This review was supposed to be about Dufour’s in Irvington, but unfortunately we arrived just at the time they shut down the kitchen at 1:30 in the afternoon on Sunday. Because we traveled all the way to Irvington and in an effort to save the trip and lunch, we decided to visit Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza located right next door.
Now to be honest, I dread going out for pizza or ordering it in. I tend to find the pizza offered at most of the pizza places around here unimaginative and pretty damn dreadful, so I didn’t go into Jockamo’s in a positive frame of mind. I just expected the regular same old crap offered everywhere else. Speaking of which, Pizza Hut’s new commercial cracks me up.” Are you settling for the same old same old? How about Pizza Hut’s The Original!” I wonder what genius dreamt up that slogan.
Anyway, back to the review. What I found at Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza was surprisingly different and a cut above what you find in those same old, same old pizza places.
Aside from the construction cloths blocking up the old bar area where they are expanding the kitchen, Jockamo’s has an extremely relaxed atmosphere. The interior is a combination of old industrial brick and concrete combined with a nice yellow and ochre paint job. There are half booths against one wall with benches facing the interior of the restaurant, old wooden tables to seat four in the middle, and an entirely new addition that can seat at least 40 or 50 additional diners not to mention the new bar and patio dining area. The works of local artists are also on the wall with one striking monkey in a top hat painting for a price I cannot even begin to fathom. Overall the effect is welcoming and visually entertaining.
One thing I found extremely interesting was the variety of clientele. Octogenarians and middle class families along with young urban chic and retro rock and rollers combined for a kaleidoscope of humanity for those who like to observe people.
The service was quick. The drinks were filled as soon as they were finished and the staff came around often to see how we were doing. I’ve not had better service anywhere else.
Like the service, the cleanliness of Jockamo’s was impeccable. I don’t feel it necessary to expand any further on the subject.
Okay, I know my dread of pizza places probably has the majority you scandalized. But to give you a good restaurant review I must be honest. I really don’t care for the ubiquitous meat lovers or supreme pizzas smothered in mozzarella that passes for the regular pizza fare around here. My favorite pizza of all-time is a large Calzone with salami, ham, mushrooms, tomato sauce, pickled artichoke hearts, and provolone/Gouda/feta cheese, followed closely by an Italian sausage and mushroom pizza with sliced banana peppers and the same kind of cheese topping. So my taste in pizza is a bit out of the ordinary. Blame it on my misspent youth.
In this case Jockamo’s is a pizza place whose flavors are right up my alley. I ordered a 16-inch pizza split into two. One side was the Slaughterhouse Five, honoring Indiana’s own Kurt Vonnegut, and the other side was a Heidi Hernandez. Jeff, continuing his commitment to a low carb diet, chose the Whole Romaine lettuce salad with grilled chicken.
Jeff’s salad was pretty tasty. Using whole romaine lettuce leaves to create a bowl, they fill it with red onions (a lot of red onions), bacon, chopped tomatoes, and grilled chicken with a mild Gorgonzola cheese dressing. It was very good, although Jeff said he tasted onions for the rest of the day!
Now for my pizza. The first thing I did was immediately box half of it because there was no way I’d be able to eat the whole thing in one sitting. The Slaughterhouse Five is an all meat pizza topped with pepperoni, ham, sausage, bacon, and Italian beef. It was unusual in the fact that the meats were all chopped up and they didn’t throw a ton of cheese on top. The chopped meats allowed their flavors to meld and you could taste the tomato sauce and cheese separately. If you are a carnivore I highly recommend this pizza to you. What really struck my fancy though was the Heidi Hernandez. This pizza is an unusual mixture of Mexican chorizo sausage, tomatoes, red onion, and Swiss cheese. From the description it just didn’t sound all that appetizing, yet the mild spiciness of the chorizo works well with the mild bitterness of the Swiss cheese and I couldn’t have been more happily surprised. If you are up for an adventure for your taste buds you should really try this pizza! Jeff had a couple of slices of each, minus the crust of course, and he wholeheartedly agreed with me.
One more thing, I really enjoyed the crust. It was nice and crispy along the edges and chewy under the toppings, a real winner in my book.
The Juicy Bits
I was really pleased with Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza. The flavors are original, the crust crispy AND chewy, and the people watching made this a great place to visit for a meal. I’m looking forward to my next visit when I can order a 16-inch half meatball pizza and half sausage and mushroom with banana peppers topped with smoked Gouda and feta cheese.
In summary: Jockamo’s ain’t your same old same old, $5 a medium one topping pizza place!
Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza
5646 East Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46219
Tel: (317) 356-6612
Hours: Sunday – Thursday (11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.), Friday – Saturday (11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.)