KOLO ATE: Papa’s Pizzeria
RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Papa’s Pizzeria is a popular destination in Wadsworth, for food and a whole lot more.
‘The things that happen here are just amazing,” said owner Bryan Eidem. “This is not a strip-mall pizza joint.”
The first thing you’ll notice is the setting, located in a saloon built back in the 1870s. There’s also a dining room and a courtyard out back with several rooms from the old inn.
“I’ve turned it into a museum from my hording things,” added Eidem.
There’s a vintage video game room, and other areas customers can rent out for parties and gatherings. There’s also the “Marilyn Monroe” room, where the iconic actress stayed while filming “The Misfits”. And legend has it, had a rendezvous there with John F Kennedy.
“JFK loved the fishing out here and Marilyn loved to relax out here,” explained Eidem.
There’s a lot of history at the old ranch house and some of it can be a little spooky.
“I’m convinced, there’s some things that happen that are unexplainable. And they happen here a lot,” said Eidem.
He says it’s haunted and different groups of paranormal investigators have featured the property on their shows.
“Weird things started happening and I wasn’t really a believer in any of that stuff. Well, today my mind is changed,” exclaimed Eidem.
Apparitions have been seen upstairs on the deck above the restaurant and noises are often heard from below.
“There’s three gentlemen that love to stand at the end there and they hoot down,” said Eidem while pointing to the far end of the deck.
There’s also lots of activity inside the saloon and restaurant.
“I’m hanging up some things in the hall by the bathroom and I hear the water turn on, and nobody’s in that back bathroom,” added Eidem. “And that bathroom is the one that the lights go off-and-on, and it’s the one we have the most activity.”
He says the spirits are harmless and do attract a lot of interested customers. But so does the pizza.
“It starts with the sauce,” said Eidem. “Homemade sauce, that’s the key.”
It’s made Sicilian-style and is a little sweet.
“I start with the crushed tomatoes, and then I add in just a few ingredients and a lot of vino. No salt, no sugar, forget about it,” explained Eidem. “And no oregano, my mother will not have it.”
It is spread all over the dough on every inch of the pizza, leaving no room for crust.
“I don’t like the crust. So, I make my pizza all the way around,” he said. “I want to eat the whole pizza; I don’t want to eat the pizza and get left with a breadstick.”
The pizzas are New York-style thin crust, except for the stuffed Chicago-style pizza, which is a bit of a hybrid. The middle is thin, while the edges are rolled up and stuffed with cheese and toppings.
“I only use mozzarella cheese and parmesan,” he added. “No yellow cheese goes on a pizza.”
Their chicken wings are baked, not fried. And the cannoli’s are available for dessert.
“The holy cannoli’s,” explained Eidem. “The filling is made with a 100-year-old recipe.”
It’s guilt-free food since some of the proceeds go to benefit athletes with disabilities.
“Every pizza sold here, money from that pizza goes towards to provide free training for our quadriplegic athletes.”
Eidem was a former bodybuilder, who finished 3rd in the world in the Mr. Natural Olympia competition. He was inducted into the INBA/PNBA Hall of Fame and built a gym on-site to train athletes in wheelchairs and those suffering from cerebral palsy.
“What happens is when they start lifting the weights and flexing, the involuntary spasms they have calm down,” explained Eidem. “And the social interaction that they get belonging to a team is great for them. It stimulates them and helps motivate them in their everyday life.”
He pays for them to compete in competitions himself. If you would like to help or donate to the cause, you can message him and see the menu at https://www.facebook.com/papasranchhouse/
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