Here's a half moon of pizza at Luna Pizzeria.

Friday nights in the Malcolm house meant ordering a large cheese pie from Tony’s Pizzeria, which was a 20-second walk from our front stoop. To honor pizza in all its glory, welcome to Pizza Friday! here at Gastronaut. We’ll celebrate a different Houston pizzeria each week, rating its basic cheese slice on the pizzaaaaa! scale (the more As the better).

This week: Luna Pizzeria (Heights)

Here’s what I’m used to when ordering pizza: I walk up to a counter where a cashier takes my order, makes me pay, and tells me it’ll be “like five minutes.” I find a seat somewhere, typically on a chair that could really use a reupholstering, and look around at the sparsity of the pizzeria. Bank on a cooler with Coca-Cola or Pepsi products. Bank on one—and only one—shaker filled with red pepper flakes, and another filled with (store-bought) grated parmesan cheese. Bank on a television tuned to cable news. That’s about it. I’d be shocked if I saw anything else.

I’ve spent a lifetime bored and uninspired inside pizzerias, which made Luna Pizzeria such a breath of fresh air. The local chain emphasizes the little things. It’s wonderful.

For example, instead of a cooler jammed with soda products (including that two-year-old bottle of Sierra Mist way in the back), Luna has one of those Coke-product flavor stations. I could’ve poured myself a Diet Coke, but I also could have poured myself a cherry vanilla Diet Coke. (I poured myself a cherry vanilla Diet Coke.)

Also, instead of having to trudge up to the counter to grab that lone shaker of crushed red pepper (only to turn it over and watch a mound of pepper pile up on your pizza because the holes were too large on the cap), Luna brings to you a small plate of toppers with each pizza order. I can take my finger and sprinkle on some red pepper, shaved (yes!) parmesan, or micro basil. The basil was a little too strong, but again, you can control this. Such an obvious consideration that goes overlooked far too often.

Also, Luna offers small games on its long bar-style table, which can easily pass the time. And there’s a floral centerpiece in a cute vase on most tables.

As for the pizza, I was dismayed that Luna only sells slices of the daily special (on the day I visited the special was half-pepperoni and half-spinach and you could get one of either). I then had to order a personal-size (9-inch) cheese. That said, I ate the whole personal-size (9-inch) cheese.

Slice rating: pizzaaa!

Hard to judge this one because I didn’t get a single slice; instead, I enjoyed eight smaller slices of a personal-sized pie. The slices were good, a little heavy on the cheese and light on the sauce, but held by a crispy, slightly charred crust. One of the best crusts I’ve had yet. I loved that I could mix and match pepper, cheese, and basil, making each bite unique. Again, it’s the little things.

Want to recommend a pizza place to Timothy? Send him an email at [email protected]

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