Oggi's Pizza and Brewing Co.
12362 Chapman Avenue
Garden Grove, CA 92840
It had been some time since I had last thought about Oggi's. We had some good times at the one in Mission Viejo, but it closed some time ago. We used to eat there pretty regularly watching football on Sunday mornings. Oggi's was one of our favorite places to watch our beloved Jaguars fall out of playoff contention three games into the season. The garlic knots, breakfast pizza, and of course their award-winning beers helped ease the pain of watching our team flounder around aimlessly on and off the field.
Even farther back in my memory, I remember listening to XTRA Sports Radio, hearing the Loose Cannon's host, Steve Hartman and Chet Forte wax on almost poetically about their love for Oggi's. I knew it was a commercial, but you could tell that they genuinely loved this restaurant. All these years later, and they still have their own pizza still on the menu.
Oggi's has been around for over 25 years now. This pizza concept was started by two brothers, who were tired of their work in the technology field, and decided a change was in order. They created Oggi's, which has transformed into a sports themed restaurant, which does not just rely on the games on TV to bring people through their doors, they also have some real solid food here. Oggi's was also one of the first restaurants, back in 1995 to incorporate micro-brewed beer into the fold, one of the first to do so, and well ahead of the trend that is commonplace today.
Today there are 15 Oggi's locations, with a majority of those operating in the San Diego area. OC has two spots where you can grab some pizza and catch a game, Fullerton, and this location, which is just a few steps away from Disneyland, in nearby Garden Grove. Located in the same lot as a Mariott and the Wyndham Hotel, Oggi's has been a favorite of people visiting the Magic Kingdom and conventioneers for close to ten years now at this location.
Not ones to rest on their laurels, Oggi's recently invited us in to try some of their new items off of their Pizzapalooza menu, which is around for just a limited time. Estella Ferrera, Vice President of Oggi's has said about this featured specials menu that, "We are going back to our roots and focusing on creative and quality pizzas for our first featured specials menu of the year. Our Pizzapalooza menu is our way of having fun with unique toppings and flavor combinations while staying true to our commitment to high quality and fresh ingredients." I grabbed my friend George, an Oggi's virgin, and we quickly accepted the invitation to try out some of their new items.
Definitely not new, but the Garlic Knots ($8.99) are a must get when eating at any Oggi's. They tie off their famous dough, bake it to a beautiful golden brown, and then dust them with plenty of parmesan, oregano, and basil. Served with both ranch and marinara, this is a comforting start to your meal at Oggi's. Both George and I scarfed these down.
I promise we will get to the new pizzas, but we also started with this Half Sized California Cobb Salad ($11.99). I'm glad we both decided on the half sized, as this was more than enough for one person. This salad starts off with a fresh spring mix of greens, and then adds plenty of grilled chicken breast, gorgonzola cheese, mushrooms, hard boiled egg, tomatoes, green onion, bacon, and sliced avocado. A very good tweak on a classic cobb salad. I'm always a little squeamish about getting chicken in restaurants because it's almost always overcooked, but this one was tender, and they were very generous with the amount included here. There could have been a little more bacon for my taste, but the overabundance of the sliced avocado more than made up for it. If you're not feeling like pizza, the full version of this salad would be a great alternative, just make sure you clear some space in your refrigerator because you'll definitely have leftovers.
See, I told you we would finally get to the pizzas. The first of the two new pizzas that we tried from the Pizzapalooza menu was this pork lovers dream, the Hog Wild Pizza ($13.99). This pizza was topped with pepperoni, prosciutto, crumbled bacon, garlic, olive oil, spinach, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, and then finished off with some green onion. Pork nirvana. It was a tad on the rich side, but the spinach and mozzarella helped to even this out. A very filling pizza, which tasted great the next day for lunch.
It's really hard to believe that this has never really caught on. What you see above is the Fully Loaded Baked Potato Pizza ($12.99) and it was delicious. They take slices of baked potato and then top the pizza with plenty of crumbled bacon, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses, green onion, and then it's finished with a sour cream drizzle. Think of this one as a giant potato skin. This was a lighter alternative to the much heavier Hog Wild Pizza. There was lots of cheese involved here, and I thought sliced potato on pizza dough was going to be odd, but it was very comforting. This is a definite winner from Oggi's and needs to be included on their regular menu ASAP.
I let George pick what dessert we were going to split, and when he picked this Blackberry Yogurt Mousse Cake ($5.99) I knew we were not compatible in the kinds of desserts that we like. I'm way more into sweet and chocolaty, while he wants lighter and a more fruity dessert. Even though this was not in my wheelhouse, it was pretty good. Definitely, on the lighter side, it had an understated sweetness, which I know George appreciated. Next time I'll have to try their Peanut Butter Crunch Bar, old fashioned sundae, or their Cinnaknots.
Oggi's really hit the spot on this evening. Even two weeks later George still remarks about how much he really enjoyed this place and looks forward to watching his beloved Bruins, Dodger, and Cowboy games here in the coming season. Oggi's is really a sports lovers paradise, but with some really solid food, and a fun, relaxing atmosphere. The menu is varied, so even if you're not in the mood for pizza, you can choose to have a sandwich, burger, and a smattering of entrees. Our server Marissa could not have been nicer and more helpful, as she really let her love for this restaurant show, and offered some really good recommendations. We would also like to thank everyone at Oggi's for inviting us to come in and give their new Pizzapalooza menu a try. It's only available for a limited time, so make sure to try the Baked Potato Pizza before it's gone.
For more information about Oggi's, or to find your nearest location, head to their website by clicking here: http://oggis.com/