North Texas Daily

FOOD SNOBS: J & J’s Pizza

FOOD SNOBS: J & J’s Pizza

September 03
22:10 2009

118 W. Oak St.

By Chris Speight and Jeph Burton / Senior Staff Writer and Contributing Writer –

J&J’s Pizza on the Square combines a nonchalant college atmosphere with phenomenal pizza.

Adding to the history, the building was constructed in 1889.

J and J's Pizza on the Square customers hang out at the bar. The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., or midnight on the nights they have shows. (Photo by Melissa Boughton / Photographer)

J and J's Pizza on the Square customers hang out at the bar. The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., or midnight on the nights they have shows. (Photo by Melissa Boughton / Photographer)


We arrived at 9:25 p.m. and immediately started to soak in the atmosphere, a quaint slice of eclectic Americana.

Visual treats cover every brick wall in the place. Shiner Bach mirrors, a stop sign, various paintings, several Virgin Marys, a myriad of both black-and-white, dark room-processed photographs and color photographs.

An old stone wall in the restaurant runs the length of the left side.

Next to an old-school jukebox, paneled ceilings and an antique wooden bar, a bowling Richard Nixon presides. You’ll have the sensation you just went back to the mid-1950s.

At 9:30 p.m., we placed our order – a supreme pizza, no holds barred. To quench the thirst, a chilly bottle of Lonestar for Chris, while Jeph went for the soda fountain.

Real magic happens below, when J&J’s books local and outside bands to perform downstairs in the kind of environment where Denton’s music scene shines – a barely lit, old dive setting with a pool table, dusty old couch and bar.

J&J’s is famous in Denton for its pizza, but beyond that the menu features cheese bread, lasagna, calzones and other Italian-styled foods.

Beer on draft and by the bottle varies in price between $1 and $4.25. For beer lovers, the place has a decent selection, including Schiltz, Amstel, Shiner, Guiness, Red Stripe, Peroni and New Castle, just to name a few.

On certain nights, J&J’s will provide free bottle service if you bring your own bottle of wine. The staff will point you in the direction of the closest wine shop, Wine2.

The pizza took about 10 minutes to prepare, and when it did, it was bubbling hot and looking exceptionally delicious. Toppings weren’t just baked into the cheese; they were massed so densely that it made more sense to eat each slice like a folded sandwich.

 J&J’s Pizza on the Square is at 118 W Oak St. in Denton. A large pizza with four or more toppings, like the supreme, is $17.99. (Photo by Melissa Boughton / Photographer)

J&J’s Pizza on the Square is at 118 W Oak St. in Denton. A large pizza with four or more toppings, like the supreme, is $17.99. (Photo by Melissa Boughton / Photographer)

The dough itself was packed with flavor – an interesting thing to note because for us, the flavor of dough doesn’t frequently stand out. (It must be the water, right?)

As it’s situated around the square Denton, it shouldn’t have been a surprise to us when, 10 minutes before close, a group of about 12 people walked into the restaurant and began placing orders. But what was most surprising about the whole thing was that the servers continued serving until exactly 10 p.m.

J&J’s is open until midnight Monday through Saturday if there is a show; otherwise, it closes at 10 p.m.

We left 15 minutes past close (there were no gigs playing, either). They never kicked us out or even made an effort to rush us, which is the mark of really incredible customer service.

When we asked the owner the staff’s feelings about staying late, he said they’d stay until everyone was happy, which is comforting.

While a great value with a group of friends, if you’re buying by the slice it will run you about $5, which is a bit on the high end, although you do get two slices. To get the best value, three or four friends might be able to knock out a large for a fairly decent price.

Our large supreme cost $17.99. You are definitely paying for quality at this place.

J&J’s offers dine-in or take-out, and free delivery with a purchase of at least $10.

RATINGS

Cleanliness – 4/5
Service – 5/5
Affordability – 4/5
Atmosphere – 5/5
Food Quality – 5/5

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