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Abella Pizzeria

Classic pizza pies in the heart of downtown

What can we say, pizza is a staple in every food writer’s diet. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

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ANNOUNCER: With the abundance of pizzerias in the South Sound, weeding out the good from the not so good can take a bit of time. Fortunately, Dutch and Jackie are willing to spend that time eating pizza after pizza. This week, they head downtown Tacoma to Abella Pizzeria on Pacific Ave.

DUTCH: There is not much to be said about the atmosphere as Abella is basically a counter for ordering and tables for sitting. The menu, on the other hand, speaks volumes. I came in for the pizza and instead found multiple options that included salad, cold and hot sandwiches, calzones, and pasta in addition to several specialty pizzas. A menu of this variety has a little something for everyone in your party.

JACKIE: I don't know, I kinda like the old school, cartoon veggies smiling at me from the wall. This is a no fluff sort of spot, removed from the stylized, modern pizza places you see popping up nowadays.

DUTCH: The hot sandwiches, or grinders as listed on the menu, are served on an eight-inch French roll for just $8 each. I ordered the pastrami and Swiss. The meat and cheese are accompanied with mustard (a must for any pastrami sandwich), pickles, fresh red onions and tomatoes, before being topped off with fresh lettuce shreds. There is a lot of flavor to this two-handed grinder; the saltiness of the pastrami, mixed with the vinegar of the mustard, partners well with the fresh veggies and soft French roll.

JACKIE: I'm a glutton for pizza and opted to try two pies. Their Meaty Alfredo boasted loads of bacon, ham and pepperoni topped with onion and a generous drizzle of ranch dressing. I went full fat kid, carnivore status. I like a little red pepper sprinkled on top for good measure. The crust has the warm, fresh bread bite with a nice chew. Again, a classic foundation, there's no need to reinvent the wheel. Having also tried a classic pizza with red sauce, pepperoni, bacon and sausage, I found that I dug the savory red sauce over the rich and creamy ranch. But that's just a personal preference.

DUTCH: I ultimately ordered a pizza as I had planned and settled on the Spicy Luau. A barbecue base replaces the standard marinara found on most pies, and is then topped with plenty of cheese, bacon, fresh garlic, pineapple, and fresh jalapeno peppers. Each bite is a journey of sweet and hot with a hint of smoky. The base barbecue sauce and bacon provide a subtle flavor that is complemented with the crispy, fresh, hot slices of jalapeno, and the chunks of juicy pineapple. And for me, the dough makes or breaks a good pizza. The dough here is fresh and soft and just the right thickness for my liking.

JACKIE: Bonus, working off the extra calories consumed downtown with a stroll is a delight with loads of local shops and scenery to steep in.

ABELLA PIZZERIA, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday-Friday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, 1946 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.779.0769,

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