In our Lunching in Little Rock blog series, Michael Kirkpatrick will explore and review the city’s best restaurants – all in time to get back to the office. This week, Michael ate lunch at Damgoode Pies in Hillcrest. Click here to read more in this series. Photo courtesy of Damgoode Pies.

It’s nerdy, but I like data and statistics. The statistics behind pizza consumption in America are staggering.  According to some statistics, over 350 slices of pizza are consumed each second and there are over 70,000 pizzerias in the United States alone. Though stats can often seem cold and boring, there is nothing cold or boring about the pizza at Damgoode Pies.

With three locations in central Arkansas and one in Fayetteville, Damgoode is my favorite choice for gourmet pizza. In particular, the Kavanaugh location in Little Rock has a great lunch special with speedy and cheerful service. My wife joined me on this quick trip from downtown. Parking is a snap at the restaurant and the upstairs seating allows for great people-watching on the bustling street below.

As we headed upstairs, we were greeted and our drink order was taken. Typically, we both order the same lunch special: a slice of pizza, side salad and a drink. Leigh, in her interminable wisdom, told me if I was going to do a review, we needed to branch out and give all the wonderful readers a larger perspective. Translation: she wanted to order cheese bread as an appetizer. The cheese bread is Damgoode’s hand-tossed dough, covered with mozzarella and garlic butter with a side of their red sauce. The bread paired perfectly with Leigh’s Greek salad, made up of spring mix, feta, black olives, tomatoes, mozzarella and croutons. I ordered the 10-inch hand-tossed pepperoni pizza with pink sauce. The pink sauce is a mix of the restaurant’s traditional red sauce and spicy white sauce. The extra spice is a game-changer. You can’t get the hand-tossed in a smaller size, so I was forced to get the larger. The soft, chewy hand-tossed crust can’t be beat. Both meals, plus the appetizer, were clearly more than enough for two people and we happily took leftovers back to the office.

Pizza is an undeniable taste sensation. There are few food offerings that are so universally liked. When it is your time to join the masses, let the name be your guide. Damgoode Pies is the place for your next lunchtime pizza craving.