Mike's Pizza celebrates Westport opening

What is stuffed with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese and smells and tastes like a traditional pizza pie, but isn't?

It's called a pizza super -- an Italian sandwich containing pizza crust on the top as well as the bottom, said Bobby Giagkos, owner of Mike's Pizza, located next to the Fresh Market in Westport.

Pizza supers could be prepared with four cheeses, chicken, pepperoni and even pineapple and ham. However, Giagkos said that Toyota employees, working up the road a bit, put in daily orders for The Works Special, which is a combination of pepperoni, meatball, sausage, onion, green pepper and mushrooms served with an egg-based marina sauce and, of course, mozzarella cheese.

"It's a different type of dish," said Giagkos. "I don't think a lot of pizzerias in this area offer anything like it."

The restaurant's famous chicken turnover is another popular menu item. This mouth-watering lunch or dinner entrée features a turnover containing a meat and cheese filling topped with lots of homemade sauce. "It is really one-of-a-kind, too," said Giagkos.

A family-owned business, Mike's Pizza opened in Westport in mid-October. The original Mike's Pizza in downtown Fairfield was started by Bobby's uncle in 1974. For the past five years, the close-knit, Greek family has also operated a pizza shop on the campus of Fairfield University.

"Over the years, we have sold more than one-half million chicken turnovers in Fairfield," Giagkos said.

While he is in the kitchen cooking with his cousins, Giagkos' mother, Zoi, is responsible for managing the Westport restaurant's daily functions, including serving food to hungry guests.

Juggling her time between taking care of their two children, Zoi, 4, and Maria, 2, and working at her own family's restaurant, Orem's Diner in Wilton, Giagkos' wife, Joanne, also has recently assisted in opening the new Westport business.

Giagkos' sister, Tammy, is the manager of Mike's Pizza in Fairfield.

After revamping its décor, the Westport site now boasts a brightly lit dining room with tables highlighted by crisp, red and white checkered tablecloths. The ambiance is casual and cozy.

Giagkos describes the menu as "broad" and filled with a variety of traditional Italian and traditional Greek food items that are guaranteed to whet anyone's palate.

"We make the original kind of gyro," he noted. "This is the kind that you get in Bridgeport at the Greek Festival."

A homemade baklava -- and other fresh desserts such as rice pudding, cheesecake and cannolis -- are also available.

For the main course, though, Giagkos recommends any of the Chef's Special Sautees. "All are served with salad and garlic bread," he said. "People seem to like the Chicken Francaise or Chicken Picata. The pastas dishes are also popular."

However, along with the food's high quality, customers at Mike's Pizza are impressed with its reasonable prices. "We've gotten a lot of positive feedback from customers," Giagkos said. "When they come up to the register to pay their bill, they can't believe what their total comes to."

Based on the economy, the restaurant adjusted its prices so that eating out could still be affordable, he added.

So far, business has been steady. "We've gotten a good office crowd," Giagkos said. "People drop in for lunch or, as I said, people that work around here call us daily with their orders."

A few weeks after its opening, 16 members of The Catholic Daughters, a charitable organization, got together at Mike's Pizza for lunch following Sunday Mass.

"We want to have more large groups like this come in," Giagkos said. "We could accommodate children's birthday parties and other small gatherings."

Mike's Pizza is also the caterer for the birthday parties taking place at the Little Gym, located adjacent to the restaurant.

Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, Mike's Pizza is located at 623 Post Road E., across from Mitchell's. The phone number is 221-1253. Free delivery is available with a minimum $10 purchase.