Tiny Treasure – Lola’s

Susan says…

Who doesn’t love pizza? It is one of the greatest foods ever invented.  You can put limitless combinations of sauces and toppings on limitless types of crusts to achieve limitless fantastic results.  The possibilities are mind boggling, not to mention, very exciting for the tastebuds.  Lola’s specializes in artistic variations of the classics. 

I recognized an upscale version of the Hawaiian pizza and a pumped-up sausage standard.  Even the salads are unexpected pairings of ingredients.  The flair of the menu itself is reminiscent of the original works of art and colorful paint adorning the walls.  This is no ordinary pizza joint.

Happily, though, for my checkbook…the prices are very good for such a downtown feel.  Salads are around $7 and the small pizzas are $13.  Oh, and a small pizza isn’t that small – it’s more than enough for one person at 10″.  I think the perfect date would be a salad and a small pizza shared across the quaint little table constructed from part of an old door.  And some wine, of course! 

Ron & I were on a date, officially, but as per our usual when it comes to pizza, he wanted meat and I did not.  So we ended up with two small pizzas and no salad.  I spied an item very similar to the veggie pesto pizza that gave me a near- religious experience at Bluegrass, so I chose that one.  Lola’s Spinach-feta pizza is a heavenly mix of spinach, feta, red bell pepper, red onion and balsamic vinegar.

As I enjoyed a glass of Parker Station 2006 Pinot Noir, I looked around at the bright orange and lime green walls, the teal bench seat and the fluffy purple cushion that Ron chose to sit on – he gave me the side of the table with the wooden chair.  Clearly, he did not read the chapter on “Chivalry”.  We considered sitting outside on the little deck but it was too humid for me.  Whether you dine inside or out, it will not be very intimate – the close quarters ensure that people around you will hear every word you say, so don’t make any comments to your date about the guy with the shirt so tight you decide to wear your sunglasses as eye protection because a button is sure to pop off at any moment at a very high velocity.  (just an example – that didn’t really happen)

The pizza looked great when it was placed before me – I thought the chef was a bit stingy with the toppings, though.  The crust was lightly dusted with cornmeal…I could feel it when I picked up the first slice.  The crust was a bit thicker than a typical thin crust pizza but rather crispy.  It had a nice flavor – the combination of all the ingredients was quite pleasant.  The balsamic vinegar in combination with the bite of the cheese and the red onion is fantastic.  I may start drizzling balsamic vinegar on everything at home just to see if there’s something it would not make taste better.  Even though I said the 10″ pie was more than enough for one person, I ate it all minus the one slice I finally talked Ron into trying.  Compared to the pizza at Bluegrass, I would have to give the nod to Bluegrass.  The Bluegrass pizza has such an amazing crust – thin, crispy and great flavor.  Not just a plain base, but an integral part of the taste of the dish.  

The menu is rather restrictive, but they had two specials – one salad and one pizza.  I think that’s a great idea when you have a limited number of menu options.  I do wish Lola’s was open for lunch, though.  I could see my lunch group dashing up the hill, ordering a couple pizzas and sharing them. 

Even though Lola’s couldn’t surpass the Four Fork Bluegrass experience, I really enjoyed my meal and thought it was priced right.  I will come back and try the Hawaiian-style pie next.  Or maybe the one with goat cheese, or perhaps the….

Lola’s receives THREE FORKS -

Ron says…

 Well I had a great idea for this post….. My original intent was to do a spoof of the Kink’s song Lola….   You know, go down through all the lyrics and change them around to make it sound like the song?…

Something like…

I met her in a club down in old soho on a street named Bridge Road.
Where you drink champagne   imports and it tastes just like cherry-cola
it tastes just like …..

Well you can see just how far I got with that great idea….. evidently my creative writing skills are as profound as my journalistic credibility..  

So the person that can come up with the best lyrics for “Lola” in relation to this Pizza joint can pick out a place to review….  {The Rivers Edge Cafe is already taken so don’t pick it}  Plus I can assure you your lyrics will be posted on this site, and viewed at least 400 times.  (viewed I said, not read, as I have no idea if anyone actually reads this) 

As I’m sure Susan mentioned we go to Lola’s this Friday eve… to check it out, I’ve heard great things about this place, and have been wanting to.  We pretty much arrive right after work.. so the place wasn’t too crowded.  First thing you notice is the limited parking.  They have an extra lot across the street.. and that’s where we parked.  This lot wasn’t very big, either and I’ve heard that parking can be a problem.   My advice to you is that if the parking lot is full, just go someplace else..

Because if you don’t you’re going to feel like a sardine in a can.  I say this in a good way.  Lola’s is comfortable.  You don’t feel like like you’re in a restaurant, but more like over to someone’s house for dinner.  But the place is small and isn’t set up for large crowds.  When we were here the crowd was about right.  But anymore and I’d have been sittin in someone’s lap.

