Review: Sunny’s serves up top-notch slices of thin crust pizza

Sunny’s sassy sign slogans aren’t the only eclectic draw to the new pizzeria. Inside the once-abandoned laundromat are a few arcade games, cable TV, a party light in the bathroom, tap beer and, of course, a quirky pizza menu. The best part? The mascot and namesake is the owner’s French bulldog, Sunny. Located just a small jaunt from Augustana, I finally made the small trek to the nondescript building on South Waltz Avenue.

The place is small and cozy but doesn’t feel claustrophobic. Although the interior has obviously been updated and renovated, it doesn’t feel like they just peeled the plastic cover off of a bunch of new furniture — which makes it have a more personal, hometown vibe. 

Folks can sit at tables, sharing conversation over mugs of beer. By the entrance, there’s a shelf full of board game classics, and on the far side are two arcade games and a pinball machine. There’s also a color-changing light in the bathroom, adding a fun and quirky element.

The pizzas are made right before your eyes in the open-concept floor plan with no obstructions to viewing the magic of pizza craft. Thin-crust is their speciality, and uh, only option for crust, so if that’s not your cup of tea, you might be disappointed. You can customize your own medium or large pizza (no smalls here) or choose from 15 speciality pizzas with kooky names like Augie Blues, BB-Coo Chicken or Pepperoni Playboy. Some of the items are accompanied by a little fire icon indicating they include spicy-hot ingredients. 

I wanted to taste the best of both worlds — something a lil classic and something a lil unusual. For this experiment, I stayed away from the spicy items because I was recovering from a sore throat and didn’t feel like having my esophagus roasted. 

Luckily, Sunny’s lets you do half and half pizzas, so I did half City Slicker (a chicken, bacon and ranch combo) and half Bacon Cheese Burglar (a cheeseburger topping). To splurge, I bought an appetizer of the Very Gouda Mac n’ Cheese Bites. Dog treats are free, but I don’t have a dog, so I skipped that part. 

I am not a pizza purist, so I didn’t really have much for expectations. I’m normally just as happy to eat Little Caesar’s as I am to eat Domino’s. My preferred pizzas are those $1 Totino’s rectangular pizzas that you slap in the oven for a hot minute and eat in a whole sitting by yourself. 

Regardless of whatever expectations I had, Sunny’s went beyond. The City Slicker was delicious, a perfect blend of ingredients and the Midwest classic, ranch. But the Bacon Cheese Burglar is what really won my heart. There was not a pickle too many, a sauce too much, a single shred of cheese out of place. I put the slice in my mouth and I tasted a cheeseburger AND a pizza at the same time, without them conflicting with each other or battling for flavor dominance. I could’ve taken that pizza to Vegas and married it in a drive-thru cathedral. 

The mac n’ cheese bites were a tasty, but expensive, add-on. It costs $8.50 for 10 of them, more than half the price of a whole pizza. Unless you feel like money bags, I might suggest skipping them and putting the money toward beer or games instead.

If you’re in the mood for an eccentric, welcoming atmosphere and a well-balanced ‘za full of equal parts flavor and lust, Sunny’s is the perfect dinner option near campus. 


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