Taos Pizza Outback
908 Paseo del Pueblo Norte
Taos, New Mexico
My love affair with the Outback started in 1996 when I visited my old college roomie in Taos where she was living at the time. The Outback, now known as Taos Pizza Outback due to a lawsuit by the Outback Steakhouse, has great food, great atmosphere, and a great patio. (Technically it is a front yard, I suppose.)
I've been to the Outback many times thanks to my old Peace Corps buddy moving there after my old college roomie left. Seems I have a reason to visit Taos at least every couple of years, and my first stop is always the Outback.
On our first visit together, Warren and I spotted Julia Roberts, who has a house in the Taos ski valley, coming in to pick up a pizza to go.
I was super psyched to have an opportunity to take the monkeys (Satchel, 6, and Jiro, 4) last week while we were driving from Albuquerque (where my old Peace Corps buddy now lives with his family) to Crested Butte, Colorado (where another Peace Corps buddy was tying the knot).
We arrived at 10:30am, about thirty minutes before they opened. A nice waitress asked us to come back at 11am, so we went down the road and did some shopping. When we returned an hour later, the patio/yard was steadily filling up. We grabbed a table and busied the monkeys with paper and crayons. (It's tradition at the Outback to draw pretty pictures to hang on the bathroom wall.)
The slices at the Outback are huge and I couldn't wait to gobble one down. I just had to decide which one. After salivating over my choices, I settled on a slice of the Bottom Line--mushrooms, green olives, green pepper, fresh tomato, onion, pepperoni, and Italian sausage. After much deliberation, Warren opted for the Shredder--smoked mozarella, fresh tomato, green chile, mushrooms, choice of meat, and the house dressing. Yes, house dressing. (In the old days every slice came with a bowl of the yummy house dressing--a basil parmesan vinaigrette--for dipping the crust.) Jiro asked for a slice of cheese and Warren convinced Satchel to try Canadian Bacon since it was a "special" pizza place.
The waitress informed us that the kids slices were half the size of the very large adult slices. I said that was cool, but both monkeys piped up and said they wanted a whole slice. I agreed, thinking I could eat their cast-offs. I have to say that the Outback has the coolest kids menu I have ever seen. They offer a kid's slice, pasta with butter and parmesan or red sauce, and salad. Salad! On a kid's menu! How cool is that? Of course I didn't realize this until after we left and I had a chance to really examine the to-go menu in my purse, otherwise I surely would have ordered one for Satchel.
While we waited for our food, Satchel and Warren colored happily. Jiro and I took in the "yard art" consisting of old gas pumps, graffiti, and all manor of kitschy goodness.
Satchel's picture was turning out so good he suggested we give it to Dave as a wedding present. The waitress, however, said it would definitely be put on the bathroom wall. Of course each monkey had the occasion to visit the bathroom and appreciate the art of other's hanging there. My favorites were a picture of Obama that said, "This pizza can change the world!" and a portrait of a pregnant woman with a pizza in place of a baby bump.
When our pizza arrived we wasted no time digging in. Satchel said, "This is the biggest slice of pizza I have ever seen!"
Jiro took a few bites and said, "This is making me warm!" (Not that it was cold in Taos, but it definitely wasn't hot like Memphis in August.)
Warren offered to trade bites with me, but I hesitated not wanting to share. When I was three quarters done and absolutely stuffed, I did finally allow him a bite. He quickly finished his slice and started working on the last half of Jiro's. Satchel was determined to eat his entire slice and much to my amazement, he did! It actually took each of us--me and Satchel that is--about 30 minutes to eat our slices.
"Let's see who can make the most crumbs!" Satchel challenged me. Since I had lost a few olives and hunks of tomato, I easily won over his sad array of fallen sesame seeds.
Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.
I was thrilled to see that the monkeys loved the Outback as much as I do and I can't wait until we can go back again.