Panjos Pizza=Tourist in my Hometown #7.My first visit to Panjo's Pizza was in 1970s, as a teen, neat place and sort of like Astor on Leopard, does not change with time. Had went over there with some W. B. Ray buddies even though a few blocks from Ray was Angelo's many of us frequented before Ray, after Ray.
So a recent trip from Houston I found myself sitting on Steppes or seawall as some call it, son Jacob & me lining, that is fishing line wrapped around wrist, maybe 10-15 feet if that line with small 1/2 oz weight & hook, the cocktail, sorry, fishing shrimp provided by Chapas on L Head. We were pretty well close to my old steppes fishing hole, which is now in front of bank building, or just south of intersection where I-37 ends and hit Shoreline.
Nothing special here, just good place to fish, enjoy breeze in the evening, as there was none that morning. Lots of people on scooters, walking above us.
Well, when we ran out of shrimp it must have been 9:30pm, so started packing up and I though 'hey, the kids never been to Panjos pizza', and it was not far from hotel. So looked it up, close at 10:00pm on a Saturday night, yikes. Using my best Houston driving skills, first washing my shrimpy hands with bottled water, got on I-37, over Crosstown, then down SPID, existing Airline. Took us about 10-11 minutes to get there which surprised me, but also surprising was speed limit on crosstown, what is up with that.
Parked, wife looked happy as she is thinking pitcher of beer! Place has not changed much inside, maybe some new booths, tables, and games, really wanted to see old man sing and play piano, but piano was silent on this night.
Before I ordered, I politely asked the lady 'if we have time to get a pizza?' as being in business, nothing worse than some yahoo coming in at 'last call' wanting stuff.
She said 'sure but the tap turned off at 10:00pm' to me, not big deal, so ordered a pitcher of Michelob Ultra and I gues what was a supersize or 15, maybe 16 inch pepperoni, and some cheesy breadsticks for kids too. tipped her $8 for trouble too. anyways, the pizza came out, really perfect with New York style little burn marks on edges, that is good stuff also. There was about 10-15 other people in the place at time, guess locals, as they knew when to head out. I could play dumb tourist.
Pizza & breadsticks came out, got some of the peppers, parmesan, and my teens are like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when it comes to pizza & bread sticks, just let them get after it, momma and me might have gotten a piece each. And no loss of fingers. That being said, the lady who waited on us, and blonde back there smiling wanting to go home, were great, enjoyed the sort of last call pizza. And my boys already want to go back.
I forgot to almost mention I am a car guy, having owned 395 American Motors cars straight since 1976 when I lived in CC, and have 9 of them in Houston.
And Panjo's looks like they have a annual Classic Car Show. Might be fee to enter, but was told free to wander around and take photos. Local KRIS TV had a short ditty about it on news too, ya'll get out and support this event, need MORE old car shows in Sparkling City By The Sea https://www.kristv.com/news/local-news/panjos-pizza-celebrates-55-years-with-a-car-show
Photos: photo #1 big pepperoni pizza about 10:00pm closing time at Panjo's I ordered it 9:50pm, waitress said was cool. Came out perfect. There is already a hand in photo fixing to grab some slices, watch it..
Photo #2. Well we scared off remaining customers when we came in a Stakes Tradition sort of like seeing Addams Family. Actually this photo was about 10:00pm, we had already barreled thru most of our pizza, but not hurried or rushed by crew. This looks like would be a good place for some college football alumni group to set up shop game day, and maybe a NFL fan group on Sunday.
Photo #3. A photo of other wall facing Airline, there is old piano. And some photos of folks I don't know on wall behind it although one of them looked like old man who cranked out tunes many, many, many, years ago.
Photo #4. Panjo's lamps hang all over this place, really neat and seem to be same ones I remember when I went Ray & tried to graduate in 1977.
Photo #5. This is a still photo showing Panjo's Car Show from 2018. Good array of classics. If you look closely, some spillover across street into Sunrise Mall parking lot.