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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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30 Restaurants in 30 Days: Shorty’s Pizza

IMG_7565Shorty’s Pizza, with two locations in Toco Hills and Tucker, serves thin-crust wood-fired pizzas named for diverse musical acts.

Diverse is diverse, from G. Love to Tito Puente, Biggie Smalls, Sid Vicious, Jack White, Ravi Shankar and Peter Tosh. As a menu, it’s like the iPod belonging to a 50-year-old guy who goes to hear new acts at the Earl in his vintage Buzzcocks t-shirt.

The restaurant also serves small plates, big salads, focaccia sandwiches and a handful of entrees.

If I may speak freely, here’s what the menu really features: Old guy stoner food.

It’s all hilariously off kilter, stuff you’d throw together with ample hunger but little artfulness, with the sole intention of jamming it merrily into your face.

But it’s that kind of food if you don’t want the carbs, grease and meat as much as the textures and flavors. Perhaps if you have started to worry more about what you eat.

The salad above, listed under small plates, unites arugula, threads of spaghetti squash, a fistful of walnuts and ricotta salata cheese in a barely-there dressing. Yumstown.

IMG_7566The “(I’m) Rick James” pizza at right comes with more walnuts, sausage, broccoli and roasted onions. The crust is just north of a cracker, and the cheese comes in such a thin veneer that you can snarf down three pieces without it turning heavy in your stomach.

We liked a blob of fresh, spicy guacamole but hated the stale fried tostada rounds that accompanied it in lieu of chips.

The “Jethro Tull” pizza is listed on the menu as “currently unavailable.” I’m sure there’s a story, and it involves a very late night.

- by John Kessler for the Food & More blog

46 comments Add your comment

Thrash

July 16th, 2013
1:27 pm

Ughhhhhhhh… that pizza looks horrible… pass.

Lauren

July 16th, 2013
2:36 pm

Love Shorty’s! Its a great neighborhood spot, great pizza and salad place. Good draft options too.

Native NY'er

July 16th, 2013
2:43 pm

Not sure if your travels will bring you as far as Peachtree City, but there is where Mangarelli’s Pizzeria is hiding out. Real pizza worth checking out. Just my two cents’ worth!

Don Vito Corleone

July 16th, 2013
2:43 pm

I highly recommend Shorty’s

After the meeting

July 16th, 2013
2:52 pm

Charlie Mopps? Charlie Mopps?

Darin

July 16th, 2013
2:57 pm

I’ve been to Shorty’s at Toco Hills several times for weekday lunch and I’ve always liked the food and the beer selection too. I agree about that spaghetti squash salad — one of the best things on the menu for sure. The pizzas are a little bit too large for one person’s lunch, but the quality is good.

My main complaint is just the location. Toco Hills in general is a traffic mess and just kind if an unattractive spot I tend to avoid. I didn’t know they had a Tucker location. I’ll check that one out.

I’m not really feeling the “old guy stoner food” description here. Never got that vibe, but then I may just not be acquainted with old stoners well enough to know.

I just schnitzeled my pants!

July 16th, 2013
2:57 pm

I thought they closed.

Charlie Mopps

July 16th, 2013
3:02 pm

Yeah, we closed. We didn’t know how to maintain draft lines and it seems most dislike the horrible smoky atmosphere we we had.

Swylo McGillicudy

July 16th, 2013
3:04 pm

Look, if you have to recommend Shorty’s (or almost any Pizza shop in ATL), you don’t know jacksh*t about Pizza.

Wifey McBeaters Irish Pub & Eats

July 16th, 2013
3:15 pm

I hope you get a chance to visit our fine pub, home of the famous “Shut Your Pie Hole” Shepherd’s Pie.

JB

July 16th, 2013
3:19 pm

Bone’s for steak. Sprayberry’s for BBQ.and the Varsity for a dog and rings. Good times.

Kitty

July 16th, 2013
3:20 pm

If Kessler recommends it, stay far away.

JB

July 16th, 2013
3:21 pm

Is the pizza place over by Emory that was famous for years still there. The name escapes me.

ziza

July 16th, 2013
3:26 pm

JB, Everybody’s closed both their Emory Village and VaHi locations.

Local

July 16th, 2013
3:27 pm

JB, you’re thinking of Everybody’s and they closed earlier this year after 41 years in business. Shame.

