With trendy chain establishments coming into the 817, you can now order pizzas with or without cheese and with sauces that range from barbecue to alfredo and even — gulp — nacho cheese. Chelsea Pizza, by comparison, is keeping it old school, focusing on quality ingredients, solid service, and traditional fare.
Tucked away in a small strip mall, Chelsea doesn’t look like much. Inside are six tables, and it takes just a few steps to travel from door to counter. The menu is diverse but typical for an Italian restaurant, with several types of salads, subs, panini, pizzas, and desserts.
The meal started with a plate of fried mozzarella sticks. These weren’t your typical flimsy, gooey cheese sticks. The mozzarella was thick and firm with a hearty, lightly peppered coating. A fresh cup of marinara sauce for dipping offered a pleasant zing, courtesy of oregano and garlic coupled with the natural tartness of the fresh tomatoes.
The Italian panino was up next, served hot and freshly pressed. Chelsea diverged far enough from Italian tradition to serve the sandwich on a French baguette, but it worked great. The quality cuts of meat and cheese made the difference. The pepperoni had a lively paprika spiciness that is typically missing from the commercial stuff, and the mild salami balanced out the salt in the ham. A thick bed of melted mozzarella and a sprinkle of oregano finished off this satisfying sammy.
The real test of a pizzeria, natch, is the pizza. The dough on the New York-style pie with the works was baked perfectly, offering a balance of crispy exterior and soft chewiness inside. A thin layer of tomato sauce formed the base of a mountain of fresh toppings. No sign of canned ingredients here. Thick, smoky bacon gave the spicy pepperoni a run for its money in flavor dominance. The experience was completed by peppery pork sausage, hearty mushrooms, and juicy bell peppers and onions united by generous mounds of tangy melted mozzarella.
Dessert consisted of a plate of six piping hot, deep-fried zeppole. These dough balls come powdered with either cinnamon or plain sugar. The dough was pillowy and light, and the spice and sugar coatings gave each bite just the right amount of sweetness.
The quality of the food at Chelsea Pizza far exceeded the place’s humble appearance (a welcome change from establishments that spend more on their facades than on ingredients), and the prices were right.
11477 Woodland Springs Dr, Ste 155, Keller. 817-741-1800. 11am-10pm Sun-Thu, 11am-11pm Fri-Sat. All major credit cards accepted.
Mozzarella sticks ……… $3
Italian panino ……………. $6
Small supreme pizza …. $13
Zeppole …………………… $2