But then I tried Tommy's Famous... A Pizzeria, and that went out the window.
I could say part of it was Tommy. I'm going to paraphrase what I wrote about Tom Miller in my second book, Classic Eateries of the Ozarks and Arkansas River Valley.
There’s a novel to be written about how little Tommy Miller made it from being a young boy who visited the Mountain View area in between Eureka Springs and everything else during his summers as a child, and what got him out to Las Vegas. Along the way he had a sojourn in Skokie, a suburb of Chicago, and a short stay in Taylor… which even Grav describes as a “damn scary place.”
I wish Tom had written that novel. Unfortunately, that never happened.
He decided to start a pizzeria in 1991. By this point in time, he'd settled in Arkansas's Ozarks in the Mountain View community, where the water is clean and the world is quiet. His little pizza joint in an old house just west of the downtown square became one of those places you knew to stop at before you left Mountain View.
He was a lion of a man, and he would growl when he talked, a friendly growl, as if he were some version of the Not-So-Cowardly Lion. He called a lot of people "kid," though somehow I was always referred to as "girl."
Tommy died May 6th of 2014. His kids kept the restaurant open.
There were times we eeked in right before closing, and times we'd get there at lunch and kick our own butts about it (Tommy's opens every day at 3
But why? After all, it's just a pizza, right?
Well, no. There's nothing like a Tommy's pizza, not around here. No one else combines that sauce and that cheese and that crust and takes the time to make it right, sliding it into a hot oven on a paddle, these days. No one else has the confidence to tell people to sit down and be patient and
Tommy's does barbecue and it's all right, but if you
One mention of Tommy's and our route was set.
We whistled through the curves and hills through Pineville and Calico Rock. As soon as we had cell service we called to make sure Tommy's was open. But the answer? Only for the next ten minutes. It was nearing eight.
Grav dejectedly ended the call. Then it hit me. Take out.
We called back and ordered our favorite pie (beef and green olives, half pepperoncini) and rejoiced. Yes, that was cool. We rolled on into and through Mountain View and made it right before the clock struck eight.
It took a little while, and others came in to pick up calzones and pizzas to go. At one point, the sole pizza guy behind the counter lamented that at this rate he would never go home, but he kept on taking those orders all the same. And the place smelled like tangy pizza, bread, a little barbecue. We didn't mind the wait.
Stopping was hard, but eventually we had to go, with home so far down the road. Was it worth winding through roads full of construction in the middle of the night? Yeah. Was it worth arriving home after midnight? Sure. And the last of that pizza was claimed before noon.
Tommy's Famous... A Pizzeria is not fancy food nor is it fine dining. But it is unique, a flavor that I've only encountered one place. And you need to try it.
Tommy's Famous... A Pizzeria
W Main & Famous Place
Mountain View, AR 72560