Waffle House Keg Party

July 16th, 2013
3:28 pm

Everybody’s closed. It will reopen as Slice and Pint

JB

July 16th, 2013
3:29 pm

Yep, that’s it . Thanks Local. What a shame. When I was in Atlanta 30 years ago, I guess Atlanta was not a food scene type town, thus anything other than Shaky’s and Pizza Hut was a treat. Great place.

JB

July 16th, 2013
3:32 pm

Speaking of Shakey’s, as a Teenager, I worked at the one on Chesire Bridge while going to Briarcliff high. That would of been 1969. Great place. 1.60 an hour + all the pizza you could eat.

Nikolechic

July 16th, 2013
3:32 pm

Shorty’s Pizza is really great; Found them about a month ago while hunting for something “other than Domino’s/Pizza Hut/Papa Johns”… Had the “Sid Vicious” and it was STELLAR. I’d definitely order from Shorty’s again.

Dale Jr Fan

July 16th, 2013
3:49 pm

Theres a Poppa Jons near me that makes a realy grate pizza

kelli

July 16th, 2013
3:55 pm

Just ate there last weekend…enjoyed the Prince pizza very much which is like a cheeseburger with mustard on top…I know it sounds gross, but was so delicious. Fun to try something new. Our waitress was attentive to our large family including 3 kids. Definitely going back to try Tina Turner…Just wish there was a Joan Jett pizza!

sally

July 16th, 2013
4:04 pm

WOW! You missed the boat on this review. Shorty’s is great.

GSU Eagle

July 16th, 2013
4:09 pm

Decent beer selection. Their specials are always nice as well. Shrimp Fajitas! These guys act like they care about their business and customers. One of the few consistently good restaurants in the Toco Hills/Oak Grove area.

Native Atlantan

July 16th, 2013
4:37 pm

sorry John….not a Shorty’s fan. Live in Oak Grove and try to support the local restaurants but Shorty’s badly misses the mark for me. I’d rather travel a good bit for good pizza than settle for Shorty’s. Also, agree with ur review of MAR in Decatur. First trip was sensational….second trip for a total failure.

Rick James

July 16th, 2013
4:49 pm

I’ve been eating at this place for about seven years. I’ve never had a bad meal there. The Caesar and Cobb salads are the best in town.

Dale Jr Fan

July 16th, 2013
4:56 pm

U all R a bunch of yuppy loosers

Crasini

July 16th, 2013
4:56 pm

shorty’s — overrated, overpriced. there’s a lot better pizza all over atlanta, especially in decatur and midtown.

Jeff

July 16th, 2013
5:02 pm

I’m thinking some of you pizza snobs would have organic, grain-fed egg on your face after a blind taste test.

Vegetarian suggestion

July 16th, 2013
5:14 pm

I love their Declan McManus pizza. Pesto sauce, roasted garlic, potatoes, feta, sundried tomatoes and finished with a splash of balsamic vinegar after it comes out of the oven. A most creative gourmet pizza. Just don’t understand why so many pizza restaurants think that vegetarian toppings means tomatoes, olives, onions, mushrooms, and peppers. Plenty of other vegetables people.

Best vegetarian pizza hands down is at OZ pizza in East Point – right accross from the Marta station. Breaded eggplant, garlic, tomatoes, broccoli, and a bunch of other things I can’t even remember on the greatest thin crust pizza ever. Making me hungry just thinking about it. They have a Fayetteville store too I think, or Fairburn.

Ned Ludd

July 16th, 2013
6:26 pm

JB—I wonder if you remember the Catfish Inn next door?

Tony

July 16th, 2013
6:42 pm

Best pizza for the value at firenze italian rest. Norcross

beachwriter

July 16th, 2013
7:25 pm

Love Shorty’s! The Toco Hill location is a little too claustrophobic for me, but the Tucker location is quite spacious. Love their pizzas and salads. Also, if you have room after your meal – and if they haven’t sold out of them – you must get the chocolate chip cookies! Fresh baked from the oven, served with a little bowl of fresh whipped cream to dollop on top. O..M…G.. my mouth is watering as I type.

Needabailout,too!

July 16th, 2013
8:04 pm

I remember Shakey’s as a kid, I think about it each time I pass the X-rated ‘lingerie’ shop its become. Shakey’s had a birthday type deal, which was always a destination–in addition to dinner ideas that the ‘kids’ would enjoy.

