Out of the ordinary pizza parlor serves up out of this world pizza
–Alaska is ripe with numerous superlatives. It has the highest mountain, the most expansive open space, the largest variety of wildlife, the greatest oil reserves, the most incredible glaciers, but the best pizza? Not so much. To find the best pizza, you have to come to the quaint little village of Arroyo Grande, to the home of Klondike Pizza.
Housed in the basement of an historic building on Bridge Street near the creek that flows through town, you will find a slice of the actual Klondike and a mystery that you may or may not be able to solve. As you enter you pass 10 framed pages, each telling a particular story as to how Mike and Pamela Dennis, the proprietors of the restaurant, came to meet and start the Klondike back in 1988. As you read them, beginning with the Original story and traveling through the True, Valid, Authentic, Factual, Official, Genuine, Real, and Honest story, you begin to realize that this is NOT an ordinary pizza parlor.
Peanuts, bears, moose and more
The floor is littered with the remnants of peanut shells, the ceiling is covered with Alaskan-themed rugs and two huge American flags, old Alaskan license plates, plaques with humorous sayings, and little stuffed bears and moose toys hang from the walls.
Bright strings of Christmas lights are arrayed throughout and the sound system plays an eclectic blend of music, ranging from the 1930s to present day Top 10. Everywhere you look there is something reminiscent of the state of Alaska.
Pizza, salad, burgers and sandwiches
Enjoy shelling the peanuts and throwing the remnants on the floor while the kitchen staff rolls out the dough for your pizza. All pizzas are made from scratch with homemade dough, a combination of white and whole wheat flour, and toppings include pepperoni, sausage, bell pepper, mushrooms, black olives, onions, real Alaskan reindeer sausage…and you have your choice of red sauce or garlic sauce. Pamela says the Chicken Cordon Bleu and the Buffalo Style chicken pizzas are very popular.
A variety of burgers is also available, with appropriate names such as Yukon Jack (Canadian-style bacon and, of course, Jack cheese) or perhaps you’ll want to try a Cheechako (this term means ‘greenhorn,’ folks new to Alaska) with a choice of Swiss, Cheddar of Jack cheese.
Chicken dishes include grilled chicken breast on a warm French roll with mayonnaise, and Chicken Cordon Bleu with ranch dressing, Canadian bacon, and Swiss cheese. There’s also a teriyaki and barbecue chicken, and Hula Chicken with pineapple.
To round it out, the menu has grilled sandwiches of Alaskan reindeer sausage, Louisiana hot sausage, or an all-beef hot dog. Delicious salads include: the dinner salad, garden salad featuring a variety of veggies, Chef Salad, Semi-Sicilian salad with salami, black olives, red onion rings, tomato and Mozzarella, and the Klondike Salad – served with mandarin oranges, almonds and the Klondike’s special sweet ‘n sour dressing.
Fun times for all
A room filled with video arcade machines is sure to delight children of all ages. A vintage piano sits in the main room and, on the first and third Saturdays of the month, everyone gathers around and joins in for an old-fashioned sing-along. Come around for the Tuesday Night Chowdown for All-you-Can-Eat. The Klondike will stuff you with a delicious variety of pizzas – offered by the slice at your table, plus salad and garlic bread.
Before you leave be sure to look in the glassed-in display case to see the Arctic Trout, the only furry trout in the world, and it could only come from Alaska! And be sure to spend a few minutes watching part of the epic 2-hour movie that Pamela made about Alaska.
Klondike Pizza is located at 104 Bridge Street in Arroyo Grande with a second location at 2059 S. Broadway in Santa Maria. Call (805) 481-5228 (Arroyo Grande) or (805) 348-3667 (Santa Maria) or check out their website at klondikepizza.com for more info and the full Klondike menu.
-Ruth Ann Angus