above are Even Odds Pizza owners Tomme and Tonia Wengel
and their son, Thomas.
Photo by Mark Justesen
GRAFTON — A new pizza place in Grafton has some things
on the menu most people probably haven’t seen on a pizza
before – you might even call it odd.
Even Odds Pizza
opened its doors this month at 372 Falls Road. If pizza at that
location seems familiar, it may be because Domino’s used to operate
there until August of last year.
Wengel used to operate a Domino's franchise, but now has gone into
the pizza business for himself.
“I went around
the country and learned a lot, from a lot of people,” Wengel said. “
... I’ve tried all kinds of weird pizza.”
And that weird
pizza has found a home with Wengel in Grafton.
Even Odds serves
the classics – pepperoni and sausage, cheese and classic pizza sauce
are all to be found on the menu – but there are also some things
you’re less likely to find in the traditional pizza joint. Beets,
pickles, artichokes and chickpeas all make an appearance on the
topping list, and sauce options include far-beyond-standard pizza
sauce, with ranch, dijon, hot sauce or mayonnaise.
The year between
Domino’s and Even Odds that Wengel spent on his nationwide pizza
journey introduced him to many new pizza possibilities. He said he
has tried them all, and his menu is only just beginning.
While the Even
Odds menu already has a variety of specialty pizzas,
other-than-normal toppings and sauces, he is also working on other
items to be added. That includes a rye crust, which will be used in
the rueben pizza; he is also contemplating what could make a
“I have a lot of
other ideas I haven’t put in the oven (yet),” Wengel said.
Wengel said he was looking for a “clever” name for the
Photo by Mark Justesen
Wengel is making his crusts and sauces from scratch, and
working hard to make an exceptional, unique product. He
offers hand-tossed and thin crust, as well as
Detroit-style pizza. According to Wengel, the Detroit
crust is seared quickly when cooked, which causes less
rise in the crust for a lighter, easier to eat finished
product. Wengel’s switch from franchise chain to
independent pizza wasn’t planned ahead, per se. Last
year Domino’s corporate offices wanted Wengel to move
his Domino’s out to the Port Washington Road corridor in
would not move or sell, Domino’s suspended his franchise contract in
The year of
non-compete required by the franchise led to the gap between the old
and new business for Wengel, though he spent it well in his travels,
learning new pizza and planning his menu. While things are still
new, he has high hopes for the new venture.
“Now I have a
lot more opportunity for me and my employees to grow,” Wengel said.
“I think I have much more of a future with Even Odds.”
pretty much an up ride,” he added.