Merritt Martin
Clean, timeless design.

How ‘Bout Them Knockers: Picasso's Pizza and Grill

Picasso’s Pizza and Grill, 7215 Skillman St., 214-553-8100

Promised in: about 40 minutes Delivery time: 30 minutes

The Score: The Phone: Enthusiasm: 7 Suggestion of dessert: 9 Payment, etc: 11

The Delivery: Enthusiasm: 15 Degree of Difficulty: 7.5 Minutes paused on Mystery Diagnosis for answering door, prepping dinner tray: 7.5 Photos taken of delivery guy: 1

The Food: Temperature: 10 Sauce inclusion: 2.5 Taste: 15 Total: 85.5

...which gives Picasso's a commanding lead in our first delivery standings:

1. Picasso's Pizza and Grill 85.5 2. Angelo & Vito's 77 3. Bangkok City (on Greenville) 73

Due to the fact that our intrepid Patrick Michels (who did last week’s Knockers review) and I live so close together, I borrowed a house and a new neighborhood for this week’s edition. I asked to baby-sit my 2-year-old niece and called up Picasso’s Pizza and Grill Lake Highlands location after the little tyke went down for the count.

My sister orders from Picasso’s often, so when I had a different credit card we had to go through the whole billing address back-and-forth, but Mr. Phone Answerer Guy didn’t let on he was irritated. He maintained a chipper tone through the whole thing and even asked if I wanted a dessert…which I hadn’t thought about. And which, yes, I did want, thank you. I asked if it was too big a pain in the ass for the driver to deliver a milkshake and he just responded with an excited, “What’s your flavor?!” (Maybe he got to make it?)

Merritt Martin
Opportunity knocks. And wonders what's up with that thing in your hair.

Still reeling from just how smart the niece is with her flashcards (“Flower. Mommy like! Cow. C-O-W. Moo! Guitar. Daddy has.” Amazing stuff.), I was in a daze watching medical craziness thanks to Mystery Diagnosis when my delivery arrived. I opened the door—10 minutes earlier than promised—and was greeted by the friendliest delivery guy I’ve ever met. Not too chatty, but enough to avoid that awkward silent exchange I so loathe. And, he didn’t make fun of me for having a giant pink bow in my hair—a side effect of being in proximity to little bow-wearing urchins.

I slid on into the kitchen and fixed a plate. Now, here’s where my order gets a little strange. My sis was out for a work thing, and we’d texted back and forth about what I should order for myself and her, but because I’m the queen of splitting fare, ultimately decided to share two things that have absolutely nothing to do with one another: the crispy chicken & avocado club with fries and a side of honey-mustard, and a thin crust pizza with hamburger and green olives. Yeah, weird, but turns out they are two things Picasso’s does really well.

The sandwich maintained a balance in temperature, with the bacon and breaded chicken hot and the lettuce, tomato and onion cool. The Swiss was melty and the mayo applied with a light touch. The wheat bread was so fresh the dough nestled up behind my teeth, like the fresh-baked bread you get samples of at a bread factory tour in elementary school. The super-sized sandwich was quartered and skewered with frilled picks for easy handling and transport. Top-notch all around. The fries suffered slightly (as expected) and were a touch mushy. Honorable mention: Sis arrived an hour after delivery. Sandwich maintained.

The original thin crust in any restaurant is almost always going to be my first pick—the crispy edges are key to balance cheese and other soft toppings. Picasso’s was sliced well, only slightly limp toward the middle (which I like) and held up with my crisp edge requirements. The toppings were ample, but not overwhelming. The small was the perfect size for a split…or one person’s meal. Plus, my sis said it was a Knocker out of the park, so to speak, for the morning after cold pizza redux.

Picasso’s Pizza and Grill is a mighty fine option for some home-eaten restaurant chow. Great sandwich, good pizza and the vanilla milkshake was nothing short of rich and delicious. And with an entire entrée section yet to explore (steaks, pastas, chicken and the like) there are plenty of options that friendly driver can bring me next time I baby-sit the knee-high…after I read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie one more time. –-Merritt Martin

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