Northlake Tavern & Pizza House

You can always judge the quality of a pizza by how classic the rock and roll is on the jukebox. If you take a pass through the audio selections at the Northlake Tavern & Pizza House, you'll see you're in good hands. Journey, Bob Seger, Dazed & Confused soundtrack—staples of middle Americana so rarely found in yuppified Seattle. Built in 1958 (though founded in 1954 and relocated on account of I-5's severing the town in two), the Northlake Tavern & Pizza House looks like the kind of joint where small-town Little League teams go to celebrate. Cozy red booths and wood-laminate tables provide the decor, along with pizza-related wall cartoons by David Horsey (example: A toothless hockey player says to another, "Look what you did to my teeth! How am I gonna eat pizza now?!?"). The server was a very friendly backward-capped UW student, visibly amped about the Huskies game on TV. He made sure our pint glasses of Manny's and Hale's Cream Ale were never empty. When our pizza arrived, it was exactly as pizza should be: three-quarters of an inch thick, with more than a pound of melted cheese on top and completely unpretentious. The whole thing weighed in at about 4.5 pounds, something the Northlake takes great pride in. And when we took our first bites, as if on cue, ELO was punched into the jukebox. Jeff Lynne was stressing: "I can't get it out of my head." The next morning, his sentiment held true. 660 N.E. Northlake Way, 633-5317, www.northlakepizza.com. BRIAN J. BARR

 
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