I agree with the previous positive posts, JK, you’ve given Shorty’s an undeserved bad rap. I’ve been a regulah customah since they opened, and I continue to come back….Sid Vicious pizza, rocket salad with crib dressing–though I agree with you about those dismal chips with the guacamole appetizer. I order it without the chips and eat it like a main salad to get my ‘good fat’ quota. Dee-Lish!

Huh?

July 17th, 2013
1:49 am

I don’t understand what he said negatively about the joint. Maybe it’s because
I’m an old guy sitting here getting stoned. Whatever, I like their food. I live
almost equidistant between the two, either one is fine. ffffffffffffffftttttttt

jimbob22

July 17th, 2013
9:51 am

Like the pizza at toco, haven’t been to the Tucker location in at least 4 years or so. Toco location is way too skinny. Last time we were there, the booths were taken, and we were at this table that was kind of a bottleneck for the whole place, which only seems to be about 8-10 feet wide.

Kirk

July 17th, 2013
10:35 am

Get a grip people. It’s only pizza we’re talking about here.

John Kessler

July 17th, 2013
10:58 am

I recommend Kitty. :)

crackbaby

July 17th, 2013
4:16 pm

LOL @Jeff, “some of you pizza snobs would have organic, grain-fed egg on your face after a blind taste test”.

Shorty’s Tucker is a fun place. Had pizzas, good draft beer and saw Webb Wilder there a while back. Been to Antico’s (the foodie hipsters fave) a few times and while the pizza is good, the rest of the experience leaves a LOT to be desired. Shorty’s is mo fun.

Thanks for the writeup, JK

Dr. Socrates

July 17th, 2013
4:49 pm

I’m always amused at how supposedly erudite food critics (erudite enough to get a column in a minor fishwrap) critique blue collar restaurants. “Old man stoner food.” Really? You couldn’t find some more appropriate adjectives in our colorful language to get the point across in a way that better conveys shared meaning? For the life of me, I don’t have any idea what the difference between “old man” and “young man” stoner food would be, much less what the difference is between the foods a stoner vs. a non-stoner would eat. Do tell.

And by the way, why are you even reviewing a pizza restaurant? There are so many fine dining establishments in metro-Atlanta that never get evaluated. We all know the pizza places exist, and we go to whichever one is convenient and serves the type of crust/toppings we like. Kinda like comparing Booger King to Wendy’s and Mickey D’s. Who cares?

what what

July 17th, 2013
6:21 pm

Just to clear up things: Shorty’s is less of a pizza place and a more of a ‘if you can put it in a wood fired oven we’re going to cook it” kind of place. The crackers that come with the guac are crackers traditionally from new zealand as one of the owners is a new zealand ex-pat. the food is always fresh and always fast, and the tucker location has some of the most eclectic musical acts in the metro area. the pizzas are inventive and delicious. the Janis Joplin (white pie, blue cheese, walnuts, green apples, bacon, and honey to drizzle on top. freaking phenomenal.

last thing – as far as i know the servers split their tips, therefore keep that in mind when you pick up the check.

highly highly recommended and underrated.

google

July 17th, 2013
6:47 pm

Booger King. ha ha ha

Yum

July 18th, 2013
7:49 pm

Hands down,Shorty’s has the BEST, most creative thin crust pizza around! Be sure to save room for their S’mores pizza for dessert. In addition to having fabulous food, excellent service, and live entertainment, the owners generously support music education in the local public schools. Thanks Shorty’s, we love you!

Cheech

July 19th, 2013
12:10 am

“Old man stoner food” …… that spaghetti squash salad looked pretty creative ……. some restaurants are just not interested in trying to win James Beard awards ……. the public gets what the public wants

Leggs

July 19th, 2013
2:51 pm

I love, love Shorty’s. I’ve worked in the area 16 years and came across this gem 3 years ago. I was sad that I didn’t know about it before then, but my waistline is thankful. I don’t eat crust and their crust makes you want to dip it in a small bowl of melted butter.

Lane

July 19th, 2013
4:38 pm

Their wood-fire cooked turkey sandwich at the Tucker location is excellent. Perfectly cooked.

ACDawg

July 21st, 2013
7:03 am

LOVE this place. I’m a huge fan of their thin crust! Kessler, try the John Lee Hooker pizza. Barbecue chicken, topped with jalepenos, and coleslaw. I’m not a coleslaw fan but love this pizza.