I’ve seen the light, and it came in the form of a quick, delicious pie at the local favorite Satchel’s Pizza.
Gainesville residents take their pizza seriously, which I found out last week when I ranked the top five pizza places in town and didn’t include Satchel’s. After hearing from many in the Satchel’s fanbase, I decided I needed to investigate. I hadn’t been there before, and I needed to see if all the hype was justified.
No matter what time of day you decide is right for a carb-induced coma, I learned the parking lot is bound to be full. The only hope is someone pulling out at the same moment.
After securing a spot, I walked up to the entrance and requested a table outside. Waiting for the text that would let me know it was my turn was stomach-grumbling — I was ready to eat.
Less than 15 minutes later, I was at my table ordering a homemade soda. It was $3 with unlimited refills, and I was allowed to alternate flavors? I’ll take the Lola cola, Ruby root beer and every other flavor, please.
The ambiance of the restaurant added to the pizza, but honestly, it was good enough that they could serve it out of a hole-in-the-wall and still be the best.
Whether you decide to eat inside, outside or in the infamous bus, you’ll be greeted by trash.
The thing is, the trash is beautiful. Art, actually. A lot of what’s in and around the restaurant is up-cycled.
The garlands made of plastic caps somehow had a delicate, flowing look.
The benches were reminiscent of UF’s cement slabs, except they were covered in tiny mosaic pieces or meticulously lined loose change.
In case you were wondering how many dollars are on that slab in the corner outside, the answer is $3.86. My waiter, Scott, knew this off the top of his head.
“Well, $3.86 the last time we counted,” Scott said. “Maybe a bit more now.”
When it came to ordering, I decided on the Mama: $19 for a medium pizza with four toppings.
Definitely not bad considering the tastiness that ensued.
Ricotta, basil, roasted red peppers and Italian sausage ended up being my final decision. It wasn’t easy to make, considering the more than 20 topping options on the menu.
Vegan friends, don’t despair, because Satchel’s has two vegan-cheese options for you.
Everyone around me seemed to be eating The Satch Salad in anticipation of their pie, so I decided to order a small, too. It was $8, so I was hoping it had something more than just red and green leaf lettuce — I was not let down.
It was the perfect size for a quick munch-down between two people.
The dressing was a yin-yang mix of sweet and tangy. The thin slices of apple sticking out made the perfect crunch when mixed in. The produce tasted fresh. No complaints.
Just as I finished the last of my salad, the pie made its appearance.
Fresh out of the oven, the pizza cook brought it over on an aluminum dish and placed it in the center of the table. Staring up at me was high calorie heaven.
The dough was clearly executed in-house — no flat, freezer appearance to it. The crust of the pizza was flaky and swelled up past the toppings.
Oh, but the toppings? It looked like they’d found the perfect spot for every bit of ricotta, basil, roasted red pepper and Italian sausage on the thing.
The pie wasn’t only aesthetically pleasing, every bite tasted just as good as it looked.
After eating two slices, I was full beyond measure. I decided to order another glass of Lola cola while my leftovers were wrapped, because why not?
Satchel’s has everything the perfect pizza joint should have: uniqueness, tastiness and a loyal clientele. I’ll definitely be back for seconds.