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DINING: New tenant flows into troubled 82nd Street spot

MacKenzie River Pizza Co.

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Dining - A&E

Loon Lake Lodge may be gone, but its faux-rustic atmosphere lives on.

Housed in the former Adobo Grill spot, the first Indy location for Butte-based chain MacKenzie River Pizza Co. (4939 E. 82nd St., 288-0609) is nowhere near a river. In fact, the creek visible from the patio only serves to mock the place’s name. Still, few local eateries have anything in the way of scenic beauty visible, so that’s neither here (in a strip center) nor there (in the Montana wilderness).
 

Dining The choice of crust is yours at MacKenzie River Pizza Co., which opened its first Indy location on 82nd St. (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Hungry, we started with the sharer-friendly Taos Salad ($9.75). Warm chicken chili served as centerpiece to an ample salad of greens, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, scallions, peppercinis and just enough crumbled corn chips for crunch.

You pick from original, thin, or natural grain crust for Signature Pizzas. The last proved a drag on a large Sequoia pie ($16.50), which otherwise nicely mixed sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and toasted pine nuts with fresh pesto. A thin-crust Bear Tooth Sausage pie ($17) transcended the usually pork pie by giving equal weight to diced tomatoes, onions and red peppers. (FYI: Bear Tooth isn’t an exotic form of encased meat—just a colorful MacKenzie River name.)

Beyond the pizza, the Buffalo Chicken Mack n’ Cheese ($9.75) featured watery sauce, blue cheese crumbles and minimal fajita chicken pieces. The Willow Creek sandwich ($9.25) fared better with a warm combo of turkey, bacon, avocado, spinach, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Other choices include a Pulled Pork Hoagie ($9.25) and a Meatloaf Melt ($9). The latter is also available as the centerpiece of an entrée ($12.50). Those ambitious enough for dessert can pick from Mud Pie, Cheesecake, Warm Apple Cobbler or a plate of gooey chocolate chip cookies. Those feeling touristy can pick up a T-shirt, hat, pint glass or salad dressing. We just picked up our sizable leftover boxes.•

—Lou Harry

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Second in a month-long series of reviews of newish pizza places

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  1. With Pence running the ship good luck with a new government building on the site. He does everything on the cheap except unnecessary roads line a new beltway( like we need that). Things like state of the art office buildings and light rail will never be seen as an asset to these types. They don't get that these are the things that help a city prosper.

  2. Does the $100,000,000,000 include salaries for members of Congress?

  3. "But that doesn't change how the piece plays to most of the people who will see it." If it stands out so little during the day as you seem to suggest maybe most of the people who actually see it will be those present when it is dark enough to experience its full effects.

  4. That's the mentality of most retail marketers. In this case Leo was asked to build the brand. HHG then had a bad sales quarter and rather than stay the course, now want to go back to the schlock that Zimmerman provides (at a considerable cut in price.) And while HHG salesmen are, by far, the pushiest salesmen I have ever experienced, I believe they are NOT paid on commission. But that doesn't mean they aren't trained to be aggressive.

  5. The reason HHG's sales team hits you from the moment you walk through the door is the same reason car salesmen do the same thing: Commission. HHG's folks are paid by commission they and need to hit sales targets or get cut, while BB does not. The sales figures are aggressive, so turnover rate is high. Electronics are the largest commission earners along with non-needed warranties, service plans etc, known in the industry as 'cheese'. The wholesale base price is listed on the cryptic price tag in the string of numbers near the bar code. Know how to decipher it and you get things at cost, with little to no commission to the sales persons. Whether or not this is fair, is more of a moral question than a financial one.

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