If you are forever on the search for good New-York-style thin crust pizza, look no further than Patz Pies when visiting Big Island. It is without a doubt the best pizza on the island. It is also locally-owned, and the vibe is very casual and laid-back.
Be sure to make a point to stop by the south Kona area and sample the delicious pizza menu, it is not to be missed. It is likely that you may be greeted by Pat, the loud and lovable owner. He is a story-teller, who will tell you all about his adventures and will hint at what it is that sets apart his special pizza sauce from the rest. His red sauce is known locally as unique.
At Patz Pies I experienced a feeling of true community spirit – people working together to create something with passion. The friendly waiter Angelo appears to be a big, tough-looking guy, but it turns out he has a heart of gold. Pat was unfortunately in a car accident some years ago, ended up in a coma and had to learn to speak again. He has his good days and bad days, but Angelo is there to help him do all of the things that we perhaps take for granted.
The pizza dough at Patz Pies is hand-tossed and baked on the premises, and Pat aims to source as much produce as he can locally. Signature gourmet pie varieties include Cheese, Pepperoni, Veggie White (or red sauce), Greek, Island-Style (ham & pineapple), The Killer (pepperoni, ham, sausage, meatball), and Da Works (everthing on it). There are two types of salads available – one with Kalaola organic lettuce and the other a classic Caesar.
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I ordered a Veggie White and a Caesar Salad - the lunchtime ‘Slice & Salad’ special for $10, which was excellent value. The meal came out promptly, and the service was friendly. One bite of the pizza and I was instantly transported to the streets of New York City where the best pizza in the world is made. Ok, so it wasn’t quite as good as NY pizza, but it came close! Piping hot, the crust was uber thin and a perfect combination of crispy and chewy. The vegetable toppings were generous. The salad was delicious – a little heavy on the dressing though. I ordered a cup of their homemade iced honey lemon tea, which was a beautiful accompaniment to the pizza meal.
The daytime vibe at Patz Pies is quite mellow, but in the evenings it is an extremely popular place, so be sure to get in early. In the evenings, some additional menu items can be enjoyed, such as some delicious pasta dishes, transforming the casual daytime pizza parlor into a restaurant with a classic Italian flavor. A new addition to the evening menu is the Antipasto Appetizer, with fresh baked bread crostini, fresh bruschetta, salami, olive tapenade, fresh mozzarella and feta cheese. Specials include items such as a pan seared Mahi fillet over angel hair pasta with a tangy Riesling Beyrre Blanc, cherry tomatoes, red onions and black olives. Accompany that with an ice-cold beer or a glass of red and voila! Your tastebuds will be tingling with joy.
Pat and the staff at Patz Pies pride themselves on seeing people comfortable, well-fed and happy. Don’t miss this unassuming place – it is well worth a visit. Open 10am - 9pm daily. Phone: 808 323 8100