Poppy’s Pizza and Subs on Highway 91 represents a new dining opportunity in the Stoney Creek community. Since opening earlier this summer, the restaurant has been earning fans for its pizza, subs and much more.
When I visited with three friends on a recent Saturday afternoon, we were immediately impressed with the friendly service we got. A man at the front counter offered us menus and encouraged us to find a table, scan the offerings and then return to the counter to place our orders.
The restaurant offers an airy and pleasant dining area with yellow walls, wood paneling and large windows. A theme of family and home runs through the various placards displayed on the wall, as well as some wall art bearing traditional images of Italian chefs. A wall-mounted television is located near the center of the dining room above and beside the self-serve beverage bar. Other decorative touches include wall sconces fitted with red candles that contrast nicely against the yellow walls. The restaurant is also decorated for the autumn season with faux leaves, gourds and other items. There’s also a nod to nostalgia with a container of vintage-styled bottled Coca-Cola sodas at the front counter next to a hand-operated bottle opener.
The menu is divided into several sections, including meal-starters collected under the category of “Poppy-tizers,” as well as pizza, pasta, salads and hearty baked subs. During lunch, the restaurant also offers a salad and pizza buffet.
We checked out the “Poppy-tizers,” which included Garlic-ky Bread, Chee-zy Stix, Waffle Fries, Onion Rings, Chic-ky wings (hot and honey barbecue) and Moz-zy Stix.
Two of my friends chose to share a dozen of the Chic-ky Wings, which they ordered with medium heat. I chose to share an order of Chic-ky Stix with another friend in my dining party as we placed our other orders.
Pizzas are available in four sizes — individual, small, medium and large — with more than a dozen choices of toppings. The menu also features several of Poppy’s Special Pizzas, including Meat-sa Pizza, BBQ Chicky, Extreme Pepperoni, BLT, Veggie Garden Spot and even a Loaded Baked Potato Pizza with shredded potatoes, sour cream, bacon, chives and cheese as the featured toppings.
I decided to share a large Extreme Supreme Pizza, which features an array of toppings, including pepperoni, beef, sausage, mushrooms, black olives, ham, onions, green peppers and cheese. Upon request, banana peppers and jalapenos can also be added to this heavy-duty pie, so we included these two toppings, as well.
We also decided to add a one-trip visit to the Garden Spot salad bar, which offers a variety of salad ingredients, toppings and dressings.
Our other friends chose to try the pasta and ordered the Baked P’sketti-n-Meatballs, although Poppy’s spaghetti also comes with Marinara Sauce or Meat Sauce, too; as well as an Individual Pizza with mushrooms and cheese.
When choosing to enjoy a meal at Poppy’s Pizza and Subs, don’t forget the selection of hot subs. I stopped for a quick solo lunch on a recent Saturday and found the Hot Turkey-n-Cheese nothing short of fantastic. This sandwich featured a crunchy, toasty French roll, split into two halves, that held a generous amount of sliced turkey covered with melted mozzarella cheese.
Other subs include Hot Ham-n-Cheese, Meatza Ball, BLT and the Piz-zy Sub. Poppy-zones, which are calzones with any three pizza toppings and mozzarella cheese, are also available.
During the visit with my friends, one person was working the kitchen for the first part of the visit. He still did a good job getting our appetizers to us in a relatively timely manner. When some additional help arrived, things seemed to speed up. While we waited for the main orders, we enjoyed the appetizers.
The Chic-ky Wings were a big hit with my friends. Of course, if I had been ordering, I would have kept the spice level at hot, but they were still quite tasty at medium heat. I didn’t care as much for the Chic-ky Stix. These 14 heavily breaded chicken sticks were served with a choice of ranch, honey mustard, marina or barbecue sauce. We were generously given several of the sauces to try. I felt the marinara worked best, although the barbecue was good, too. These Chic-ky Stix are similar to Chicken Fries, but they failed to excite me. On future visits, I think I will stick with the Chic-ky Wings.
When our main dishes arrived, I was impressed with the size and generous amount of toppings on the Extreme Supreme Pizza. One minor quibble surfaced because I felt the amount of tomato sauce on the pizza was insufficient for the abundance of toppings. On the other hand, the Individual Mushroom Pizza ordered by my friend seemed to have just the right amount of cheese and sauce.
My friend with the P-sketti with Meatballs was suitably impressed with the deep bowl of noodles smothered with a sweet, well-balanced marinara sauce, cheese and large meatballs, all framed with slices of garlic bread.
We also noticed that Poppy’s does a brisk take-out business with many customers arriving to pick up meals as we ate our meals in the dining area. I feel Poppy’s is a good addition to the local dining scene, and I’d love to go back for another of those tasty baked subs. I’m also working up the courage to try that Loaded Baked Potato Pizza — if I can just wrap my mind around a pizza topped with diced spuds.
On both of my visits, the staff at the restaurant have been welcoming, friendly and helpful, which are always good assets for a family-owned, independent eatery. Poppy’s also offers a lunch buffet Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. There’s also a Poppy’s Kids Meal menu for diners age 10 and younger. Also, you might like to know this with holiday entertaining just around the corner: Poppy’s offers a 29-inch Party Pizza that sounds like it could feed quite a crowd.
AT A GLANCE: Poppy’s Pizza and Subs, 667 Highway 91, Elizabethton. 542-0040. Credit cards accepted. Carryout available. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, noon- 4 p.m. Menu items $17 and under. Credit cards accepted. Carryout available.