The evolution of the pizza parlor over the decades has been a unique one. Aside from the cheeseburger, there isn’t any other American delicacy that has the ability to stand alone as a meal in and of itself, one that families and groups pick and pull at until their stomachs are content.
Somewhere along the line, purveyors of the pizza pie began adding more and more to their menus. But Plymouth’s has taken the pizza parlor concept into a whole new realm. While pizza is definitely its main attraction, it’s hard to not get distracted by the sheer wealth of menu items offered.
The Farmington Hills-based company has tapped into a demand for one-stop options in take-out dining that has largely gone undeveloped, aside from the sporadic neighborhood liquor store or pizza shop. Happy’s Pizza has grown from its modest roots as a start-up in Detroit in 1994, to a well-polished culinary machine today – with more than 50 locations throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Nevada, according to its website.
The stores are bright, sleek and very clean. The menu is expansive, including a variety of chicken, ribs, seafood, sides and desserts. But venturing beyond the Pizza options can be detrimental to the wallet, as many of the offerings are rather pricey (specifically, for carry-out clientele, who tend toward cost-consciousness).
Overall: Happy’s Pizza has a great look. The restaurants are expansive and clean, with marble-topped counters and tables, slate-grey tiles, and bright red neon accenting its window fronts. Sings are plastered all over the walls and windows boasting the company’s combination meals and family deals.
Food: Happy’s pizza is actually not its strong suit. The pies are on the thin side, and the toppings are less than robust. Happy’s pizza sauce, however, is good. It is thick, sweet and earthy, as a properly seasons tomato sauce should be. The ribs and wings are bountifully portioned, and the sandwiches and calzones are big and hearty.
Prices: Happy’s prices seem to be more geared toward families who plan to share plates, or groups looking for a variety of entrees. In these cases, the prices can be economical, provided there are enough people chipping in to defray the individual cost. For single diners, even couples who don’t plan on sharing, the menu can be pricey. But much like a Coney Island, the portions are rather immense, which may account for the high price tags.
Pizzas begin at $5 for a small and range up to $12 for an extra-large one – cheese only. Additional toppings go from $.75 to $3.50, depending on the size of the pizza and the type of topping. The ribs and chicken combination plate is $12, subs are $8-$8.50, and seafood plates begin at $12. Salads and burgers, though, are more reasonably-priced, ranging from $6 to $7.50.
Hours: Monday – Thursday, 10 a.m. – midnight; Friday, Saturday, 10 a.m. – 1 a.m.; Sunday, noon – midnight.
Location: 560 W. Ann Arbor Rd.
Phone/Web: (734) 416-9900/ www.happyspizza.com