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Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire.
I’m not talking about the flair ups that sometimes arise in restaurant kitchens — I’m talking about the positive chatter coming from readers regarding the pizza at My Little Pizzeria in Benton. I’ve had several readers send messages that glowingly endorse the pizzeria.
Like I said, where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire. Fortunately for me, this fire came in the form of genuine New York-style pizza. The name isn’t ironic. My Little Pizzeria is really a little pizza shop, comprised of a couple of tables and 12 to 15 seats. My Tiny Pizzeria would probably be more accurate.
However, the inside counter is big, and during our recent lunchtime visit, it was filled with pizza, stromboli, and garlic knots, all ready to be tossed back into the oven for a quick reheat. We partook in just about everything, but the two items that truly stood out were the “Lasagna” and the “Margarita Cold” pizzas. The former is comprised of ground beef, ricotta cheese, mozzarella, Parmesan, and housemade tomato sauce. I must admit, when I heard “Lasagna Pizza,” I wasn’t exactly doing backflips, but one bite changed all my preconceived notions. The thin crust has a crisp bottom that also happens to yield a wonderful chewiness to the bite. Visually, each slice is a work of art, a beautiful blend of white and red colors that’s only surpassed by its insanely addictive taste. A proper balance of the beforementioned ingredients, along with a fun name, ensures the Lasagna Pizza will be My Little Pizzeria’s signature item.
The Margarita Cold might be just as good, and, like the Lasagna, is absolutely beautiful. This pizza, which is served more at room temp than cold, includes fresh mozzarella, basil, fresh tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, ricotta, and garlic. The dough is fully baked, but all the other ingredients are not, hence the “cold” in the name. It is a brilliant offering, and while I loved it, any more than one piece at a time feels like a bit much. If you are ordering an entire pie, think of this one as more of an appetizer.
If these two pizzas don’t sound up your alley, My Little Pizzeria has a long list of 14-inch and 18-inch specialty pizzas, along with a build-your-own option with all the typical toppings. I’ve even had my eye on the Rustica Pizza, a thick, monster-sized pie. It is filled with a variety of meats and cheeses and resembles more of a Chicago-style pie. It’s big, but then again, all the food at this pizzeria is big. Just make sure to bring an appetite to match it.
And if you do not live in the Benton/Bryant area, consider getting a couple of pizzas to-go. They travel well and reheat even better.
My Little Pizzeria
1204 Salem Road (Benton)
Hours: Tuesday & Thursday 4 p.m.-9 p.m.; Wednesday, Friday, & Saturday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday 4 p.m.-8 p.m.; Closed Monday
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