This week’s Great Escape takes us to Harry’s Pizza in Waterdam Centre. It’s a child-friendly eatery that offers incredible food at reasonable prices.
Harry’s’ menu is very approachable and unintimidating. It is just over two pages long. On the interior, pizzas are on the left and salads and beverages are on the right. A wine list carries over onto the back of the menu.
Pizza selections include mozzarella pizza; combination pizza with any variety of toppings; and five specialty pizzas. Only two salads—a house salad and chicken salad—are listed on the opposite page.
Sodas, soft drinks, beers and wines round out the menu.
And that’s it.
There are no sandwiches, calzones, gyros, burgers or other foods on the menu. Rather than being a jack of all trades, Harry’s is a master of one: pizza.
The front of the menu sports the catchphrase “Simply the Best”—and this reporter couldn’t agree more.
I decided to hit for the first time earlier this week, with my husband and two kids in tow. I was happy to see that it was a very kid-friendly place, with highchairs available to contain my tiny tots.
After taking our beverage orders, the hostess brought over two triangular globs of pizza dough for my kids to play with while we looked over the menu and waited for our dining experience to begin. My daughter Emmi, 1, loved playing with the dough. I didn’t freak out when she shoved pieces of it into her mouth, since dough, after all, is edible.
My husband and I decided not to follow Emmi’s lead. We opted instead to order our dough baked, dressed with sauce and cheese, and topped off with pepperoni on one half and fresh basil on the other.
We also ordered Harry’s Original House Salad with Harry’s Original Dressing, which the menu assured us was big enough to share.
As usual, the salad came out first. It was quite a treat! Picante red pepper strips and Greek olives joined sharp gorgonzola cheese and crunchy homemade croutons atop a leafy bed of spring greens.
The tangy dressing coated the vegetables and greens and melted into the cheese and croutons, creating perfect combinations of both texture and flavor.
My hubby and I devoured the large salad, rather grateful that our daughter Maggie, 3, is still in that “Just Say ‘No’ to Greens” stage of toddlerhood.
The pizza came out in due time. It, too, was a treat, not to mention huge. Each slice of the large 18” pizza was very crisp. The pizza sauce actually tasted like tomatoes, rather than like an excess of herbs and spices. Its clean taste paired well with the right amount of gooey, slightly-browned cheese.
I first tried a piece topped with fresh basil and was pleased with how nicely the sweetness of the herb balanced against the mild bite of the cheese. So too was I pleased with how the spicy pepperoni contributed to the flavor my next slice.
We kept our toppings simple, but Harry’s offers a wide variety of toppings, including gourmet fixins’ like artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, gorgonzola and roasted red peppers. Some not-so-common toppings, like clams, capers and mandarin oranges, are also on the list.
These out-of-the-ordinary toppings can also be found in the descriptions of the specialty pizzas, such as the white clam and red clam pizzas.
Capers can be found of Mark’s White Shrimp Pizza, which, according to a senior member of the wait staff, is a customer favorite.
Also according to her, Harry’s has been in Peters for around eight years. However, the Harry’s in Peters isn’t the only Harry’s out there. The owners bought the recipes, she said, from a Harry’s Pizza in Connecticut. Though the owners decided to use the same name, the two restaurants are not affiliated in any way.
Upon leaving, our waitress handed us a “pizza card,” on which we could collect 10 punches to receive a free pizza. Based on our first experience at Harry’s, I foresee that our pizza card will indeed get much use.
Check out Harry's on Facebook.