When I think of pizza, I usually want to go to a place with great dough and sauce. For me, the most important element of a pizza is the dough.
The sauce is essential, but you can overlook the sauce if the dough is good; if you have tough dough or dough that hasn't been cooked all the way, it will ruin the best sauce and toppings. That's my opinion, and Patti feels the same way.
This leads me to this review of Straw Hat Pizza
The other night we had the grandkids with us, and we were thinking about getting pizza after I finished at the bank. That's when Patti asked about Straw Hat.
I forgot about the new Straw Hat that opened in a formerly Indian restaurant. I kept looking for the Indian restaurant over the past couple of years and thought I was missing it.
I saw the Straw Hat sign but never put two and two together until the other night.
I had been to Straw Hats before, and they were usually good. The food was always prepared well, and their pizza wasn't bad. It wasn't the best I ever had, but it was okay.
The other night it was different. It started with the greeting and our server Bret.
He asked if we had ever been to the restaurant, to which we said no, and then proceeded to give us the history of this Straw Hat restaurant.
He confirmed what Patti had thought the Indian restaurant had gone out of business, and Straw Hat came in its place, but there's more.
See, the owners of the Indian restaurant decided to close it because Clovis/Fresno wasn't drawing enough customers, so the owners decided to buy a Straw Hat franchise and go for it.
Let me go back to our server Bret. He was cordial and great at selling us dining there that evening, and he was a fantastic server who catered to us and others eating that night.
We went with pizzas. Two large pizzas, one the way Patti and the kids like, with pineapple, ham, and bacon with a BBQ sauce. I went with the meat pizza, which had a little bit more than a little bit of everything on it.
When the pizza arrived, Patti and I were anxious to try it, so we did while the kids played some amusement games.
By the way, the interior is how I remember other Straw Hats I have dined at. Large TV'v all tuned to sports, a huge bar, and a bunch of games to keep the kids and you occupied while waiting for food.
The pizza's arrived, and as I stated above, Patti and I jumped in to try the crust. To our amazement, it was a thin crust pizza with the crust perfectly cooked to hope up to the multiple toppings.
It's not easy to get a thin-crust pizza to hold up to sauce and toppings, but this Straw Hat made the grade, and we were excited to dig in.
My pizza was unbelievable. The meat was fresh, the dough was cooked perfectly, and the sauce was excellent. It wasn't spicy, too sweet, or full of noticeable spices. The sauce was a great addition to the dough.
Let me put that thought in another way; it was the best sauce I have had in Fresno on a pizza.
Patti and the kid's pizza was chock full of pineapple, ham, bacon, and veggies with an added BBQ sauce they raved about.
It was a perfect meal, from service to the food quality to the service throughout the meal and when we were done. Everything was consistent and excellent—my kind of place.
New Day, Same Place
It was so good that today October 3rd, I went back with the grandkids for lunch while Patti was working.'
We were hungry, and I asked if they wanted to go back to try something different.
We agreed and went for it. It was after two pm, so there wasn't much action, but they were getting ready for Monday Night Football when they get packed with opposing crowds. According to Bret, our server from the other night, it makes for an exciting time in the restaurant. I'll have to check it out one day and let you know.
I told the kids they could order what they wanted, and they were happy. Novi, our granddaughter, ordered chicken fettuccine alfredo while our grandson Nolan ordered chicken strips and fries.
I went with the chicken wings since Bret bragged about how good they were the other night.
I have to say he was wrong. They weren't just good; they were the best wings I have had in Fresno so far. They were juicy and plump, and the sweet chili sauce was perfect.
Andrew, our server this afternoon was excellent. He catered to us; although we were the only customers in the restaurant, I still like it when a server cares about you no matter how many people there are.
The food was hot, and he made sure to let the kids know to be careful. When I asked about the sweet chili sauce for the wings, he told me it was the best. It had just the right amount of sweetness and heat, so they were enjoyable.
I like it when servers know how to explain the food at their restaurant. I've been to so many restaurants where the server has no idea what they are serving, but at this Straw Hat, it seems the servers know what they are serving so far. That's a massive plus to me.
At the end of the day, I do highly recommend you try the Straw Hat on Shaw in Clovis. I don't think they'll let you down. They didn't to us.
When you go, ask for Bret or Andrew, Both are excellent servers and will make your dining experience special. Also, ask for the son's owner "Money" (that's what they call him) and let him know you read this review. Thanks.
Mark & Patti