By By: Ashley Newell
In East Elk Grove near Elk Grove Park lies one of this city’s biggest treasures: Old Town Pizza and Tap House (or as regulars call it ‘OTP’.) The owners are a married couple, Jamie Dougherty and David Smith who both grew up in Elk Grove and graduated from Elk Grove High School. In 2012, Dave decided to leave his job in commercial real estate and pursue his dream of owning a pizza restaurant. Jamie is no stranger to pizza as many of her extended family members owned pizza places all over California and she fully supported her husband in following his passion.
The couple started looking for a pizza restaurant to buy and learned that Old Town Pizza was for sale. The couple had frequented this location when they were young and it was named Papa’s Pizza and also visited when it was turned into Royal Oak Pub. They decided that this was the right location for them in the town where they grew up and where many of their family members and friends still reside. The business was getting horrible reviews at the the couple took over but Jamie and Dave quickly turned that around.
Dave’s main goal is quality. He wants to give people the best possible food for an affordable price. If it’s not right, Dave asks to staff to start over. OTP pizzas start with fresh dough that they make everyday and then they hand stretch each one. Hand stretching is much more tedious and time consuming than rolling dough but it creates more pockets of air making it more thin, giving it more texture, and allowing it to brown better. This technique is used in Italy to make pizza. The crust gets topped with sauce, a plentiful amount of cheese, and is generously topped with an array of fresh ingredients then baked in their gas fire brick oven. They have everything from the hearty all meat Chuck Norris to the understated but elegant The Old School which has tomato, basil, and feta cheese. They have an array of specialty combo pizzas, vegetable pizzas, and of course you can design your own pizza. They also have amazing fries and tater tots that have heaping amounts of toppings. Rounding out the menu are salads (again tons of toppings), a couple different kinds bread, and wings. Also, during football season they open at 9:30am on the weekends to serve mimosas and breakfast pizzas while people watch the game.
Jamie brought in her love for craft beer for the 21 and over crowd. She slowly introduced Elk Grove to all the different and interesting craft beers from the craft beer movement which is really flourishing in the Sacramento area now. She made OTP one of the first places in Elk Grove to have an extensive variety of craft beer. They now have 18 beers on tap that rotate frequently. If you would like to find out what they have on tap, they are signed up with an app called Tap Hunter which you can download to find what beers they currently have on tap and even sign up for notifications for your favorite beers. OTP is constantly working with local breweries to bring Tap Takeovers and other fun beer centered events.
Old Town Pizza has flourished over the last four years even when Elk Grove was still full on chain restaurants. They gave us a family friendly local pizza place where adults can enjoy a unique variety of beers while watching the game and kids can play in the arcade area. If you like quality pizza and appetizers with plentiful toppings, beer, and a friendly environment, Old Town Pizza is the place for you!
You can find Old Town Pizza and Tap House on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/oldtownpizzeria) or Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/oldtownpizzaandtaphouse/)
About the Author:
Ashley Newell is a wife and mom who lives in Elk Grove. She is a food enthusiast who wants to feature the amazing food that Elk Grove and the surrounding areas have to offer. You can follow her journey on Instagram @ashleynewell.me, her lifestyle blog http://www.ashleynewell.me, and for more Elk Grove food tips you can visit her Facebook page EatingElkGrove.