Iâ€™ve visited Rounding Third Bar & Grill on Bluemound Road, and Iâ€™ve taken its shuttle to Brewers games, but I didnâ€™t know about the Rounding Third Pizzeria, 7119 S. 76 St., until a friend of mine told me about it.
I learned soon after my visit that both share the same owner, Tim Toetz, so that explains the common name question I had. I tried to reach Toetz at the sports bar, but he wasnâ€™t in when I called.
I was told that Toetz and a couple of partners opened the pizzeria three years ago, and he bought them out earlier this year.
Rounding Third Pizzeria is located in a small strip with a couple of other popular businesses so Iâ€™m not sure why the "Now Open" sign is still up after three years. I would have thought that by now, everyone in the area would know.
The venue is small and dimly lit. There is seating for around 25-30 guests including the stools at the bar located below a large high definition flat-screen TV, where I watched the Little League World Series while I waited for my order.
The menu is concise, while still offering some variety with appetizers, a few sandwiches, pizza, calzones and fried chicken dinners.
Diners will also find full bar service available with beer, wine and cocktails.
The menu states that the pizza and calzones "are homemade and hand stretched with only the finest and freshest ingredients." I was sold.
Rounding Third Pizzeria offers a thin crust and a "house" crust. The house crust is a hand-tossed crust that is crispy and chewy, but it was more on the crispy side than it was chewy, unlike a typical hand-tossed crust.
That is likely because they bake the pizza a little longer than most places do. The crust had a bit of a char on it, which I tend to like on my thin and crispy crusts, but it worked well on this hand-tossed crust.
Pizzas come in 12, 14, and 16 inches and range from $11 to $14 for cheese pies.
Additional toppings cost $1.25 to $1.75 and include a "double dough" option for the thick-crust pizza lovers.
Specialty pizzas are available for you to choose from such as the Rounding Third Special with mushrooms, onions and your choice of sausage or pepperoni, the Home Run, which allows you to choose any six toppings, the Prince which is a veggie pizza, and the Grand Slam, which is the meat loverâ€™s pie.
Rounding Third also offers a Hawaiian pizza, a Volcano pizza which features sausage, pepperoni, jalapeno peppers and crushed red pepper flakes, and recently added a Meatball pizza.
Specialty pizzas range from $14 to $22 and are also available in 12-, 14- and 16-inch crusts.
I started with a thin crust pizza topped with sausage and pepperoni. The crust was crunchy around the edge with a slightly crispy texture throughout. The slices were cut a pie slices, as opposed to squares, and bent only a little when I lifted them, and the cheese and toppings stayed on.
The pepperoni slices were spicy and crisp, while the large chunks of sausage delivered an additional savory and spicy flavor. The sauce was slightly spicy but also had a subtle sweetness to it. It complemented the sausage and pepperoni really well.
Iâ€™d also like to make a point that Rounding Third is generous with their toppings. I donâ€™t believe I had a bite that didnâ€™t have pepperoni or sausage.
The other pizza was on their house crust and topped with sausage, fresh mushrooms and green olives.
While Iâ€™ve decided I donâ€™t really care for black olives on a pizza, Iâ€™ve also decided that I do like green olives. While black olives seem to neutralize the flavor of spicy meat toppings, green olives seem to complement them and maybe even accent the flavors of sausage and pepperoni.
I described the house crust earlier, and I have to admit that while Iâ€™m pretty loyal to the thin crust, I actually preferred their house crust over it. I think it was because they bake the crusts longer, giving it that crispy texture throughout without burning it.
The phone was ringing with carry-out and delivery orders, which impressed me considering the place had only been open five minutes when I arrived early on a Saturday.
I pictured someone sitting next to their phone and staring at their watch anxious for a heartier breakfast than ham and eggs could provide.
Pizza and beer are the staples at my annual fantasy football league draft. Since it will be held in Franklin this year, Iâ€™ll be suggesting Rounding Third Pizza as our dining option.
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