Vince’s Humble Pie

Crispy-crusted tavern pizza in a city that’s short on it.

In 2002, War Emblem won the Kentucky Derby; and my friend John and I, betting on the simulcast at Emerald Downs, won big on that horse. We'd been canny enough to take the Pony Express (Metro's Seattle-Auburn express weekender) to the track. If we lost big, we'd take the bus back home. But since we won big, we summoned a cab and embarked upon a 30-mile chauffeured pub crawl back to our neck of the woods, which at the time was Queen Anne.After popping in and out of a couple bars outside the city, we happened upon an Italian pizzeria in the Rainier Valley named Vince's, which happened to have a cocktail lounge. It was late afternoon, and the bar was dark and smoky as a brother who looked like Bo Diddley came up to us and asked simply, "What are you boys doing?" He said it nicely, but the unspoken "here" at the end of that question was duly noted. We simply replied that we were having a few drinks, an answer that satisfied him inasmuch as it basically had to.The Vince's of today isn't quite as I remember it. The bar seems much brighter and cleaner, and the pizza, with its golf-ball sausages, is delicious. Additionally, they've got Moretti on tap, and the antipasto salad, served with a side of sardines, is mountainous.Vince's, whose owners recently opened Pulcinella Pizzeria Napoletana in the old Lakeside Tavern space on Rainier Avenue, boasts a dining area reminiscent of Lake City's Italian Spaghetti House. Their pie, however, is akin to that of Eastlake's criminally underrated Pazzo's—crispy-crusted tavern pizza in a city that's short on it.mseely@seattleweekly.com

 
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