Pirates Pizza180 W Peckham Ln.
Reno, NV 89509
If you want to have a truly memorable family restaurant, you have to have a mascot. One of the most recognizable faces to children ages 4 to 8 is the clown-faced McDonald’s ambassador, Ronald—there have actually been studies on this. When a mascot shares a name with the restaurant it represents, it makes the place even more identifiable. This is part of the reason local gourmet pizza stop, Pirate’s Pizza, has great appeal as a family hangout.
Standing at the entrance next to the “Please wait to be seated sign” is a peg-legged, eye-patched, sword-toting swashbuckler. It’s impressive and somewhat intimidating even to an adult. The entire restaurant has a seafaring theme. The high-backed wooden booths seem like what you might encounter in the mess hall of a buccaneer’s ship. The tablecloths are red-and-white checkerboard with anchors. The restaurant’s center seating is cafeteria-like and would accommodate large parties. The place has the lived-in look that a lot of hopping family restaurants do: worn carpet, indestructible plastic chairs and mismatched napkins, although cloth napkins in themselves are a luxury.
I went on a Saturday at 11:45 a.m., just early enough to miss the lunch crowd. I ordered for my sister and myself, and then I waited for my ever-rushing sibling to show up. With perfect timing, the food arrived about a minute after Amber breezed past the cantankerous pirate.
The menu boasts pizzas of many nationalities: Greek, Mexican, Japanese, Russian, German, Canadian (bacon), Italian (salami), and, representing the United States, Hawaiian. A pizza I’ve ordered often from Pirate’s is one of Greek influence, the Number 23 ($13.95, $16.95 and $19.95 for small, medium and large). It consists of spinach, garlic and feta in ample quantities. I feel indulgent when I order the simple yet potent and healthy pizza. This time, though, I branched out and ordered a small Mexican sans beef ($14.95).
There are a number of Greek items on the menu. I almost got the spanakopita appetizer (spinach and cheeses in a flaky pastry crust for $6.95), but then I thought Amber would prefer a panini; they were a comforting and predictable food while she lived in France.
I ordered the Milano panini ($6.95), a grilled sandwich with roasted eggplant, provolone cheese and pesto sauce. I was disappointed when the waitress said they were out of eggplant. But she was so friendly and sincerely apologetic that I didn’t mind switching to the Roma (also $6.95). It was a simpler sandwich with fresh Roma tomatoes, mozzarella and an Italian herb dressing. Amber and I agreed that it tasted like a very good grilled cheese sandwich. However, it was on the small side, especially for the price.
The small Mexican pizza would have been a decent-sized meal for three people. There were refried beans, olives, onions, peppers, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, tortilla chips and sour cream. The sour cream was pickled and tasted odd at first, but we got used to it. In place of salsa was the pizza sauce, which meant the pizza didn’t taste entirely untraditional. It was a nice melding of seemingly contradictory foods. The crust was exceptional—it was puffed up to the size of my fist, definitely not the type you forgo.
Food, service and sea rovers combined, Pirate’s Pizza is an ideal spot for a family rendezvous, be it with a busy-bodied sis, a pair of grandparents or a bevy of kiddies. It has something for us all.