Bazbeaux Pizza (downtown)

Gourmet pizza with homemade sauces and dough; 50 toppings; salads (try the creamy basil dressing) and decent sandwiches. We favor the garden pizza and the Tchoupitoulas (fun to say, more fun to eat). Also try the new Broad Ripple location, although downtown provides some fun people-watching along Mass Ave and a door-blocking mannequin named Maxine. This is a great place for lunch, as they offer three or four pizzas-by-the-slice for a few dollars.

We opted for take-out sandwiches the other day. I went for the tuna sub, which had lots of tuna and very little mayo. That made it a little dry and crumbly, but I appreciated not drowning it in Hellman’s.

Chris had the Muffaletta, and I am only now beginning to appreciate the spicy, salty, nasty goodness that is 18 kinds of Italian meat and green olive spread with cheese. These are big sandwiches (and come with chips and a pickle), so to finish one was a bit indulgent but so worth every bite.

Bazbeaux Pizza (Broad Ripple)

Some 20 varieties of gourmet pizza, from standard to names like Chilope and Tchoupitoulas. Delivery and carryout available. New building may be slightly less charismatic than the old site, but it’s got to be four times the size. The pizza is just as fantastic and now you can enjoy rooftop dining! Our standard order is the 12” Garden pizza on wheat with side salads and creamy basil dressing. It’s so good that even after trying lots of their more unusual offerings we seemingly always return to the Garden. Who can turn down avocados, artichokes, ricotta and onions? We’ve found that the half-carafes of wine are quite a bargain, as well. Just don’t drink and drive, even if you do only live a few blocks away…

Some Guys Pizza, Pasta, Grill

This busy, upbeat pizza and pasta restaurant lies at the east end of Broad Ripple. Their brick oven churns out perfectly-crusted (if you’re into the whole thin-crust thing) pizzas with toppings ranging from traditional to on pizza?! and pasta dishes frosted with gooey toasted mozzarella.

For all the times we’ve visited Some Guys and enjoyed multiple permutations of ravioli, tortellini, tomato-vodka sauce and such, we only recently tried the pizza, leaving that arena to Bazbeaux, Broad Ripple’s “other” gourmet pizza haven. We’re hooked now, and proud to declare that there the winner is not either restaurant, but the diners. Emily enjoyed the primavera pizza, but I found it slightly oiler than I would have preferred. We’ve heard the Thai chicken pizza is good as well, however I’m going to have to work up to that: I’m a pizza traditionalist. Only in the last few years have I opened my mind enough to accept anything but the thickest, deepest, sausagiest Chicago-style cholesterol-fest pizza.

Since their excellent pizza was a new experience for us, the pasta selections are obviously what has kept us coming back. I really can’t decide which they do better. If you’re lucky, you’ll visit on one of the rare days when they have lasagna available.

I love me a good wood oven. During our last visit, Emily and I announced to each other that our next house will have two such massive wood ovens: one in the kitchen, and one on the deck near the pool that friends and neighbors can use. This would be after we win the lottery, of course. Which in turn would be after we begin playing, and that is unlikely.

Some Guys serves good beer (Bell’s Oberon in the summer, Blue Moon, Peroni, etc), and wine, as well. The latter packs quite a punch if you haven’t eaten in the eight hours prior to your dining experience. Best to wait on that Roma bread (yeah, get the Roma bread. It’s garlicky nirvana) before getting too far through your Chianti.

Desserts aren’t to be missed, either. Tiramisu and carrot cake have finished off more than one pleasant meal in the past.

The wait staff is quite a bit friendlier and easy-going than average, though they do stay quite busy in the confines of the densely-packed restaurant. This is a restaurant we would happily recommend to all walks of life for any happy occasion.

Chicago’s Pizza

Deep-dish pizza. On the Circle below street level. It’s kind of fun to eat downstairs at this pizza joint. Not the best pizza, really, but for going to college in Terre Haute, Chicago’s had one of the better pizzas around.