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Ryan Reviews ‘The Westsider’ at Azzip Pizza

Azzip Pizza's Westsider Pizza
Pure west side goodness. (Ryan O’Bryan / 106-1 KISS-FM)

Marx barbecue pulled pork, red onions, barbecue Grippos potato chips, and a sweet reduction sauce made from local (and personal favorite) Ski citrus soda come together on a thin crust to make Azzip’s newest concoction, the Westsider. The only thing missing is an ice cold can of Sterling beer to wash it down.

I first tried Azzip back in February after reading several favorable reviews on Facebook from friends who had already given Evansville’s newest, and most unique, pizza joint a shot. Being a proud Westsider and Mater Dei grad, I was happy to find out the guy behind the concept was a fellow Westsider and Mater Dei grad during my initial trip. I was also happy to find out the food lived up to the hype.

The Westsider pizza debuted at the end of March, but it was only during a recent trip that I was finally able to give it a try. Typically, I enjoy more traditional pizza toppings like pepperoni, vegetables, and cheese, but I’m not afraid to try something new from time to time.

The Westsider offered a little more spice than I thought it might, not from the barbecue Grippos liberally doused on top, but from the sweet and spicy barbecue sauce that serves a the pizza’s base. It was a pleasant surprise when I took my first bite, and after I downed several slices, I noticed a slight burning sensation around my lips which was fine by me as I’m not one to shy away from foods with a little kick. More times than not, it’s the type of food I seek out on purpose.

The sauce, combined with the pulled pork, red onions, and cheese really made me feel more like I was eating a barbecue sandwich, and not a pizza while the Grippos on top added nice bit of crunch to shake up the texture. All in all, I really enjoyed The Westsider and would certainly order it again when the mood strikes.

If there were any suggestions I could make it would be these;

  1. Crush the Grippos. Not into a fine power because I think that would defeat the purpose, but into smaller, more bite size pieces that still allow them to add that dimension of crunch. More times than not, a majority of the chips would fall off my slice defeating the purpose of them even being there.
  2. More Ski reduction. This is drizzled on top of the pizza after it comes out of the conveyor oven before they slice it, and was nearly unnoticeable. I certainly understand them not wanting it to overpower the pizza, but with the sweetness of the barbecue sauce already so prevalent, I wonder if the reduction is even necessary.

That’s just my two cents, you may find the Westsider to be perfection on thin crust. I definitely recommend stopping by Azzip Pizza next time your on Evansville’s west side and trying the Westsider, or any other pizza combination they offer. I’m confident you won’t be disappointed.

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