14300 Mundy Drive #700
Noblesville, Indiana 46060
I’ve recently moved after spending close to a decade in the same place, so as part of my move, I’ve been exploring the restaurants in my area. One of those places is a local pizza joint called Cook’s Pizza. They were established in 1971, but being that the strip shopping center that they are in has definitely not been around since 1971, it’s definitely not their original location. Anyway, a craving for pizza (and a recommendation from a friend) let me to give them a shot on a recent Sunday Night.
What I Got: Medium Margarita Mani pizza; $12.00.
What better thing to order from a pizza joint with an American sounding name than a classic Margarita pizza, right? LOL. Anyway, joking aside, Cook’s Margarita Mani was described as being topped with basil, tomato, mozzarella and garlic (obviously the crust and tomato sauce are included as well) and I can confirm all those were there, although I was a bit disappointed by the lack of garlic and the basil was a bit more diced up than I would have expected. That said, I was impressed with the amount of freshly diced tomatoes that were spread throughout (you can see some big chunks in my picture). There was a lot more crust here than I expected, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
When I took my first bite, I wasn’t particularly impressed. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not a bad thing, but nothing about this pizza made my socks want to jump off my feet. The sauce, while thick and hearty, was not particularly sweet at all and since I love tomato sauces to trend toward the sweet side, that was slightly disappointing. The garlic and basil, while somewhat noticeable when you got a piece in your bite, was mostly bland through the pizza. The two things that were better than average and not bland with this pizza were the crust, the cheese and the diced tomatoes. The crust was soft and spongy and that was kind of fun to chew through. After I flipped it over, I noticed that it seemed to have just a slight dusting of pepper in it too, so that brought a little flavor that I wasn’t expecting as well. It’s spongy quality also made it great for dipping as well, which was kind of fun.
Now, to the other better than average part…the cheese. This cheese congealed in a way that made it almost creamy and made it delicious. A lot of times, especially at fast pizza places (Papa John’s, etc.), the cheese can get oily, salty and just plain gross. Cook’s mozzarella did not do that and I certainly appreciated it. In fact, it was the cheese that made this entire pizza for me because I very much enjoyed it. The last part that made this pizza better than boring were the diced tomatoes and I can’t say that I’d had that on a lot of pizzas in my life and it brought a level of freshness to the pizza that I don’t typically see. Combining those three components together saved this pizza from a life of mediocrity.
Would I Buy It Again? Yes, I would. While it was only slightly above average pizza in the grand scheme of life, it was certainly better than a typical delivery joint. There are some things that I wish were different about this pizza, but the performance of this was good enough that I’m willing to order from Cook’s again to see if perhaps I can find a better pizza. If I can’t do that, I at least know that this Margarita Mani will do just fine.