When you’re North Shore-bound and not feeling the shrimp-truck scene, the pizzas, subs, burgers, pastas and salads at Jerry’s Pizza Mill beckon, a mere stone’s throw from the old Waialua Sugar Mill.
67-292 Goodale Ave., Waialua
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and Sundays, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; BYOB
Prices: $2 to $19
Jerry’s is in the Waialua Shopping Center, less than 3 miles from the now-closed, once-legendary Pizza Bob’s in Haleiwa, and is easily worth a much longer drive.
A daylight drive to Waialua can seem to townies like a neighbor island vacation. You can feel your blood pressure decreasing.
About the business: Jerry Coffman came to Hawaii from California in 1986 “to surf … and to go to school,” in that order, he said. Coffman studied hotel and restaurant management at Brigham Young University-Hawaii, started working in that industry, and opened Jerry’s Pizza Mill in 2011. “I was really adamant about wanting to run a local-style restaurant with local prices for local customers on the North Shore,” Coffman said. Jerry’s gets lots of visitor traffic, which he considers gravy, with local customers being his bread and butter.
He has since opened three food trucks — Lickety Split, a roving ice cream truck offering soft serve, root beer floats and other treats; The Spot at Shark’s Cove; and the North Shore Shrimp Truck.
Daily at the pizza mill, Jerry’s wife, Paula, makes fresh pizza dough, bakes breads for subs and burgers, and preps pasta dishes. “She’s really the backbone. She’s really the boss,” Coffman said.
What to order: The most popular item by far is the Waialua pizza, topped with pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, olives, tomatoes and garlic. Prices are $15.50 for a 12-inch and $19 for the 16-inch version. The Portuguesa, a nod to Paula’s Brazilian roots, is another signature pie with ham, boiled egg, black olives and onion. Customizing a pizza or slice atop a thin, New York-style crust is also an option.
Dessert pizza choices include chocolate-strawberry or banana- cinnamon, from $6 for an 8-inch up to $12 for a 16-incher.
The 10 baked or cold sub choices, three pasta dishes, burgers ($6 to $11) and meal-sized salad options might cloud the decision- making process for some people.
How to order: The business is about 40 percent dine-in and 60 percent takeout, Coffman said, adding, “The phone doesn’t stop ringing after about 6 p.m.”
Dine-in customers can choose the entrance side of the restaurant with its open kitchen, people- watching opportunities and large window. Trophies and other memorabilia display the Coffmans’ sponsorships of local sports teams. Two outdoor tables offer a few seats.
A step through a dollar-bill- festooned archway decorated by customers reveals a dim, air-conditioned dining room with TV screens. Booths have split-level tables that Coffman designed. An elevated platform for pizza saves table real estate for other eats and drinks.
Jerry’s is BYOB with a corkage fee of $2 per person, and The Brown Bottle convenience store is across the parking lot. Up-and-coming artists perform on weekends.
Grab and go: Parking is available in the lot and on the street. Takeout orders are welcomed in-person or by phone, though pizzas are made to order starting with hand-tossing the dough, so those in a hurry should call ahead.
In the coming weeks Jerry’s will open at 7 a.m. for breakfast, with breakfast pizzas part of the plan.
“Grab and Go” focuses on takeout food, convenience meals and other quick bites. Email ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.