Creative Pizza and Crafty Pints at That Pizza Place On Ella

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Photos by Troy Fields
I'll admit that I wouldn't have been quite as drawn to That Pizza Place On Ella -- the subject of this week's cafe review -- were it not for the marquee above, which crows that the pizza joint has the largest beer selection in Oak Forest

Larger than Petrol Station? I thought. Surely not. Either way, the beer selection certainly couldn't be better than that at the nearby bar, which has consistently stocked some of the best and most creative beers in the world since opening (and which has won Houston Press Best of Houston® awards over the years ranging from Best Beer Selection to Best Place to Beer-Nerd Out).

But lo and behold, the unassuming little pizza place -- which was once a heavily corporatized Double Dave's, serving nothing but adjunct lagers -- impressed the hell out of me with its small draft beer selection and refrigerated case full of bottles. There are nearly 90 craft beers to choose from all in all. The largest selection in Oak Forest? Absolutely.

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Once I was lured inside by the siren call of draft craft, it was time to be impressed even further buy a ricotta-studded White Gold pizza on a thin but soft crust that paired very well with a cold pint of Karbach's Barn Burner Saison. As he nodded approvingly at the selection and poured my glass of Karbach from the tap, the amiable bartender laughed: "All I drank was Miller Lite before I started working here."

I get the impression that That Pizza Place On Ella will do more to convert Miller and Budweiser drinkers than places like Petrol Station (as much as I adore Ben Fullelove and his bar).

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That Pizza Place is highly approachable, encouraging neighborhood parents to bring their kids and kick back during Sunday-evening pizza buffets with live music on the patio or getting crowds in the door with weekly Geeks Who Drink trivia nights and karaoke sessions. It's precisely not the kind of place you'd expect to find 88 different craft beers, but the friendly guys who staff the place provide gentle encouragement to try something new -- often in the form of nightly specials.

"Texas Tuesday Y'all!!!" the restaurant recently wrote on its Facebook page. "All Texas Beer bottles only $3! And our food + booze special of the day: Any Texas sized specialty Pizza and a pitcher of St. Arnolds for $25! That'll feed four people!"

And a few days later: "We just tapped a fresh keg of Pecan Porter from 512 Brewing Company! Come be part of our Craft Beer Renaissance at That Pizza Place!"

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That Pizza Place takes its craft beer seriously and yet it doesn't, which makes the brews all the more accessible to a crowd that's coming to a restaurant first and foremost for the pizza, televised sports and air hockey tables.

And if you don't care for craft beer? That Pizza Place On Ella has you covered with Miller Lite on draft, too. Either way, the most important thing here is covered: The pizza -- especially the roasted garlic-topped Poppin' Prosciutto -- is great.

Read more about the pizza at That Pizza Place On Ella in this week's cafe review and see more photos of its welcoming dining room and pie-filled kitchen in our slideshow.



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Location Info

That Pizza Place on Ella - CLOSED

3322 Ella Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

The Petrol Station

985 Wakefield, Houston, TX

Category: Music

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14 comments
Mike
Mike

 We should probably take up more valuable time and energy arguing over which neighborhood any given building is in, since that's an effective way to deal with things. I say we just rename that whole area OakShepardForestZone43.  Problem solved.

JamesSmoot
JamesSmoot

Begins just north of the 610 feeder, ends just south of where the big power lines cross Ella.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

I'm always confused about these neighborhood boundaries, to be honest. Oak Forest, Garden Oaks, Shepherd Forest... To be fair, though, That Pizza Place itself seems to think it's in Oak Forest, judging by its sign.

Djbuttram
Djbuttram

That Pizza Place on Ella is in Shepherd Forest not Oak Forest.  Great place to eat and mingle and check out some live music in SHEPHERD FOREST

Lucky Dog
Lucky Dog

That Pizza Place is actually in Shepherd Forest.  They have generously supported the neighborhood and we are happy to have them.

charlie
charlie

derp......*monte cristo

charlie
charlie

have they introduced a monte christo pizza yet?

Lindseykgeorge
Lindseykgeorge

Hey, Nate.. Go have your Anheuser Busch/MillerCoors pep rally somewhere else, bro. Sincerely, Everyone Who Likes Decent Beer

basshole
basshole

Not to be too nit-picky, but I thought I'd remind everyone that back in the day, Double Dave's used to do their Beers of The World thing where you drank all these different beers and got your name on a plaque. They had, for the time, a pretty good selection of bottled beers. It wasn't anything compared to what one expects from a good beer selection now, but it was hardy all Bud and Miller Light. That said, I can't wait to try this out, the beer and pizza.

Boo to Bud Light
Boo to Bud Light

I like to drink craft beer, but occasionly I drink mass produced lager beer when I want something extra light with little alcohol or just something really easy to drink, so I don't consider myself a beer snob. However, I have to disagree with your love of Bud Light...among the big 3 light lagers I rate them Miller Lite > CoorsLight > Bud Light. To each his own though I guess.

Nate
Nate

Ahhh, there is the craft beer condescension I love. Considering Bud Light is the most popular beer in the US, I would say Bud Light pretty much defines regular beer. And unless you follow the Reinheitsgebot, I don't want to hear about "adjunct" or rice. Yup, they use rice. And other brewers use oatmeal and fruit and honey, etc.

Beatrice D. Fisher
Beatrice D. Fisher

They were perplexed and probably thought I was about to rob them. So we all watched the announcement together and had a round of beers. Such a strange night...MayorMoney.blogspot.com

JamesSmoot
JamesSmoot

Horse boogers.  The northern boundary of Shepherd Forest is the carwash on Ella just past Burger King.

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