A PizzaTaco is to Pratt what a NuWay burger is to Wichita.
Both are sort of strange and don’t make a whole lot of sense to outsiders. But both have been around so long, they’ve earned loyal devotion among the locals.
Now, Charlie’s PizzaTaco is attempting to make its invention – which is pizza in flavor and taco in shape – a local “thing” in Wichita, too.
The restaurant, which has operated at 105 W. First in Pratt since 1965, opened another location in mid-November in the former Pitas & Paninis space at 602 N. Tyler Road, offering an eight-item menu made up mostly of odd, pizza-esque dishes. It’s owned by founder Charlie Hoffman’s son, Dave, and his brother-in-law, Tim Holmes.
The ingredients were as fresh and delicious as they were plentiful, but the PizzaTaco is much improved by the addition of sauce that is served on the side. It’s available in mild, hot or extra hot, which adds to the “pizza or taco” confusion. But the sauce is a marinara-flavored tomato sauce, not salsa.
The rest of the dishes we tried weren’t as fabulous, though some were certainly worth trying. Among them was the aforementioned “pizza raft,” which is so bizarre you can’t help but laugh in its presence. It’s also $9.25 and could serve two or more. It was surprisingly addictive, though one of my dining partners lamented that it would taste better after several beers. (Good news: Charlie’s PizzaTaco serves beer.)
We also sampled the bierock ($6.25 and served with chips and a pickle). The filling, a mix of sausage, ground beef, cabbage and cheese, was well seasoned and tasty. But the dough that encased it was thin to the point of transparency and seemed a little underdone.
The least of the dishes we sampled was the pizza burger, which had inside a “patty” of sorts, which seemed to be a smash-up of compressed mozzarella, pepperoni, beef, sausage, olives, mushrooms and onions. The texture and flavor were a bit off, and we didn’t finish it. It was $8.65, served with chips and a pickle.
Charlie’s PizzaTaco also offers a salad bar, oddly placed in the front of the restaurant in between the register where orders are placed and the register where orders are rung up. But it was overflowing with fresh and colorful toppings.