Why: Bellagios Pizza in Vancouver is one of 14 locations for the Portland-based chain, established in 1996. Bellagios prides itself on offering a quality menu and outstanding customer service. The Vancouver location is in a strip mall and provides fast casual dining for the whole family.
What I tried: I tried the garlic chicken pizza and the Pepperoni Plus pizza. I also sampled the spinach salad.
The garlic chicken pizza begins with a creamy garlic base and is topped with mozzarella cheese, chicken breast pieces, fresh garlic, feta cheese, red onions and mushrooms. After baking in the oven, the pie is finished off with a generous amount of sliced Roma tomatoes. The pepperoni pizza consists of a red sauce base topped with mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced pepperoni, black olives and mushrooms.
The crust had a medium thickness, which was substantial enough to support the generously topped pies, and was baked to a pleasantly firm finish with a bit of a crisp to it. The toppings reached almost to the edge. Of the two pizzas, the garlic chicken was my favorite for its deliciously rich garlic flavor, quality chicken and the fresh Romas on top, which brought some contrasting flavor and freshness to the pie. The pepperoni, olives and mushrooms were an appetizing combination on the other pizza. Many of the edges of the pepperoni slices were browned and crispy from the oven. The pepperoni had a medium level of spiciness.
The spinach salad is made with fresh spinach with some romaine lettuce, feta cheese, red onions, black olives and grape tomatoes. Diners choose the dressing, which is served on the side. I requested red wine vinaigrette, but after tasting the salad I decided not to add it because I enjoyed the dressing-free version so much. Every element of the salad was super fresh and tasty.
Dining Out Review: Bellagios Pizza
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Pizza by the slice is available daily 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: 322 S.E. 192nd Ave., Suite 104, Vancouver.
Contact: 360-567-1007 or www.bellagiospizza.com
Health score: Bellagios Pizza received a score of 15 on Feb. 27. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants with a score of 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.
Atmosphere: The restaurant’s walls are painted in green, gold and red accented by black, patina and stainless steel surfaces above a stained concrete floor. Seating is accommodated at standard tables and chairs and a window-side, tall counter along the entry wall. There are also booths along the side walls. Fashionable pendant lights bring an Italian feel to the restaurant. A help-yourself drink cooler provides bottled and canned beverages, and there is a soda fountain station.
Menu highlights beyond what I tried: The Mother Earth pizza combines mozzarella cheese, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, Gorgonzola cheese, garlic and artichokes on a creamy garlic base. The Margherita pizza has a garlic- and olive-oil base instead of red sauce. The Very Veggie pizza with mozzarella cheese, spinach, red onions, garlic, mushrooms, artichokes and Roma tomatoes sounded like a good meatless option. Desserts include cinnamon breadsticks drizzled with vanilla icing.
Other observations: The waitstaff is extremely low-key and polite. On my visit, all the vacant tables needed to be wiped down and there was literally no information on the menu boards. Given the transitional vibe of the restaurant, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food.
Bellagios has take-out, delivers within its general location for $2, and caters.
Cost: Pizza by the slice is $3.25 and $3.50. Lunch specials with a slice of pizza, a small salad and a fountain drink or two slices and a fountain drink costs $7.50. Appetizers cost $4 to $11. Salads are $4 to $8.25. Grinders — toasted sandwiches on a 10-inch roll and topped with lettuce and tomato and served with a bag of chips — are $7. Pizzas are available in three sizes: 10 inches, 14 inches and 16 inches. Signature pizzas range from $11 to $22.25. If two pizzas are purchased, the second pizza (of equal or lesser value) costs $8 to $17. You may build your own pizza for $8 to $17. Ten-inch and 14-inch gluten-free pizzas are available for $11 to $22. Desserts are $2 to $8. Dough may be purchased to go for $2 to $7.