Benny Impellizzeri opened his pizza business on Bardstown Road in the Louisville Highlands in 1979. Sharing the space with his father who ran a butcher shop, Benny made and sold his pizzas at night. His pizza biz became so successful that when his father retired, Benny took over and Impellizzeri's Pizza became a full time endeavor. Since then he has expanded with two other locations, in the East End on Brownsboro Road and Downtown on Main Street. The good people of Louisville adore his recipes so much that you might hear it called "Louisville Style Pizza". Characterized by two layers of cheese and two layers of toppings, you can easily guess that we Holladays go "Banana Peppers!" for every single layer.
We recently dined at the East End location with Steve and Judi Holladay (aka, our parents). We beat the crowd, arriving at 5pm on a Saturday and were sat immediately. For starters, we decided on the home-made dough "Bread-Stix". You absolutely cannot go wrong with these babies. They are long, like 6-8 inches long! Drenched in a savory garlic butter sauce that acts as an aphrodisiac to your taste buds and served on an ewey, gooey butter-filled platter, they are soft, yet toasted on the outside and are absolutely to die for. "I would literally take a bullet for one" said Beth. The menu offers a handful of other appetizers such as "Cheesestix" and wings, as well as a nice selection of salads. You can choose from regular crust, Sicilian style (deep dish), or thin and crispy (their version of NY style pizza). Several specialty pizzas are offered too. With all of these wonderful choices, the Holladays were, no doubt, on the verge of a family war in agreeing on a pizza. Which style and size would we share? Which toppings would we choose?
We finally decided civilly on a medium 14 inch pizza with regular crust, which normally feeds three to four people. Topped with spices and stringy cheese galore, peace was restored to the Holladay family as we savored each bite. The cheesiness was great but did not override the ample amount of marinara sauce that mom summed up by simply stating "I am in love with this sauce." The lovable sauce was among banana peppers that were scattered generously. Beth's only complaint was the sausage. She prefers bigger chunks versus the ground up style. Michael was fine with the sausage and mentioned that he liked the spiciness. Judi and Steve's half of the pizza was covered in onions and mushrooms Their taste buds were utterly pleased. The service was pleasant and quick and we enjoyed the classic rock music along with the local art decor. Overall, this was a great dining experience. Fortunately, with the combination of breadsticks and pizza, we were left with plenty to take home.
The next time your family is thinking of ordering pizza and someone wants to take the cheap way out by ordering Little Caesars or God forbid, taking everyone to Mr. Gatti's buffet, just remember where the Holladays like to get their pizza. Live to eat Impellizzeri's!! Your taste buds will thank you.