Steppin’ Out – Wally’s Pizza Bar, Cameron Park

A few weeks ago Russ Salazar met me in town for lunch. After a short conversation we decided to try one of several places in Cameron Park instead of Placerville. However, by the time we arrived there, we still hadn’t made up our minds.

As we cruised south on Cameron Park Drive, I saw the Wally’s Pizza Bar sign. “That’s it,” I said to Russ, “we need to go to Wally’s.” He thought that sounded good.

If you are not familiar with Wally’s Pizza Bar, it is a full service restaurant featuring gourmet pizza, pasta, salads and more, in a sports bar atmosphere. It is located at 4079 Cameron Park Drive, south of the freeway, near Sizzler and Carl’s Jr.

Wally’s is locally owned and operated by Wally, Dan, Jeremy and Monica Dreher. The Dreher family has owned and operated FLB Sports Bar & Casino in Folsom since 1979. They have wanted to open a business in Cameron Park since they moved there almost 40 years ago and that is exactly what they did.

We walked in to the huge dining/bar area, which is lined with at least a dozen giant screens showing all kinds of sports events in progress, We were seated at a table of our choice and handed both the regular and lunch menus. As we were looking over the menus, a nice young lady came by to get our drink orders.

When she left I casually asked Russ if he noticed the diamond stud in her nose. “No,” he answered. “I couldn’t get by the purple lipstick.”
I guess you shouldn’t ask us two old guys our opinion on tattoos that aren’t an anchor or say “Mom.”

The Lunch Specials, available Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., include Soup and Salad, Chicken Marinara and Chicken Pesto stuffed portabella mushrooms, Gouda Mac & Cheese with Ham, Classic Tomato Basil spaghetti and Spaghetti Bolognese. These are followed by three different calzones: Rubicon, Chicken Pesto and Smokey BBQ Chicken, and three sandwiches, Meatball, Chicken Club and Chicken Pesto.

I immediately went for the Rubicon Calzone, which is loaded with Italian sausage, bacon, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, marinara and their signature four cheese blend. Just reading the ingredients made me hungry for it.

Russ said a friend of his advised that he order the Chicken Club, which had chunks of chicken breast, bacon bits, tomatoes, avocado and Spring mix on a toasted ciabatta bun with garlic aioli spread and Parmesan.

Both of them came with a choice of House / Caesar salad or French fries. We both went for the Caesar salad.

When our lunch arrived, they had been kind enough to put one half of each of the sandwiches, along with our salads, on two plates. They really looked good and, let me tell you, they tasted even better.

I tried the Chicken Club first and it was fantastic. Everything about it was perfect: the abundant amount of chicken, the right amount of dressing and everything else in the proper proportions. Russ looked at me and said, “My friend said it was the sandwich to order, and she was right.”

After a couple of bites of the fresh, crisp Caesar salad, I tried the Calzone. What a mass of flavors all working together.
Think of the best “all meat” pizza you have ever eaten and then make it better. I said to Russ, “Someone in the kitchen knows what they are doing.”

I don’t know where he found it – or maybe made it up – but he replied: “The ingredients make the sandwich, the sandwich maker makes it great.”

I believe it is one of the very best lunches we have enjoyed. Everything was wonderful, even the size of my water glass. I’m sure Russ would agree.

The regular menu starts with a list of interesting looking appetizers, including one of the favorites, FLB Wings. These are followed on the menu by their Soup of the Day and several salads, including The Greek, Classic Caesar and their interesting Pear & Walnut salad.

The list of Gourmet Pizzas includes just about anything you would want, including the Rubicon (like our calzone) and even one featuring Pear & Gorgonzola. And, yes, you can create your own.

If you are a meal of pasta, they have a half a dozen different ones, ranging from a Classic Tomato Basil to a Thai Curry, with a bit of heat.

Yes, there is a really nice Kids Menu too.

Unique desserts are available and they have drinks for all ages, from soda to speciality cocktails, including 20 beers on tap and about 20 wines, local and from elsewhere in California.

Wally’s Sports Bar is open weekdays from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. Breakfast is served on Saturday and Sunday until 2 p.m.

For more information call (530) 677-3205 or check out everything, including their new Breakfast Menu, at www.wallyspizzabar.com. Be sure to also check for special events and live music.

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