I start off with Rogue Brewing’s Dead Guy Ale, and after consuming this $3.50 soldier I proceed to play “Beer Roulette” with the waiter.  By this I mean they didn’t have my staple, and the Dead Guy Ale was good, so I tell him to bring me another one at that price range.   While he’s getting that,  we order our Pizzas.

I order the Sausage and Onion pizza.  Hey I’ve been on my diet for a good week now, and I’m ready to splurge…. and trash that there diet.  Susan gets some artsy fartsy pizza, spinach, roasted peppers, Balsamic vinegar… what’s with that?   I want pizza and beer, and I don’t want it confused with something that should be available in South Beach.   Look at me… Do I look like I belong in Miami?   I have more fat on me than a city block down there.

After taking our order the dude’s back with my bullet, and it’s a good one.. Sierra Nevada… I’m not usually a fan of Sierra Nevada beers..  this was a special selection or something, I forget the actual name…   To me, it’s Hippie Beer. But this wasn’t too bad.   

Still no pizza as I consume that flower child of a soldier.   I tell our guy that no Sierra Nevada next time, and he brings me out a Great Lakes ESB.  This was good…  Our Pizza arrives not long after and the next song that got stuck in my head is Aerosmith’s Big Ten Inch..   as this pizza if I had a scale was probably acutally 12″ in diameter.    

The Pizza was covered in the sausage and onions.. my only problem is that the onions were carmelized and well this flavoer just doesn’t blow my skirt.   I like my onions oniony…..  But this was a small price to pay for Pizza Perfection…  

My ESB was so good, I had to order another one…

Well I finish my pizza.. all of it…  so much for that diet.. however I did plan for this and fasted all day….  But I had to have a peice of Susans.   I have to say it wasn’t too bad… not what I would want, but something you might like to consider trying.

I’m giving Lola’s Four Forks……   I think being small they have a lot of room for error…. but today everything seemed to be clicking. 

Four Forks………eat there, check them out, tell us what you think…

Lola’s
1038 Bridge Road
Charleston, WV  25314
304-343-5652
Lola's on Urbanspoon
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12 responses to “Tiny Treasure – Lola’s

  1. The weak point is definitely the service. It really depends on the server you get. Some are much better than others. But you can’t beat the food. I give it 6 Forks our of 4.

  2. And the sangria is to die for!

  3. EB-
    I saw several other diners enjoying that sangria. Apparantly you can buy it by the pitcher or the glass. They had two flavors the day I was there.

  4. demosthenes.or.locke

    I like the place but it is crazy busy most of the time. A couple of the salads are really excellent.

  5. What are the hours at Lola’s? My mom and I were wanting to go to either there, BRB or shmc last Sunday for lunch and all three were closed. We were a little late for lunch, around 2:00 or so.

  6. Lolas hours are Tuesday – Saturday 4-9(ish).

    It is small and often busy. But you can’t go there and not see people you know. Sitting around on the porch drinking sangria makes any wait feel more like the prelude to the party. I love it.

    Lolas does feel intimate and like you are over a friends for dinner. You hit the nail on the head with that metaphor. Now that Bridge Road has redesigned all the street parking, there is plenty of spaces.

    Sunday is a bad day in Charleston for food. You are limited to the chains and a few choice spots…that’s all.

  7. LAL – I’ve been told that Bluegrass Kitchen has a great Sunday brunch.

  8. Lola’s is our favorite. They could make it anywhere without changing a thing. I know pizza is one of those foods that is different everywhere, but they have the thin yeasty crust I prefer along with excellent mixes of non-trad toppings. My wife loves the sangria (extra sprite please) and they have a fine selection of beers. We almost always get the salad with the fried chevre, crispy outside, soft and delicious inside.
    Lola’s gets all my forks.

  9. My boyfriend and I went here last weekend. Again (like at Soho’s), we felt out of place because we are not drinkers. Our service was horrible. We waited 15 minutes just for our drink order to be taken. My food was absolutely delicious! (the panned seared goat cheese salad and the eggplant pizza). My boyfriend didn’t enjoy his salad (he’s pickey and a ranch person, not a vinagarette person). We went on a Thursday evening, so we got right in, but it was definitely close quarters and very loud. I did like the music they played. We were shocked to see the two of us spent $40 for pizza and salad! Overall, I would eat their food again if they have carry out (do they?), but the cramped quarters and crappy service turned me off from dining in.

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  12. Lola’s is truly a gem in the Chas restaurant scene. Great tasty pizzas, salads and good service. The owner is so personable and she chats up the diners. On a recent visit the owners were both there along with their two adorable daughters…nice family feel. Stop in if you’re up for really good pizza (and not Pizza Hut or Papa John’s style)….make sure you go early, seating is limited, as is their supply of pizza crust each night

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