Zeeks Pizza finds a niche in busy pizza market

December 20, 2011

By David Hayes

In a market saturated with pizza joints, both franchise and local, it really takes that extra something special to stand apart from the crowd. Whether you’re looking for authentic Italian, the biggest pie or just a lunch buffet, Issaquah has something for every discerning palate.

Enter Zeeks Pizza. With 10 regional locations, it still doesn’t qualify as a national chain. So you still get that hometown feel when you walk into its Issaquah Highlands setting.

What sets it apart from the rest is its eclectic pairing of ingredients. Sure, they’ve got the classic pies, including Hawaiian, ultimate pepperoni and four cheese (Quattro Formaggi). But from there, the menu gets really adventurous.

If you go

Zeeks Pizza

  • 2525 N.E. Park Drive
  • 893-8646
  • www.zeekspizzaissaquah.com
  • 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
  • $15.95 small, $18.95 medium, $23.95 large pizzas; salads $4.75 half, $6.75 whole
Restaurant reviews are a regular feature of The Issaquah Press. Reviewers visit restaurants unannounced and pay in full for their meals.

At first glance, the Thai One On may not sound like it would work, combining chicken, bean sprouts, carrots and fresh cilantro spread over mozzarella, peanut sauce and olive oil. And like any Thai restaurant, you can choose your level of heat, one to five stars. But, wow, does it deliver. Who knew Thai cuisine would translate to a pizza?

For the spicy, the Dragon will leave your tongue tingling with its combination of Italian sausage, pepperoni, jalapeños, garlic and oregano.

To bring in a regional Northwest motif, the Forager brings the outdoors in with its pairing of prosciutto, Portobello mushrooms, roasted red peppers, arugula and fresh oregano.

If you have vegetarians in your group, don’t fret. I’ve never seen a menu with more meatless selections than Zeeks, each with clever names to draw your attention. The most eye popping being Jimmi the Greek with its roma tomatoes, red onions, green peppers, kalamata olives, oregano, feta and mozzarella cheeses and olive oil — a veritable Greek restaurant in one pie. With 10 vegetarian options to choose from, you’ll be making repeat visits to try them all.

Holding all of these pies together at its foundation is the dough. Without a good dough, a pie just won’t deliver (you’ve seen the restaurants where diners eat all the way up to the rim, leaving it behind). Well, you won’t want to discard any of this doughy goodness, as Zeeks’ crust puffs and crisps up nicely.

When going for lunch, there are two choices — order from the menu or order by the slice. Zeeks has four slices of the day to choose from, including cheese, pepperoni and two others. And you can’t beat the deal — two slices and a drink for just $5.95. Or if you want your daily greens, a slice, half-salad and drink is just a dollar more.

My only complaint would be getting the last piece of pizza that had been sitting there a while, lukewarm, while the rest of my group all got fresh slices out of the oven. Next time, I’ll know to have it reheated to freshen up its gooey goodness.

As if the pizza alone wasn’t enough enticement to get you in, Zeeks also offers happy hour from 2-5 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close, Monday through Friday. Getting drink specials and a small pizza for half price is a surefire way to keep ’em coming back for more.

David Hayes: 392-6434, ext. 237, or dhayes@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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