@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
When I was a kid, I hated pizza. For those of you who read my Showbiz Pizza blog, I made that statement and promised more details. Well, the time has come. My family would go out for pizza from time to time, be it Pizza Hut, Imo's (a St. Louis institution), or Pantera's Pizza. Each time, I'd either order a sandwich or just pick the toppings off, usually bacon and ground beef.
Then in 5th grade my class earned a trip to Pantera's Pizza, which sat in a shopping center at the bottom of the hill from Brennan Woods Elementary School. Each student in Mrs. Tatlow's class had the opportunity to make his or her own personal pan pizza. I was more than a little reluctant, seeing as I hadn't ever really tried an actual pizza. Somehow in my mind I just knew I didn't like it. But that little pepperoni pizza, made by me was delicious. Since Pantera's was one of the few restaurants in High Ridge and surrounding communities at that time, it became a favorite for my family.
I can still see all the parents, unwinding from a long evening of volunteer work, talking and laughing. They'd enjoy the pizza and beverages and tell stories. The laughter and jokes could be heard over the funky beats of the 80's and the chomping of Pac Man. It's something I'll never forget.
I don't know exactly when Pantera's closed its doors at the High Ridge location, but I know it was a sad day. Besides the ambiance and the fun, the food was so good too. There is a Pantera's still open a couple of hours from where I live now. I've yet to visit, but one of these days I will have that pizza and hopefully get in a round of Pac Man, QBert, or Dig Dug.