Easygoing pizza

Slices serves good, solid pizza like this veggie pizza lunch combo.

Slices serves good, solid pizza like this veggie pizza lunch combo.

Photo By David Robert


2975 El Rancho Blvd.
Sparks, NV 89431

Pizza is probably the food with the most diversity. There are pizzas for wine tastings, pizzas for beers with your bicycle crew, pizzas for a softball victory, pizzas for a hot date, pizzas for a big family reunion, pizzas for a night alone in a dorm room. Thin crusts, thick crusts, multi-grain crusts, cardboard cracker crusts. Italian pizzas, Greek pizzas, New York pizzas, California pizzas. A pizza for every occasion and for every occasion, a pizza.

The pizzas at Slices are a nice baseline. If you were to rate all the pizza joints in this town, Slices would be right there in the middle. All pizzas better than Slices’ are “good,” and any pizzas worse are “bad.” There’s nothing about them at all offensive, but neither is there anything very impressive—just good, solid, basic pizza.

Slices is in a big, sprawling parking lot and shopping center just off North McCarran. It’s the sort of location I despise. But the interior has a wide-open, family-friendly atmosphere, painted bright yellow.

I visited with my brother, Cameron, and my roommate, Dave. We were all writhing with hunger, so we decided to start with appetizers: chicken fingers ($7.99), which we asked for extra spicy, and the spicy french fries ($2.99). It was a fairly spicy combination, but it didn’t quite max out the levels. My lips were burning, and my nose was running, but steam was not blowing out my ears. I also just want to mention that they have a four-pound bucket of chicken wings for $21.99.

We decided the three of us would split two medium pizzas. We got an ol’ reliable supreme (medium, $13.99), with all the family favorites: onion, pepperoni, sausage, mushroom, green pepper, meatball and olives. And, for contrast, the chicken ranch BLT (medium, $10.99): white sauce, mozzarella, chicken tenders, bacon and fresh lettuce and tomato. It’s just the sort of weird, trashy thing I love but not something I would feel comfortable recommending to anyone who doesn’t already have a kinky streak in their diet. I feel constant pull toward any dish with bacon in it—it’s what Dave calls “the gravity of bacon.” Unfortunately, the bacon did not have a very strong presence on the pizza.

Our waiter was quite friendly but a little overly conspicuous. He had the annoying habit of announcing every action before and after he would do it. For example, he would say, “OK, now I’m going to get you some more water.” Then he would come back and set the water down and say, “Here is the water that I just got for you.” It was well-intended but obnoxious.

But we had a fun time and lingered long after our meal. It’s a good spot for a bunch of dudes to hang out and talk about politics or sports or, as in our case, guitars. We eventually moved the conversation outside, which was a bad idea because the sprawling parking lot smelled—I kid you not—like raw sewage.

With its easygoing atmosphere, independent ownership and casual fare, Slices would be a nice little neighborhood pizza parlor—except it’s not in a neighborhood but rather a generic, inconveniently located, foul-smelling strip mall. It’d be a nice to walk to for lunch, but it’s in a location where nobody walks.