Pie times

Shannon Scheneman, left, and Myranda Hoggett spread the toppings at Lamppost Pizza.

Shannon Scheneman, left, and Myranda Hoggett spread the toppings at Lamppost Pizza.

photo by amy beck

Lamppost Pizza is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

My husband and I recently went for lunch at Lamppost Pizza, just off Steamboat Parkway in the shopping complex including RC Willey. It was a great sunny day to sit outside and dine with our motorcycle-thug friends Manny and Christina. Quickly seated outside in the blaze, we were treated to some of the best service I’ve ever been blessed with at this sort of outfit. Lightly flecked with dried spots of dough and oozing with energy, our bartender-pizzaiolo-server was impressive for punctuality and politeness given how busy he was rushing us drinks and dishes while handsomely managing his other obligations.

We started off with the Spinach Dip ($7.99). Perfectly baked French bread dipping bits were the highlight of this middle-of-the road appetizer—the cream and cheese base wasn’t the liveliest—which was washed down by Coronas ($3) for the guests and me and a Guinness ($4.25) for my fellow.

For main entrées, we all got individual pizzas ($8.35). My husband’s Perfect Game (garlic, basil, mushroom and artichoke). It was short on cheese, and the tomato base was sweetish. Somewhat better was my Pesto Supreme—essentially the same as the Perfect Game but swapping the tomato paste for pesto. Though, in my view, better can be had elsewhere in the region.

Manny and Chris, in contrast, lauded their meaty fare: The Best of Seven (pepperoni, ham, bacon and a mushroom or two) and Mediterranean (pesto and regular sauce with chicken, onion, tomato, feta and olives). A tragic irony was that there was no room in their bike bag for the leftovers, which they had to abandon before zooming off to the tattoo parlor or parole officer—or whatever it is they do after they’re done with us squares.

But Lamppost is more than just a pizza place. There are roughly a dozen each of sandwich, salad and pasta options in the $8-$12 range, often featuring classic standards such as meatballs or Italian sausage. There’s also a terrific sports bar—if such a thing is possible—and a game room to go along with the dynamite atmosphere and service. To only say the pizza was OK but not great would be painting a narrow picture of an establishment that provides an impressive array of amenities.

On a final note, one of the best features of marriage is to have that special, sweet, reliable man I can always turn to at a moment’s notice—and assign blame. My husband often scouts new restaurants for me, and missed the fact that Lamppost Pizza is a California-based franchise chain—a category we generally avoid reviewing at RN&R. In fairness, the Reno franchise is the only location outside the Golden State, and the local owners have made a commendable attempt to go native. Video poker, family karaoke night, an open mic, and a catering menu are part of the community outreach. I suspect a number of local sports buffs and pub grub aficionados have already made a home away from home at this place.