Saiya
A Slice of Heaven
If you’ve been searching for a restaurant with a laid-back feel that has “hangout” written all over it, Ingleside Pizza is the place to be. This little bistro, with its relaxed ambiance, caters to college students, young adults, and families alike. It’s sure to make a regular out of you in no time. In fact, I feel a bit envious of Ingleside residents who can just walk to this fab pizza joint.
Hand-tossed pizza, a great vibe, a funky décor, and 84 varieties of beer make up the backbone of this successful pizza restaurant, owned by mom and pizza chef extraordinaire Tina Dixon.
With experience working for a pizza chain giant and a degree in hotel, restaurant and travel administration, Dixon decided some time ago that there must be a better way to do pizza in her hometown. When creativity abounds and a desire for improvement exists, the entrepreneurial spirit is never far away. And so it was that Dixon opened this gem of a restaurant on her mother’s birthday over eleven years ago—July 28, 1992.
Dixon understood then, as she does today, that there is always a need for “good, ‘REAL’ pizza, friendly service, and a comfortable atmosphere.” Her inspiration paid off, and she has enjoyed the company of regulars at her restaurant ever since.
Dixon does not only have loyal customers; she also has loyal staff, most of whom have been employed for more than nine years. And these staff members clearly love the place, too. “They show a great sense of pride in their work and have always been wonderful to me—allowing me to spend time with my eight year-old daughter, Eliza,” Dixon said of her employees.
When you arrive at Ingleside Village Pizza, it’s not hard to guess why Dixon’s staff and clientele would be so enamored with it. Its playful whimsy has a definite appeal. Murals of knights, court jesters, and the like adorn the exterior. The capricious design carries over into the interior, where you find a chandelier heavily bedecked with mounds of Mardi Gras beads, 1970’s retro lamps, a jukebox, checkerboard flooring, and the actual shining armor of a knight.
If you are looking for a dose of fun, cheap-chic, you’ve found it. Just walk up to the counter, place your order, grab your name plate, pick your table, and park it. Your server will seek out your name plate and bring you the goods. My name plate was “Kitty,” and it was replete with scribblings of strangers discussing everything from their musical to political tastes. It certainly makes a great conversation piece. The “Village Disclaimers” are humorous reminders of the rules found on the menu and include funny disclaimers such as, “Unattended children will be sold into slavery,” and “When ordering beer, please have positive proof of age—no cry babies!”
Salads are sold separately and in various sizes and types. The ultimate garden salad contains some cold cuts for those looking for extra taste and/or protein, and there are also Caesar and dinner salads. In addition, you can order the delicious breadsticks, which are smothered in garlic butter and shredded Parmesan cheese and include pizza sauce for dipping.
The pizzas here can be bought by the slice or whole, with 12″ and 16″ pizzas to choose from. If you don’t want pizza, you’ll have to content yourself with one of the menu’s six tasty subs.
My husband, Ken, and I ordered a large Ultimate Pizza on a recent visit. You can build your own pizza or select from specialties of the house. The Village Veggie consists of mushrooms, onions, green peppers, green and black olives, fresh garlic, and extra cheese—a perfect selection for vegetarians, as is the White Pizza, which is made up of ricotta cheese, spinach, mushrooms, garlic, and extra cheese. The White Pizza is also a fabulous choice for cheese-lovers. The Ultimate Village comes with pepperoni, sausage, ham, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, green and black olives, fresh garlic, and extra cheese.
After only a 15 minute wait, the server brought our pizza, and placed it on the nifty, elevated stand which is designed to save space on the very small tables.
All of Ingleside’s pizzas are hand-tossed—high in the air—right before your eyes. The dough is made daily on the premises, resulting in an ultra-soft, tasty crust. Your first bite of a pizza will tell you it’s both fresh and homemade. As an added bonus for the young ones, kids who follow the posted rules can play with some of their very own pizza dough. This certainly helps children get through the tediousness of waiting.
The ample toppings on our pizza were all wonderfully fresh which made for a delicious pizza. Personally, I prefer a little more zest in my pizza sauces. But everyone has their individual preference when it comes to pizza sauce. For those like me, who want a little more kick, we can always partake of the hot pepper, herb, or Parmesan shakers which are conveniently placed on each table.
Whether you are looking to kick back and relax with a cold beer and a slice of pizza with friends or a date, or you are just looking for a great lunch or dinner with the family, Ingleside Pizza is sure to please you. I give it two thumbs up!
- Cuisine: New York Style Pizzeria
- Price Range: Pizzas range from $1.75 a slice to $14.50 for a large pizza; subs range from $4.50-$4.75
- Reservations: Suggested for diner and large parties
- Alcohol: Choose from 84 domestic and imported beers as well as well as three house wines sold by the glass.
- Child Provisions: Booster seats are available.
- Smoking: Bar area only
- Hours: Lunch: Tues.–Sat., 11 a.m.-3 p.m. | Dinner: Tues.–Sun., 5–9 p.m.
Ingleside Village Pizza
2396 Ingleside Avenue
Macon, Georgia 31204