Your Tastebuds Will Win Big if You Support This Spring Pizza Joint
For a few years, Jackpot Pizza at 6450 Louetta in Spring has been my go-to when craving the comforting styles of pizza that most Houstonians grew up with. The pizza joint stacks bubbling, hand-tossed thick or crispy, thin crusts with high-quality toppings and provides a local alternative to major chains, such as Pizza Hut or Domino’s. The Spring location is one of two, as there’s another at 2022 Wilcrest, part of the Memorial Food Co. ghost kitchen. However, with a slowdown in business and a rise in costs, owner Mary Ann Ledesma is on the verge of closing the Spring location.
“It’s been pretty hard for the last year. Really, since post-COVID,” said Ledesma. “Costs just got so outrageous, and there’s no way we could jump prices to keep up. It has been slower as well, and that’s because everything is expensive now. Eating out is much more of a luxury than it was over the past decade or so. It’s hard for everyone right now, unfortunately.”
If Ledesma is forced to close her Spring restaurant, it’s a sad conclusion for an owner who regularly steps up for the community. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Jackpot fed 18,000 people in need for free. It’s not the only time Ledesma has led a charitable initiative. Jackpot also hosted a virtual fun run that raised money to “feed it forward and provide meals to those in need. During the hard freeze of February 2021, Jackpot ran a food and supply drive, as well as provided meals — again, for free with no questions asked. Even now, Jackpot’s online ordering pages have the option to make donations to Slice Out Hunger, a pizza-centric food program. In addition, Ledesma has used Jackpot’s social media to hype other local businesses (including other area pizza shops), bring awareness to causes and share Spring-area news as much as she has used it to share her own shop’s goods.
The menu at Jackpot is simple, with the pizza as the star of the show. Hand-tossed and thin-crust options are available in four sizes, from the 12-inch medium to a 20-inch “mega”. Jackpot also has a 12-inch cauliflower crust and a 10-inch gluten-free option. The menu has 21 suggested pizza combinations, many of which, in keeping with the business branding, have a casino-themed name. You can also try your hand at building your own pizza from over two dozen toppings and sauces. Prices are a little higher than the national chains with a similar style, but you are more than getting your money’s worth in quality and quantity.
The Double Down, loaded with extra pepperoni, mushrooms, sauce and cheese is a mainstay in my delivery cart. Despite the sheer volume of toppings, the limited variety keeps the flavor from becoming cacophonous. The salt and spice from the pepperoni and the zesty sauce do much of the heavy lifting, while the cheese and mushrooms (which add a small amount of earthiness) mellow out the intensity.
The Over-Under with pepperoni, mushrooms, spicy sausage, jalapenos, onions and extra cheese, has a more diverse flavor. The pizza is pleasantly spicy and hearty, but the added onions and jalapenos brighten up the flavor and add a crunch. Something of a secret menu item is the Hot Chicken Pizza (which I discovered thanks to the Slice pizza delivery app). The pizza is topped with a combination of ranch and buffalo sauces, cheese, chicken breast, onions, and an additional swirl of hot sauce, creating a smoother, creamier take on the buffalo chicken pizza. (Pro tip: this is a great time to go “all-in” and get a garlic-butter-glazed crust). On occasion, Ledesma creates zanier, over-the-top pizza creations such as chicken Caesar salad, grilled cheese, Frito pie, and pickle, and announces these specials on Jackpot’s social media. If you’re feeling indecisive, Jackpot also offers a pizza flight, where you can choose three, 10-inch pizzas.
A few non-pizza appetizers are on the menu, including salads, garlic knots and breadsticks coated in rich garlic butter and sprinkled with Parmesan. Also, there are a few very pizza-adjacent appetizers on the menu. You can order classic calzones, crustless pizza (a bowl with sauce and up to five of your favorite toppings) and cheese bread. On the more filling side, you can order pizza rolls (think Double Daves-style, not Totinos), stuffed with pepperoni, sausage & onion or BBQ chicken.
There are even dessert pizzas. Choose between s’mores, with melted milk chocolate, toasted marshmallow, graham cracker and a drizzle of honey, or Apple Pie with apple pie filling and graham crackers.
In the last few years, Houston has been bombarded with artisan pizzerias, each with its own trendy concoctions. While enjoying what each has to offer, don’t forget to support your long-time favorites — before it is too late. The Spring location is open Sunday through Thursday from 4 to 8:30 p.m., and Friday through Saturday until 9:30 p.m. The Memorial location is open daily from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.