Zeek’s Pizza: Humor and beer

There’s nothing quite like a really good pizza. A staple of most college student diets, pizza is quick, convenient and ever so satisfying. Customizable enough to fit almost any taste, it’s hard to ever go wrong with pizza for even the pickiest eaters.

Located on the corner of 10th street and 102nd avenue in Bellevue is Zeek’s Pizza, which churns out some of the best pizza this side of the Mississippi. Right downtown, Zeek’s is in a prime location for shoppers at Bellevue Square or moviegoers at Lincoln Square.

In what could be called the pizza belt of Bellevue, Zeek’s is between a Papa John’s and Pagliacci Pizza, two ends of the spectrum. Papa John’s is good on the wallet, but greasy, leaving people feeling like they had a fast food version of pizza. Pagliacci is a more upscale, trendy place but I find the paper-thin, very crunchy crusts to be unsatisfying and more annoying than anything.

Zeek’s nails the happy medium between the two. High quality but unpretentious pizza is what Zeek’s specializes in. Thick, chewy crusts send textural eaters to a heaven lined with meats and cheeses, with substantial, satisfying slices, and not so overly greasy as to leave feelings of regret. A window to the street allows passers-by to see employees making dough, a testament to the freshness of the pies.

The restaurant is bright, clean and open, making for a lively atmosphere while dining in. The central counter keeps employees engaged with customers, leading to a level of customer service not often seen. Posters for local events take up an entire wall, giving customers an opportunity to see what is happening in the community – something I thoroughly enjoy.

A wide variety of toppings are offered, with unique combinations not found on most traditional menus. Zeek’s also offers veggie pizzas and a gluten-free option for those with differing dietary requirements.

While customers can build their own, I recommend getting one of the named pizzas. I prefer to get the Puget Pounder, a pizza loaded with meats and mushrooms. Tounge-in-cheek names like “Thai One On,” with chicken, bean sprouts and cilantro, “Quentin Florentino,” with artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes or “The White Album,” mozzarella, parmesean and oregano on an alfredo base – reflect Zeek’s playful nature. Breadsticks, salads and desserts round out the menu, good for larger parties. Zeek’s also recognizes the magic that occurs when pizza is paired with beer. Offering glasses and growler fills, adults can enjoy 64 ounces or more of craft beer with their meal.

With 12 locations around Seattle and the Eastside, Bellevue isn’t the only place where hungry students can have a phenomenal slice of pie.