Farrelli's Wood Fire Pizza

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3518 S 6th Ave,
Tacoma, Washington, 98406
(253) 759-1999


Chain, Italian, Pizza, Subs/Sandwiches
Credit Cards Accepted, Full Bar, Kid-Friendly, Outdoor Dining, Take-out
Avg. Meal:

The Review

Reviewed by: Jake de Paul

Locations: Lacey, DuPont, Sumner, Tacoma and Parkland

Born: 1995

Pizza Style: Wood fired, whole wheat and gluten-free crusts available

Skinny: After owning several local restaurants – The Hob Nob, Engine House No. 9, John's Breakfast and others – Margaret and John Farrell, wife and husband, along with daughter Jacquelyn, opened Farrelli's Pizza and Pool Co. 15 years ago in Lacey. The Farrells interviewed potential employees for their first pizza joint on a card table where the Lacey store now stands. In 2007, they opened their fifth location at the Garfield Commons in Parkland, and in the same year was named "Independent Pizza Chain of the Year" by Pizza Today magazine. In article after article, the Farrells give recognition and accolades to their employees, many who have been with them since the card table.

Notes: The restaurants – especially DuPont and Tacoma locations - are full of character. Not so much the rooms, which are nicely appointed and clean, but rather the people that hang at the joints. The jovial bar crowd, many shooting stick, send a fun vibe throughout the restaurant. It's lively. And the service is uniformly good. On weekend nights, Farrelli's Tacoma location is packed — a press at the bar, the floor awash with families, the kitchen a riot of artigiani. On a Monday afternoon, the same Farrelli's is quiet, the service personal and personable. On a Sunday afternoon during the game, it's busy again and the service never misses a beat.

Farrelli's also serves calzones, lasagna, salads, appetizers, chocolate cake and a few more menu items.

Happy hours are top-notch with competitive drink specials and $.50-$6 food specials. Farrelli's also offers a $9.99 12-inch Late Night Pizza Special after 10 p.m.

The Pizza: Pushing The Rock Wood Fired Pizza aside for another day, the difference between the other pizza chains in the area and Farrelli's is like the difference between a kiss from your sister and a kiss from your lover. With the wood fired pizza ovens front and center – a show in itself - Farrelli's pies are hand-tossed, firm but chewy with a flop at the tip. I've never had an oily, runny, soagy, cardboard-tasting and/or burnt Farrelli's pizza. I have had a luke-warm undercooked Farrelli's pie, but only once.

My favorite Farrelli's wood fired pie, Jack & John Pizza (Italian sausage, Provolone/mozzarella blend, green and black olives, green onions, artichoke hearts, mushrooms - so yum!) slightly morphs at each location. It's what truly hooks me — minor notes of taste, of savor, of buttery goodness that seems to shift with the wind, with minute adjustments in the temperatures of the ovens, in the space, sometimes, of a breath. Each Jack & John pizza - loaded with cheese and a chewy thin crust that holds firm - is its own creation, possessed of its own character, absorbing down to each bite of buttery olive joy.

Hours: They vary per location, but basically they open at 11 a.m. and close at midnight Sunday through Tuesday, staying open to 2 a.m. during the party days.

The Weekly Volcano will host a South Sound Tournament of Pizza competition in March 2011, much like our Tournament of Tacos. Our readers will seed the tournament.

FORUM: Best pizza in the South Sound?


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