Among the best
Quality, consistency are top priorities at renowned pizza parlor
Posted: October 22, 2012 at 6:24 p.m.
Guido’s Pizza is one of those places that’s more likely to come up in conversation among locals than online.
Consistency and quality are high priorities and helped Guido’s earn a finalist spot among pizza restaurants in the recent 2012 Best of the Best readers poll conducted by NWA Media.
Guido’s provides quality food and drinks at competitive prices. There is both table and booth seating, a bar, television and walls displaying black-and-white photos of Tontitown residents.
The kitchen is under the direction of Jeramiah Dykes, who has been cooking there since 1995. Such longevity helps make the Guido’s atmosphere warm and familiar, owner Mark Zulpo said.
“I have several people that have been with me with at least 8 to 10 years,” he said.
The menu offers classic submarine sandwiches, salads, pasta and, naturally, pizza. The Guido’s sub features layers of pepperoni and Canadian bacon, along with Swiss and mozzarella cheeses, all topped with lettuce and creamy Italian dressing. The reuben cradles corned beef and Swiss with sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing between two slabs of rye bread.
U.S. 412, Tontitown
4275 S. Thompson, Springdale
11a.m.-9p.m. Mon-Thur, 11a.m.-10p.m. Fri-Sat, closed Sun. Award-winning pizza, pasta, subs and salads. Dine-in or carryout.
The pizzas are heaped with a selection of toppings including tomatoes, olives, Italian sausage, jalapenos, pepperoni and pineapple. The Uncle Tanoose specialty pizza combines pepperoni and hamburger with onion, green peppers and mushrooms.
“We make our own dough fresh daily with our own recipe,” Zulpo said.
Also made fresh daily in strict accordance with family recipe is the spaghetti sauce. Nona’s Spaghetti is topped with the house-made meat sauce and parmesan cheese, and served with a fresh salad and toasted garlic bread.
Rather than special offers or rolling discounts, Guido’s depends on providing consistent fare in good portions to draw in business.
“I never wanted to compromise quality or [stop] loading up the toppings to become a discount business,” Zulpo said.
Guido’s remains committed to the small-town, know-your-neighbor approach to sitting down to a meal made with care at a value one can appreciate.
Zulpo understands, however, that not everyone can spare the time to sit down and savor a meal, so carryout orders are welcome. The average time for a sandwich or pasta during the lunch rush is about 10 minutes — 20 minutes for a pizza, Zulpo said.
Business is consistently brisk at both the original location on U.S. 412 in Tontitown and a newer site just north of Northwest Arkansas Mall on U.S. 71B in Springdale.
Zulpo and wife Paula own and operate the original site. The Springdale store is partly owned by Zulpo’s brother-in-law Tom Bariola and wife Diane, and its hours and menu are the same as the Tontitown cafe. It is managed by Zulpo’s daughter, Jenny.
The appreciation of working in a family business was something that Zulpo learned at a young age. His father Jack operated Jack's Liquor in Tontitown. Eventually, the store was sold to Jack’s sister Mabel and her husband Gene. Zulpo purchased the store before his calling to open a pizza parlor came at him like a bulldozer.
When the widening of U.S. 412 claimed most of the liquor store parking, Zulpo seized the opportunity to rebuild the entire location and added space for Guido’s Pizza. Zulpo acknowledges that the restaurant is a nod to Tontitown’s rich Italian heritage.
Customers are invited to call ahead with their orders and dine in, except on Friday and Saturday nights.
“People can call in, but on Friday and Saturday night there is sometimes a wait for a table, and we wouldn’t want their food to get cold,” Zulpo said.
More information is available by calling (479) 361-9101.