Dining Out: Sparky’s offers pizza by the slice, variety

3-cheese selection, giant bread ‘shticks’ are the standouts

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Why: Sparky’s Pizza adds to the quick lunchtime options in Salmon Creek by offering several varieties of pizza by the slice. These slices, along with 14-inch garlic-and-parmesan flavored bread “Shticks,” appear to be the focus, but Sparky’s has a full menu of specialty and made-to-order pizzas, with many toppings to choose from to create your own pie.

Sparky’s Pizza, which recently opened, is owner Joe Tigli’s first Washington restaurant. Tigli owns two other sites in Oregon.

Atmosphere: The restaurant has seating for about twelve diners, five at bar stools, the rest at petite tables and chairs. Live plants add a splash of green amid muted purple and green walls. A light-colored wood brightens up the space and black trim brings a defining edge.

What I tried: My dining companion and I decided on slices of The Manhattan, The Chicago and The Hawaiian, as well as The New Yorker, a classic cheese pizza.

Pizza by the slice, once chosen, is briefly reheated in the oven, which gives the crust a crisp — and appetizing — exterior. The dough reminded me of homemade with its yeast flavors. Though the crust wasn’t thin, it wasn’t excessively thick or doughy.

The sauce didn’t have any distinctive properties, though it supported the toppings with a tomato flavor.

My favorite was the cheese pizza. Mozzarella, provolone and Monterey Jack are combined together nicely without becoming a stringy mess, and impart a richness to the pizza.

If you’re looking for pizza with a kick, I recommend The Chicago. This pizza has Fontanini-brand, direct-from-Chicago Italian sausage, and it brings the heat. Mushrooms and a bit of extra cheese complement the overall flavor, but this pizza is all about the sausage.

The Manhattan is loaded with pepperoni, Italian sausage, ham, mushrooms, green peppers, black olives, ground beef and onions. This meaty pizza likely will satisfy those looking for an all-around classic supreme pizza.

The Hawaiian, with its pineapple and ham, was a typical rendition and did not disappoint.

Sparky’s Shticks are two to three times bigger than the average breadstick. Pizza sauce or ranch dressing for dipping may be purchased for an additional 25 cents. Both my dining companion and I preferred the ranch dressing to the cold pizza sauce, though we agreed that if the pizza sauce had been hot, it would have been worthwhile.

Highlights beyond what I tried: Of the specialty pizzas, The Capri stood out. This pizza is topped with diced chicken, roma tomatoes, red onions, red peppers and sun-dried tomatoes.

Vegetarian options are on the menu, as well as Buffalo Wings with either hot and spicy sauce or mild barbecue sauce.

Other observations: The employees were friendly and courteous and the tidiness of every aspect of Sparky’s Pizza was impressive.

Cost: Pizza by the slice is $2 to $3. The Lunch Special, a slice of pizza and regular size soda, is $3.75. Sparky’s Shticks are 99 cents. Sauce for dipping is 25 cents. Create your own whole pizza for $10.99 to $21.24 or order a specialty pizza for $11.49 to $18.99.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Noon to 8:30 p.m. Sunday.

Telephone: 360-448-7472.

Where: 14300 N.E. 20th Ave., Vancouver.

Health score: Sparky’s Pizza received a score of 10 on June 8. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants that score 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.