Weekly Dish - Itza Pizza: MCM Elegante Hotel hopes to keep pizza orders in-house with new concept

Boudin Jalapeno pizza

The MCM Eleganté Hotel is hoping a new concept will entice guests to order pizza in-house and also capitalize on sales opportunities outside the hotel.

Itza Pizza, which opened Saturday, April 1, is serving hotel guests, dine-in customers, and delivering to a whole new market through the Waitr app.

Located inside Hemmingway’s Café, Itza Pizza sold over 300 pizzas in its first week, said Matt Peterson, food and beverage director at the MCM Eleganté.

The concept is the brainchild of hotel GM Steve McGaha.

“About a year ago, Steve started to notice on mornings when we would clean out our room service carts, we were seeing a lot of pizza boxes from Dominos and all the local pizza places,” Matt Peterson said. “All your front desk personnel have those phone numbers committed to memory.”

When a hotel guest called down and said they wanted to order a pizza, they were given the phone number of pizza places outside the hotel. Not anymore.

“In December, we decided we’re seeing more and more pizza boxes plus it’s almost ball season,” Peterson said. “Anytime you have softball teams and baseball teams coming through the door, they’re going to be ordering pizzas for every room.”

McGaha and Peterson, who is also vice president of the Sabine Area Restaurant Association, tested out their recipe Wednesday, March 1, at Taste of the Triangle, an annual event where dozens of local restaurants serve up samples of some of their best offerings. The event is hosted by the Sabine Area Restaurant Association with all proceeds benefiting food service majors at Lamar University and LIT, and the YMBL, and Special Olympics.

“Throughout the month of January and February, we did research and development,” Peterson said. “The Boudin Jalapeño and the Asian Chicken were the two pizzas we rolled out at our soft opening at the Taste of the Triangle knowing that 30 days later we were going live with everything.”

The reception was great, Peterson said, and Itza Pizza is now available through the hotel’s room service, poolside at the hotel’s newly remodeled pool and cabanas, at Hemmingway’s Café and Tradewinds Tavern inside the hotel, and can even be home delivered through the Waitr app.

With 17 different pizzas to choose from, there are plenty of options for everyone. You can also build your own. Pizzas come in two sizes, 12-inch for $12 and 16-inch for $16, and are available in fire-finished artisan crust or classic rolled-edge crust. The breakfast pizza is only available in classic rolled edge crust. Gluten-free pizzas are available for $3 more, but are only available in the 12-inch size. Certain pizzas are not available gluten-free.

Peterson said some of his best selling pizzas are Mediterranean Vegetable, Asian Chicken, and Boudin Jalapeño.

The Mediterranean Vegetable pizza is made with a classic San Marzano sauce and topped with buffalo style mozzarella, feta cheese, roasted red and yellow peppers, balsamic marinated Cippolini onions, Kalamata olives, grilled artichokes finished with fresh basil, balsamic glaze and extra virgin olive oil.

The Asian Chicken pizza is made with flame-broiled chicken tossed with sesame Asian dressing, mozzarella cheese, diced peppers, onions, and fresh pineapple and finished with an Asian sambal glaze and cilantro.

The Boudin Jalapeño pizza is made with a creamy Alfredo sauce and is topped with crumbled boudin, shredded mozzarella, Gruyère cheese, jalapeños, and finished with olive oil, sliced green onions, and Itza’s signature herb blend.

The restaurant also offers a breakfast pizza made with country gravy, hash browns, Jimmy Dean sausage, and applewood bacon, topped with mozzarella, cheddar cheese and fresh farm eggs, and finished with green onions, olive oil and Itza’s signature herb blend.

Other food options besides pizza include cheesy bread, nachos, Buffalo wings, Asian wings, and sandwiches.

Itza Pizza is available through dine-in and carryout from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday – Wednesday, and 6 a.m. – 11 p.m. Thursday – Saturday. You can also order through Waitr from 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.


For more information or to place an order, call (409) 842-3600.