I grew up on the southside of Chicago, so when given the opportunity to taste-test Apezza’s new handmade corned beef, I was ready. My inner critic was poised for another serving of frozen meat, claiming to be authentic. The Apezza website talks about freshly-prepared ingredients, so I had high hopes. Note: this is a four-year-old establishment which started as delivery only, and the corned beef is a new offering. Owner Steve Wechter of Windermere has worked for months perfecting the recipe, which takes three weeks to complete.
I hauled along my friend, Robyn, and we were not disappointed. We even stuck with Diet Cokes rather than color our taste buds with alcohol. The food kept coming, from handmade breadsticks and wings to pizza and of course the new corned beef sandwich.
The restaurant, located at 10150 Brooks School Rd., has an ambience that is pretty ordinary (they also have carry out and delivery), but the food is clearly fussed over. Everything is freshly made daily: the dough is prepared in a big metal tub by hand, huge blocks of cheese are shredded daily, sausage is cooked from a blend of Archer’s Meats pork shoulder and Apezza seasonings (yes, it has the obligatory fennel without which I would never call it ‘authentic Italian sausage’) and corned beef is only ready to serve after brining for three weeks. Wechter told us it is the only corned beef on the northside, brined with a New York recipe. He said he uses NO frozen ingredients and doesn’t use a conveyer for the pizzas but uses authentic deck ovens from Boston.
Our corned beef was different than expected…so very tender, it literally falls apart in your mouth. Robyn was expecting it to be chewy, but it definitely was not. It was delicious with a very mild flavor (they provide various mustards). It lacks a lot of the grainy pickling spices I’m accustomed to, but I loved it for the tenderness.
As I took my first bite of our sausage pizza, I knew immediately it was not your average ‘fast food pizza.’ The aroma in my mouth was “homemade bread” and cheeeeeeese…and then that Italian sausage. Yes, he did it right. There’s only one other place I’ve found in Indy that has the good Italian sausage, so I was glad to find one so much closer to home! Robyn decided to bring her husband next time, as he is apparently always on the hunt for that good sausage too.
On to the wings…I wasn’t brave enough to try the spicy ones, but Robyn declared them good, with just enough kick, though you need lots of napkins! I had the lemon butter garlic wings which were quite good with a teeny kick of spice.
We both left very full and satiated. Full disclosure and journalistic privilege: we did not pay for our meals. Visit www.apezzapizza.com or call 317-436-8624.