Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Happy Joe's Pizza

Happy Joe's is such an institution in the Q-C, one that I have grown up with, that it seems silly to even write about it. The pizza chain was started in 1972 by "Happy" Joe Whitty. I have enjoyed many birthday parties at various locations and always happily ate my Little Joe and free Birthday sundae.

Through the years, I have grown up with Taco pizza, which is, supposedly, the original. They use their thin, slightly crispy crust and coat it with a layer of refried beans. Taco seasoned beef and sausage is scattered on top, blanketed with cheese, and decorated with a green and red confetti of lettuce and tomatoes. The best part, in my opinion, is the crunchy top layer of broken taco flavored tortilla chips.

Now my true favorite from HJ's is the Happy Joe's Special. The Special is dotted with small chunks of Canadian bacon and camouflaged in a layer of sauerkraut. I don't even like sauerkraut, but it seems to complement the sweet pizza sauce and salty ham.

 Crispy, yet chewy crust

However, dear Richie doesn't seem to be a fan of pizza that does not include pepperonis. So last night, I ordered a pepperoni pie to satiate him. Their pepperoni pizza always includes an ample amount of the greasy meat.

I also really enjoy their cheese blend. If you look closely, you can see the beautiful meshing of yellow and white cheeses.

Happy Joe's pizza is slightly addicting. I can be only marginally hungry, yet still inhale 3-4 slices. I think it has something to do with the amount of sugar in their sweet sauce.

I don't think Richie is as big a fan as I. Perhaps the sauce is too sweet for his sour attitude? Irregardless, I will order HJ again. But I recommend a visit to a restaurant for their bountiful buffet or for a low-key birthday party.


  1. Not a big fan of Happy Joe's or Quad City style (Harris and its clones) pizza. But you've got to give Happy Joe's props for coming up with the taco pizza. It's interesting that taco pizza is a Midwest phenomenon - I talk about taco pizza with my colleagues who live in the east and west coasts and they think I'm nuts when I bring up taco pizza.

  2. Taco Pizza is pretty amazing, and I do enjoy Casey's version as well.

  3. Try Happy Joe's taco sauce on their pepperoni. It's awesome! Next time you're there, grab a packet and give it a try. You'll be hooked.