I am not sure if it is possible to have an affair with a town, but if it is, Orting is my new beloved. It began awhile ago when I discovered the pure deliciousness of fresh baked pastries at the Orting Bakery, and soon the flame rekindled when I found Route 66 Pizza.
Needless to say, small town plus big appetite equals a very happy Dining Diva.
Route 66 is a small 1950s-style diner with walls lined with every license plate imaginable from all 50 states. Route 66 memorabilia gives the interior a quite homey and comfortable appeal. It’s quite clean and the '50s music overhead is the perfect touch. What was not the perfect touch was how incredibly warm it was inside ... hotter than a pizza oven in July.
But beyond the heat there was a smell that was undeniable: Baked Butter.
How could I go to a pizza place and not order pizza, so of course I delved into the menu and requested the Luau Luau and White Gourmet personal pan pizzas. Yes, I did order two pizzas and yes it was just me; however I did manage to combine both at the end to form one whole pizza to enjoy as a fabulous late-night snack.
Remember that smell I mentioned earlier? The crust on these pizzas was the epitome of what butter should be used for. With each bite, I relished in the slick garlicky goodness that was carefully brushed on the dough by little angels I’m sure.
Come to think of it, it probably was little butter devils ... not that it matters.
The best thing about most local pizza joints is the fact that everything is handmade and as fresh as can be. Nothing sits around in an oven warmer or spinning turntable, and each pizza is uniquely different. The Luau Luau was the perfect combination of crisp Canadian bacon, mozzarella and juicy pineapple, and the White Gourmet was like indulging in an incredible creamy alfredo sauce with a thin crust instead of pasta.
One word: Yum!
Now while I was oohing and aahing over my lunch, I kept a watchful eye on the couple that appeared to be regulars as they were greeted warmly upon entering. While she ordered a small spinach calzone and he ordered the mushroom burger, a side of steaming garlic and cheese breadsticks arrived at their table.
Note to self: For a little more than $5, I can pretty much get a medium-size cheese pizza in the form of breadsticks!
When their lunch arrived, I think she was as amazed as I with the pure size and girth of her "small" calzone. I am not exaggerating much when I say it was the size of a newborn baby. With one swift cut, bubbling hot spinach, ricotta and mozzarella ran over the edge of the buttery crust like a spewing volcano. This huge little calzone was truly a miraculous bun in the oven.
Prices here are very reasonable with personal pan pizzas running between $5.99-$6.99 and specialty and gourmet pizzas ranging from $13.99-$19.99. Small calzones are a mere $5.99; a large is $9.99. Most menu items average around $6.99.
Overall, I give Route 66 two gloved hands up and another note to self: next time I will be ordering that famously handsome calzone … in a large.