I'm pretty sure if you want to win on Chopped, throwing a fried egg on top of your main course is a great way to get yourself to the dessert round. And I know that, personally, I'm pretty much a sucker for a fried egg stuck on top of my food. So, when I ordered at ZaZa's in Conway, I had to go for the arugula, prosciutto pizza with a fried egg stuck on top of it.
Wood oven pizza with a nice, thin crust topped with fresh arugula, prosciutto, and a fried egg? Yes, please.
The pizza comes out hot, with arugula and prosciutto added after the cooking process along with some grape tomatoes cut in half (that I could have done without, in all honesty). I found myself eating the tomatoes separately from the rest of the pizza. I get it, Parma ham and tomatoes is great, but the tomatoes just weren't for me this time around.
On my other visit to ZaZa's I tried the Zupreme, another wood oven fired beauty topped with Pepperoni, House-Made Italian sausage, a 3 Italian Cheese Blend, caramelized onions, Mushrooms, kalamata olives, and tomato sauce. Equally delicious as the pie from my first visit, and the fried egg on top still would have worked (although I didn't have one)
My companions ate salads, wing, gelato and other pizza choices including one with a beautiful ball of Burrata and a drizzle of balsamic that looked amazing. I was very tempted to try it on my second visit, but decided to go in a different direction.
The salads are topped and tossed in front of the customer, and the wings looked really nice. I'm usually skeptical of pizza restaurant wings, but these got great reviews from the other guests at my table.
The only real complaints I have are that:
1. The delivery time for one entree to another left something to be desired. On my second visit, several of the people at my table were half way through dinner before I got my pie. It isn't the end of the world, but leaving people to get hangry watching others isn't the best look.
2. Some of our pies got a little too much love from the high heat of a wood fire oven turning the bottom of the pizza skin black in places. My guess is that some new cooks were learning about the wood oven and high heat that week.
Neither of those things will keep me from coming back. Nobody and no restaurant is perfect, and the pizza at ZaZa's is worth of a couple minor hiccups.
David Thornton is a two time national award winning writer, chef, husband, father, and fitness enthusiast.