Justin Fox Burks
Baby boomers will smile at the mid-century toys (Radio Flyer!) suspended from the ceiling at Lost Pizza Co. Vinyl records and retro signs for products (Sunbeam bread!) also are plentiful.
Let’s play a guessing game: Find Lost Pizza Co. on Poplar Avenue, step inside, and look around for a leftover from Ronnie Grisanti’s, the location’s former longtime tenant.
More than likely, the staff’s friendly shout-out (Welcome to Lost Pizza!) and the restaurant’s vintage kitsch décor will distract from the game. But eventually you will spot a dining room made with a wall of small-pane windows. Bingo. Smile and recall for a minute Miss Mary’s salad, but then move on to the new order: a signature pizza, Mississippi tamales neatly squared at the ends, and an appetizer, such as Aunt Vickie’s spinach and artichoke dip topped with nicely warmed queso that stretches like a Slinky.
Open since late March, Lost Pizza Co. in Chickasaw Crossing is the first Memphis location for a small Mississippi franchise started in 2007 by boyhood friends Brooks Roberts and Preston Lott. The pizzas, available with thick or thin crusts, offer predictable toppings along with some surprises. For the Hot Chick pie, cooks combine onions, grilled chicken breast, Buffalo wing sauce, and house-made ranch dressing, and for the Strawberry Fields Dessert Pie, they drizzle cheesecake icing on America’s favorite fruit.
Although the menu includes conventional food that is fast and filling (wings, BBQ nachos, chicken Caesar salad, and meatball subs), the restaurant’s mid-century memorabilia and full service bar shape an agreeable niche, especially for families with young children or couples heading downtown for an evening event. The bar’s dozen beers on tap add more appeal and include pints of Lagunitas, High Cotton ESB, and Abita Andygator, all priced at $5.50.
2855 Poplar Ave. (901-572-1803) $
Knowledgeable bartenders serve import, craft, and draft beers at Lost Pizza Co. along with wine and cocktails.