When is Pizza not Pizza? 

When it’s U.S. Pizza’s new franchise downtown.

NOT QUITE: The Almost Ceasar salad.
  • NOT QUITE: The Almost Ceasar salad.

Beware when you lunch at U.S. Pizza Co. Salad Express, the local chain's newest outlet at Louisiana between Fourth and Capitol. There is neither pizza here, nor particularly fast service. Instead there are salads and sandwiches that neither thrill nor disappoint. 

When we visited on the restaurant's fourth day of business, lines were long in the wood-paneled space, formerly home to House of Philly Cheesesteak. We ordered at the counter from a menu that includes three specialty salads, a make-your-own salad, a soup of the day, eight basic sandwiches and three different types of breadsticks (or “stix” by the house permutation).

The “stix” came highly recommended, so we gave them a try. Alas, they were merely bread with cheese, nothing more, nothing less. They came with a basic marinara sauce.

Fans of U.S. Pizza will recognize the Salad Supreme, lettuce topped with onions, green peppers, mushrooms, black olives and bacon bits. You can add chicken, ham or turkey, two at a time. We can't imagine going to U.S. Pizza and not getting this salad, even if the new restaurant — a new franchise — requires us to forgo pizza.

On the leafy side, the Salad Express menu also includes an “Almost Caesar” and a P.J. Mix (a meatless Salad Supreme with sunflower seeds and cheddar cheese).

The Reuben was standard, with a layer of corned beef that was neither too thick nor too thin. It was greasy, typical of the sandwich, and the meat was neatly sliced so we could eat it without holding a napkin in front of our face. The rye on which it was served was quite good.

Vegetarians should take care when ordering the Scoobie (a U.S. Pizza Express trademark!), which the menu describes as a “sub” with mushrooms, black olives, green pepper and onion. But — maybe we should have figured this out — what the menu means by sub is a sandwich with three types of meat. Expecting a vegetarian sandwich, we were surprised — but pleasantly so —when our waiter brought us a sandwich piled with a meaty trio of Canadian bacon, pepperoni and salami. Served on a toasted sesame-seed bun, the meat made a nice combo with the veggies and some melted mozzarella.

Our waiter said that changes to the menu — including a vegetarian option — would be coming soon.

Prices are on the cheap side. The bill came out to about $27, a reasonable tab given we ordered enough food to feed three.

The service had kinks. Besides some slowness, there was apparently confusion about whether we had ordered to stay or to go. After our meals were brought to our table in Styrofoam boxes — “It'll taste the same,” the young waiter told us reassuringly — the manager dashed over with real plates and forks. He was apologetic about the problems, and promised that things would get better soon.

If you'd like to test that promise for yourself, check it out around lunch time on weekdays. There are no regular hours, but the staff said the place would be open from around 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., later if folks are still coming in the door. The restaurant is closed on the weekend, when downtown becomes ghost town.


U.S. Pizza Co.

Salad Express

402 S. Louisiana St.


Quick Bite

Be sure you're in the mood for a salad or a sandwich — those are the main options here. No pizza, contrary to the restaurant's name.


Approximately 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays, though the staff says they'll be around before and after those times.

Other info

Reasonable prices. No alcohol. Credit cards. Party salad platters available for 10-12 people.



From the ArkTimes store


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • Trump unfit

    Even as an oligarch, President Trump turns out to be breathtakingly incompetent. Is there any reason to suppose he's even loyal to the United States? Does he even understand the concept? Trump is loyal to Trump, and to his absurdly swollen ego. Nothing and nobody else.
  • You want tort reform? Try this.

    The nursing home industry and the chamber of commerce finally defeated the trial lawyers in the 2017 legislature. The Republican-dominated body approved a constitutional amendment for voters in 2018 that they'll depict as close to motherhood in goodness.
  • Goodbye, Mr. Trump

    It is hard to escape the feeling that the fortunes of President Trump and the country took a decisive, and for Trump a fatal, turn May 9-10, when the president fired the director of the FBI over its investigation of Russian efforts to swing the presidential election to him and the very next day shared top-secret intelligence with Russian officials in an Oval Office meeting closed except to a Kremlin press aide toting electronic gear to capture the intimate session for Russians but not Americans.
  • Raw feelings in the Arkansas Justice Building over workload, pay

    Strained relations between the Arkansas Supreme Court and the Arkansas Court of Appeals broke into public view this week. I expect more to come.

Latest in Dining Review

Visit Arkansas

New Entrance and North Forest to debut with Chihuly exhibit opening at Crystal Bridges

New Entrance and North Forest to debut with Chihuly exhibit opening at Crystal Bridges

Dual Chihuly exhibit opening also brings culmination of year-plus forest project

Event Calendar

« »


  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31  

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation