Pudge’s Pizza is pretty good but elusive. Here’s how to find it when Pudge’s is closed

Pudge’s Pizza coming to Texas Live!

Rangers Hall of Famer Pudge Rodriguez is opening Pudge's Pizza on Aug. 9 at Texas Live!
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Rangers Hall of Famer Pudge Rodriguez is opening Pudge's Pizza on Aug. 9 at Texas Live!

The Star-Telegram checked out every restaurant at Texas Live! Read other reviews here.

Few things at Texas Live! have been more elusive than Pudge’s Pizza, which like Guy’s Taco Joint is a food-court-style stand and which unlike Guy’s Taco Joint we’ve had difficulty finding open. According to its website, it’s only open 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Thursdays and 6 p.m.-2 a.m. Fridays, plus two hours before game/event time on game days. But when we tried to hit it up two hours before a rain-threatened, meaningless Texas Rangers-Los Angeles Angels game on Sept. 5, we were told that it wouldn’t open because the crowd was too light.

But it turns out that although Pudge’s Pizza is considered a separate restaurant, it has a window in Sports & Social next door and, if Pudge’s is closed, you can get pizzas at Sports & Social that are very similar to the ones on the Pudge’s menu (in fact, if you look at the ingredients on the two menus, you’ll find that the pizzas are the same, despite having different names). Go to enough places at Texas Live! and you’ll find plenty of examples of overlap, but this is the most glaring.

So, the pizzas. Had the Texas Slinger or, as it’s known at Sports & Social, the Tex-Mex ($13.95): ancho-spiced chicken, spicy-refried beans, red onion, jalapeños, red-chile tomato sauce, chipotle honey glaze, mozzarella, cheddar and jack cheeses. Pretty good: crisp crust without being cracker-thin; bright, spicy toppings cut slightly by the honey glaze’s sweetness (not to mention stickiness); and, as you can probably tell, lots of gooey cheese. The “Series,” or as it’s known at Sports & Social, the Veggie ($12.95), was more ordinary: similar crust, mushrooms, Roma tomatoes, red onion, black olives (that looked like they came from a can), artichoke hearts, mozzarella. Not bad, but if we were to order this again, we’d ask for some jalapeños to give it some sort of kick.

As far as restaurants with celebrity names go at Texas Live!, Troy’s wins. And points to Sports & Social (which we’ll revisit below), where the staff couldn’t have been more accommodating.

The Star-Telegram's Robert Philpot broadcasts live from the grand opening of Texas Live! in Arlington.