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Uff’s Take n Bake: A Little Less Sauce, A Lot More Flavors

Sara Wielenberg | Staff Writer | 2-3-2012

Open for little more than two months, Uff’s Hometown Take n Bake offers sixteen different specialty pizzas along with their pastas and desserts. Right at the top of the menu’s pizza list is Uff’s Special. 

The restaurant is owned by local Darren Ufford and the walls are sparsely decorated with a Beavers jersey and a Lumberjacks jersey. The lighting was low in the evening and the dining area empty, since their pizza-by-the-slice option only runs from 11 to 2. The building smelled faintly of raw ingredients. That is the downside of take ‘n’ bake places—no enticing come-eat smells.

A 14” Uff’s Special costs $14.99. It is a red sauce pizza layered with pepperonis, sausages, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, and cheese. Coupons and baking instructions are tucked inside the plastic wrap.

After 12 minutes of baking—one minute less than the time suggested, thanks to the crazy oven—the smell that was missing in the restaurant was filling the house.

The hand-tossed crust (there’s also a thin and crispy option) was a gold ring around the colorful amalgamation of toppings. Pepperoni peaked out from the bottom of the pile, flashing red beneath white cheese.

The two-tones of brown from the sausage and mushroom dotted the surface, and the crisp green curls of pepper tangled with the onion slices. A few splotches of yellow cheese melted in with the white. When cut, juices pooled in the cuts and at the center, but there was little to no grease collecting in these pools.

The crust was a bit chewy and thinner than most hand-tossed crusts and the sauce lacked a presence amid the other flavors. Happily, the toppings consistently stayed on the pizza slice rather than coming off in one sheet with the first bite as we’ve all experienced.

The cheese, though a bit more dense on one half of the pizza than the other, had a nice consistency, thick enough to be tasted and felt but not so thick as to choke on.

The sausages and the mix of pepper and onion provided a subtle spicy sting in the mouth when pausing between bites. It was not a hot spice, but a flavorful spice. The different toppings all seemed equally present in tasting, with nothing overpowering others. Even the taste left lingering in one’s mouth afterward did not taste distinctly of pepper or onion, but rather of the whole combination of flavors as if one had just taken a bite.

Admittedly, it is hard to do pizza so wrong that people, college students in particular, will not eat it, but it is equally hard to create a pizza that makes a person sit back and take it in. As used to it as we are, we are rarely forced to take notice of the specific slice we’re eating.

Uff’s Special is a great combination of toppings well-distributed flavor-wise. The sauce’s undetectable existence was at first a downside, but the other toppings rose to fill the void. Maybe order a little extra sauce if you’ve got to have that taste too, but trust me, the other ingredients are waiting to make you appreciate them.