I took my kids to Brick House Pizza for the first time Saturday. Even though it has been voted one of the best pizzerias in the Mid Columbia every year we've done the poll, I'd just never taken the time to go. I was not disappointed. Its reputation is deserved.

What surprised me most is it's more than a pizza restaurant. Granted it was a Saturday night, but Brick House is obviously a neighborhood hangout with people chilling with a pint and chatting with friends long after the pizza or burger was gone -- if they ever had one to begin with. The atmosphere was relaxed and cozy with friendly staff and very kid friendly (at least half the diners had 2+ children).

My FAVORITE thing about Brick House's pizzas is proportions. The crust is just thick enough. It wasn't a loaf of bread with sauce on top, nor was it a cracker. The chewy crust was strong enough to support a heap of toppings, but kept out of the way otherwise. If I want a lot of bread I'll eat at a bakery.

The heap of toppings was just the right amount to stay on each slice once it was picked up. I think we've all dug into a heaping pizza only to discover you have to eat it with a fork after everything falls off the crust. Not so here.

The sauce was just enough as well. My kids didn't end up with it all over their hands and face, and yet not a single slice was dry.

The second thing I liked was the quality of the toppings. It was the highest quality Canadian bacon I'd ever eaten. Our pizza had chicken on it, and the chicken chunks were big. And you can tell when a pizza uses cheap cheese by how it tastes once it gets cold. Verdict: good cheese.

Really, we had nothing to complain about and will definitely make a trip back.

We did wait nearly 25 minutes, but it was a specialty pizza made from scratch, so that's to be expected. And the Colossus size was $30, but it fed our large family and that's usually our dining out budget whether it be Chinese or burgers.

The salad bar looked good. I'm curious to try their sandwiches and burgers another day. The specialty pizza menu included SHRIMP offerings, so that's on my bucket list as well.

You're a popular restaurant and you deserve it Brick House Pizza!