Z is for Zelda’s

Well, it’s taken two years, but we’ve finally arrived at the end of the “ABCs of Drinking.” And what better way to wrap up the most important journalistic endeavor ever than with a trip to Zelda’s. Trust me, the less-than-welcoming door in the photo above does not reflect that total awesomeness inside.

Zelda’s has been around forever and is always at the center of pizza-related debates in Sacramento. Some Sacramentans swear by Zelda’s pie and find the surly waitresses, dark atmosphere and long wait time all part of the charm. Other people, not so much.

As for me, I love the place. I’m mean look at this:

Not only is the pizza fantastic, but I’ve actually never had surly waitress. I’ve had no-nonsense service, sure, but I wouldn’t say anyone has ever been rude.

Also, I like the dark atmosphere. Outside of the year-round Christmas lights, there is not a lot of illumination. Not even a window. That’s fine by me. I don’t need the nasty old sun creeping in reminding me that it’s a beautiful day outside and I should go for a jog or mow the lawn or something. This place is a dungeon…a delicious pizza dungeon and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

You know how when you first walk into a movie theater you can’t see anything for a few seconds? Well, Zelda’s is like that only you can’t see anything the whole time you’re there. If you’ve never had pizza in total darkness, then you’ve never had pizza. It’s like eating pizza in a collapsed Chilean mine (Could I be more in tune with current events? Wait, that was three months ago? Crud.)

Also, it does take a long time for them to make a pizza. Get over it. This is why they have one of Sacramento’s best bars. True, I’m partial to classic, dive-bars from the 60s, but this one is a real beauty.

Oh, and there is a bit of a pizza family feud going on that should be mentioned. Obviously, I don’t have all the details, but it sounds like Linda, Zelda’s sister, has taken the prized recipe to an old Taco Bell in Citrus Heights and started making pizzas of her own. The place is called Linda’s and I clearly have more research to do. If there is a family feud going on, I take the side of Zelda (rest in peace).

Anyhow, even if you’re not getting pizza, I highly recommend this bar.

The cocktails are large and stiff and the pitchers of beer are just $7. What better way to spend the approximately 4 hours before your pizza is ready? Besides, time has no meaning at Zelda’s. Also, in the wintertime, there is the potential for one of my favorite things: hot cocktails! At least there’s a 30 year-old sign above the bar that says they have them. I haven’t worked up the nerve to order one yet, but with the holidays coming, the time is nigh.

The place is small and there are no tables in the bar area. The tvs are not great. So don’t come here with a big group expecting to watch the game. Come here if you just want to drink and talk. It’s a great drinking and talking bar.

And one more thing, Zelda’s joins a list that is near and dear to my heart of bars that have a jukebox that plays 45s.  If you’ve got a roll of quarters and a hankerin’ for some Patsy Cline at a modest volume then Zelda’s, Espanol and the Pre-Flite Lounge are a sweet trifecta of 45rpm pleasure.

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