Las Vegas’ Evel Pie: A Funky Joint Serving Great Pizza on Fremont Street
Las Vegas’ Fremont Street is really having a moment right now. The “Experience” part of it — that is, the stretch that’s covered with a high vaulted ceiling and crisscrossed by zip-lines — is certainly worth experiencing, but the real excitement happens once you start walking a little further east. A few blocks down you’ve got the Downtown Container Park, with its ample green space, shops, restaurants, and a high-end cocktail bar all fashioned out of shipping containers; and a little further down you have the legendary bar Atomic Liquors; but only one block from the end of the Experience is Evel Pie, a must-visit bar and pizzeria with a wholly unique theme: Evel Knievel.
Yes, the famed ‘70s-era stunt motorcyclist — who completed some of his most legendary stunts in Vegas — is celebrated in excess here, with vintage pinball machines, motorcycles, framed photos, paintings, and other assorted Knievel-related knickknacks lining the walls from floor to ceiling, along with American flag bunting, band stickers, vintage beer ads, and other dive bar ephemera. And this place is very much a dive bar, but in a good way: The bar is long (and its edge is padded), there are loyal regulars, the music is loud, the drinks are cheap, and the vibe is casual and friendly.
But even if the mood is low-key, this is a place that takes its pizza very seriously. These are New York-style pies, and just like at New York slice joints, there’s a wide variety of pizzas in a display counter that can be reheated to order by the slice; they can also be customized or ordered by the pie. Having lived in New York for the better part of the past 15 years, and having eaten my fair share of pizza, I can tell you that these are some seriously good pies, with a nice distribution of toppings. We sampled a few different varieties (cut in half to share) and each one was well-made and impressive.
The pepperoni slice benefitted from the use of high-quality pepperoni, which can be identified by its ability to curl up and “cup and char.”
The Balls to the Wall was topped with house-made meatballs, mozzarella, fontina, caramelized onions, and ricotta, and was perfectly constructed.
And the signature pie, the Hog Heaven, was topped with barbecue sauce, smoked mozzarella, fontina, pulled pork, bacon, and red onions, and was also expertly constructed so that we got a little bit of each component in each bite, but it wasn’t overwhelming.
We also tried the house-made meatballs, which were light and flavorful and covered in a spectacular marinara sauce.
Other varieties on offer include the Barry White Pie (mozzarella, pecorino, fontina, and ricotta); Maui Wowie (tomato sauce, mozzarella, fresh pineapple, ham, and jalapeño); Evel Knievel’s Super Kick Ass Combination (pepperoni, sausage, ham, mushrooms, red onions, and roasted peppers); and the World Famous Snake River Special (tomato sauce, mozzarella, rattlesnake sausage, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers). There are also a variety of gluten-free (including deep-dish) and vegan pies, as well as calzones, garlic knots, salads, and zeppoles.
Evel Pie could easily be a tourist-trap gimmick, with cheap beer and lots of stuff on the walls to distract from underwhelming pizza. But the three pies we sampled here were undeniably delicious, so much so that they’d be right at home in New York. The crust was just the right thickness, and sturdy enough to hold the toppings without sagging, the sauce tasted right out of an old-school red-sauce joint, and the toppings were applied with a deft hand. Evel Pie isn’t just one of Las Vegas’ funkiest bars, it’s also one of its best slice joints.
The meal that was the subject of this review was provided at no cost to the writer.