Dig Baton Rouge

The Dish: SS Gumbo Pizza @ Souga Pizza Factory

By Matt Starlight

You may have noticed that the former Oscar’s Pizza and Ice Cream Joint on Perkins Road is now operating under the name Souga Pizza Factory. Recently acquired by owner Trey Matassa and his fiancée, the newly named pizza shack is hoping to make its mark in the Baton Rouge community by providing fresh, local ingredients to their customers — just the way Matassa’s grandmother did. In fact, the name Souga comes from her: it’s an Italian slang term for “red sauce” that she used to describe her own cooking.

With Italian heritage and Louisiana heart, it’s no surprise that Souga is serving up a pizza called the SS Gumbo. Don’t expect an entire bowl of gumbo piled onto a slice of ‘za — just some of the most important ingredients. If you were worried that Oscar’s signature pizza’s might fall flat under new direction, one of slice of this item from the original Oscar’s menu will calm your nerves.

Made up of homemade whole wheat sourdough bread, a garlic oil base, homemade andouille sausage, bell peppers, onions, shrimp, mozzarella, and fried okra, the SS Gumbo has no intention of playing it safe, but rather catering to the flavors you didn’t even know you craved together. It’s a unique and interesting way to blend the two genres of taste; Italian and Creole isn’t a combo you run into every day. But even with a nearly entirely new staff, head chef Robert Dagastino infuses all the different elements in a way that works surprisingly well.

Make no mistake: this is pizza that can stand on its own merits. Individually, these ingredients would make fine toppings, but together, they really create that gumbo vibe that any native Louisianian can’t help but love. If you can’t decide between good pizza or good gumbo, Souga’s SS Gumbo pizza can satisfy your indecisive tongue

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