The Food Dudes are always looking for that next really good pizza joint and we’re confident we found one with a cool and fitting name right in our hometown, John Dough’s Pizza Bar.
Dough’s is brought to you by the good folks from Behind the Net Snack Bar at the Darien Ice Rink who decided to bring their New Haven style, thin crust pizza to SoNo.
When I found out about John Dough’s I was excited, and even though this area is loaded with pizza places, there are not many New Haven style spots. Pepe’s is too far to travel, and even the Darien Ice Rink is sort of out of the question because I think people tend to pick up pizza at nearby locations.
But even with all that excitement, it took me a while to make it in for a full review, but when I did I was actually there twice in two weeks.
My first visit was on the day of the Chocolate World Expo when I was covering the event (hard work, I know). Yeah, I love the sweet stuff but I have always been more of a savory guy. This was the perfect opportunity to crash John Dough’s with some friends.
Ordering was very easy on the first visit, you have to get pizza. We kept it simple and ordered a large, half sausage, half plain, and a small Margherita. When the pies came out, we all took notice of the thinness but it wasn’t so thin that the toppings soaked through and made it soggy. I even loved how the crust was burnt in places and how it was sliced every which way. The slicing in this way is common if you’ve ever been to any of the New Haven places. I like it because you don’t always have to eat a giant slice, you can kind of put your future full stomach together in a puzzle perfect way. Another cool thing was being able to choose between crumbled sausage or thick sliced. C’mon! You have to go with sliced! Dough’s has a bunch of specialty pizzas or if you’d rather make up your own they have all the usual toppings, but some of the not so usual toppings include shrimp, fresh clams, and Buffalo and BBQ chicken.
Before I rant and rave a little more about the food, I did mention the full name of Dough’s is John Dough’s Pizza BAR, right?! They do in fact have a full service bar that makes it a hangout spot as well as a pizza joint, but I was drawn to the bunch of craft beer they have on hand, both bottled and on tap and they will usually have a few selections from Half Full Brewery in Stamford.
After a great first visit, our second visit, this time with even more people, came on Super Bowl Sunday! This time we got to really go in on the rest of their menu, including honey BBQ, Buffalo, and garlic rosemary wings. The wings were awesome. So awesome we didn’t even think about Archie Moore’s, who previously occupied the building where Dough’s is now. Usually I go for the sauced wings but I really liked the garlic rosemary version. One thing I look for in wings is crispy skin, and these had it. That 35 piece wing on football’s biggest night had zero chance of survival.
After the wings, we followed up with pizza (of course). We got to try more toppings like meatball, mushroom, but I was all about trying their hot oil. The ladies in the group, including Damion (you really wimped out, bro) couldn’t handle the spice but I’m a man and a fan of hot oil anyway. If you like hot oil, go for it. It was certainly a nice change up on the New Haven style pie since I’m used to having it on bar pies from Colony and Riko’s.
Our Super Bowl feast at John Dough’s was straight up fatboy style, but after many pitchers of beer, a few large pizzas, and what seemed like a wheelbarrow of wings, we all lost the ability to sit up straight and got our gangster slouch on, so…”Of course we’ll have dessert!”
And you should have dessert too. Specifically the cannoli. The cannolis at Dough’s are made in-house, so if you’re a fan, you just have to do it. When my friends were looking for people to split a cannoli. Split?! Have you lost your mind? I scoffed at that idea quickly and shouted some vulgarity at the thought of such nonsense. Don’t share it; you’ll be glad you didn’t.
So that’s the story, two trips worth. I’m not entirely sure what the consensus is on John Dough’s but I already like their pizza more than most in Norwalk. Dough’s is in my ‘hood, I’m a fan, and I’m likely to keep going back.
John Dough’s Pizza Bar
77 North Main Street
South Norwalk, CT 06854