My wife and I had lunch at ABC Pizza in Bartow recently. I was a semi-regular at their Plant City location a few years ago; I really enjoyed it so I was looking forward to visiting this location. ABC is a small chain, their web site currently shows 7 locations, all in Florida. The chain was founded by some brothers from Greece, starting in Connecticut before moving to Florida. I’m sure I read someplace that ABC stands for “Always Better Crust,” but I can’t find the reference on their web site now.
We were there on a weekday and the restaurant was doing a steady business. Our server was very pleasant; we were seated promptly and didn’t have to wait long for our food. The interior looks somewhat dated but very clean and there were several small murals along the walls. At least one of them, we noticed, was painted by Downing Barnitz, who is sadly deceased but was formerly on the faculty at Florida Southern College in Lakeland. So it was nice to see that kind of local touch.
There is a pizza and salad bar offered for lunch daily, but we ordered off the menu. Even though “pizza” is featured in the name, the menu includes salads, grinders (sub sandwiches), gyros, and pasta dishes. The menu does vary somewhat by location, also. I ordered a small meatball pizza, and my wife ordered a small sausage grinder. We also shared a side of curly fries. Iced tea and Diet Coke to drink.
The curly fries came out first. They tasted like they probably came from frozen, but the flavor was good, and somehow just making fries curly causes them to taste better than ordinary fries.
The meatball pizza was excellent. This was a small, probably about 12 inches across and plenty for one person I really like the flavor of ABC’s pizzas. The crust is well done, I like the combination of cheeses they use, and it’s not overwhelmed by tomato-based sauce.
The sausage grinder was a hearty sandwich with plenty of cheese and tomato sauce. There was a small amount of green bell peppers. The sandwich bread tastes freshly made. The sausage seemed like quality meat without too much fat or grease. It came with a side of potato chips.
We enjoyed the whole experience, excellent food and service, and with tip our total only came to about $25. There was one down side, as we were paying our bill at the counter we saw an ad for an upcoming gun show. Given the terrible situation in America’s schools, promoting gun proliferation is something we strongly oppose. Other than that disappointment, it was a good lunch. ABC Pizza has several Florida locations, but in Bartow they are on West Main Street near the intersection of North Van Fleet Drive.