I can always appreciate truth in advertising. Knowing what is around the corner makes a trip more enjoyable because I’m not being bombarded with anxiety attacks or getting ripped off. Where there’s truth, there’s peace. However, finding a diamond in the rough triggers equal responses but on the positive side of the spectrum. If you’re in the mood for run-of-the-mill pizza, hit up a chain. If you feel the urge to get serious bang for your hard earned buck, The Pizza Shack on North State Street is the place for you.
Their name is simple and honest. The place literally feels like a “shack” but has a comfort of its own. You can call in your order if you’d like and then come pick it up, take it home, and be a hero of sorts. You could also dine-in and hang out in its unpretentious seating area or get a feel of the area on the deck. We’ve done both, and I have to say my favorite is the deck. Being right across from Baptist Hospital, down the street from First Baptist Church, a hop and a skip from Belhaven and Millsaps, it’s like you’re at the axis of the North Jackson universe. This is prime real estate when it comes to “people watching” (a favorite past time of mine).
To experience Pizza Shack as it is, you’re going to have to hurry. They rent their little location from Keifer’s next door, and the whole block has been bought out by Baptist across the street. They’ll soon pave paradise and put up a parking garage. The time frame is a bit muddy right now, but it’s safe to say they won’t be in that exact location for long. I was told they are looking for another spot in the same general area, but they’re also opening up a second location on Old Canton Road in the Colonial Mart Shopping center. I know they were shooting for early March to open the new location, but they probably won’t open until Spring Break. You can’t fault them, though. They’re continuously pumping out quality pizzas. It’s nice to see a business put the customer first instead of the all-mighty-dollar.
Food: The wife and I ordered two of the favorites, the Carnivore and the BBQ Chicken. The BBQ Chicken pizza met that balance of cheese and BBQ quite well. The BBQ sauce had a sweetness to it that complemented the texture of the pie itself. The Carnivore was a monster. You could actually see the layers of various meats on the pizza. No lie, each slice was almost two inches thick. It’s the perfect pizza for a group who wants fill up on a good pizza. The great thing about these artful pizzas was that you could actually taste what was in them. The sausage had a taste. The cheese had a taste. The crust had a taste. These variables created a unique taste experience. I’d venture to guess you won’t find that at Papa’s Hut.
Atmosphere: One word: easy. The mixture of customers, patrons, workers, cooks, and locals brought about a feeling of unity. We had a mom and her two sons who had just gotten out of track practice from Murrah High School, a Boy Scout leader picking up a pizza for his guys, an older couple reading from the Jackson Free Press (who has recently voted Pizza Shack best pizza in Jackson), and us hanging out on the patio.
Service: You’ll meet some characters working at Pizza Shack. They’ll talk, they’ll laugh, and they’ll treat you like you have done them a favor coming to eat pizza where they work. They’re in no monstrous hurry, but they’ll get your pie to you in an orderly amount of time. You have to remember, you’re ordering a hand-made bundle of perfection on a circle. Let your body relax so your taste buds can have a ball.
1220 N. State Street
Jackson, MS 39202