Who doesn’t love pizza?! Most pizza lovers in the Triangle have probably come across Ruckus Pizza, Pasta, and Spirits at one of their four locations, but Ruckus is much more than your average pizza joint. When the first Ruckus opened in 1999 in Mission Valley, the goal was to sell pizza and beer, and being smack dab next to a college campus, they certainly accomplished that goal. As they gained popularity, they decided they wanted to branch out into more food that they loved. This included pasta, salads, wings, sandwiches, and now sushi. It sounds crazy to get sushi at what people consider a pizza place, but I can assure it is some good sushi. Sushi is served at the Morrisville location by a sushi chef who has his own station in the dining room and makes the sushi fresh.
I recently got a chance to try some the menu items, besides pizza, that Ruckus has to offer. In order to get the largest selection, two friends and myself went to the Morrisville location, which is in Park West Village. We were excited to see what this sushi was all about, so we order two rolls to split between us. The Wolfpack Roll ($14) consists of shrimp tempura, yellow tail, and avocado, and is topped with seared scallops, red tobiko, spicy mayo, and eel sauce. This was my favorite roll because I loved the little bit of spice it had. I also loved the nice crunch of the shrimp tempura. The other roll we tried was the Toasted Mango Roll ($12), which consisted of shrimp tempura and spicy tuna, and was topped with mango, toasted almonds, and eel sauce. This roll was also very tasty and the mango added a nice, unexpected sweetness to the dish. I was really impressed with the high quality of the rolls, and I would definitely go back and try more.
Next, we tried the Candied Walnut Gorgonzola Salad ($8.99), which had a base of mixed greens and was topped with candied walnuts, Gorgonzola cheese, craisins, Granny Smith apples, Romano cheese, and poppy seed vinaigrette. The flavors of this salad went amazingly well together, and the sourness of the apples really complimented the sweetness of the candied walnuts and craisins. If you added grilled chicken to this salad, it could easily be a filling entrée.
We also tried the Ruckus Chopped Salad ($8.99), which is tossed and then put into a mold and beautifully presented at the table. This salad had an iceberg base, bacon, sweet corn, Roma tomatoes, avocado, crispy potato straws, and Ruckus house dressing, which was nice and creamy. This salad was surprisingly delicious, and I think all three of us could have easily scarfed down an entire one for ourselves. The ingredients are all light and refreshing, but they go together to make a satisfying and tasty meal. Next we moved on to pasta and decided to share some classic Alfredo ($9.99). We added chicken, bacon, and mushrooms to spice things up a bit. We spoke with the catering manager, who told us how fresh the sauce was, and he was right – you could definitely tell it wasn’t just some powdered mix. The sauce was flavorful and creamy, and just the perfect texture. I feel like some Alfredo can be very hit and miss and is either way to thick and cheesy, or runny and bland, but this was perfectly in the center of the creaminess scale. We finished off our meal with a slice of Key Lime Pie. The slice itself was huge and almost had the texture of cheesecake, instead of the jello-ey texture of some key lime pies. The flavor was subtle but refreshing, and the raspberry sauce garnish added an amazing touch.
In addition to their four locations, Ruckus also offers an extensive catering menu. They will work with you to meet all of your budget, dietary, and culinary needs. There is always something on the menu for everyone, which makes the catering great for all sorts of events. One of the most popular pairings is sushi and wings. They might not seem like they go together, but those who aren’t sushi fans normally enjoy wings, and sushi is a nice touch that isn’t normally available at things like office events. Your catering order will also be delivered right to you, no need to pick it up yourself. The full-time catering manager, Taylor, will work with you and show you that you can have it all.
Overall I was very impressed with Ruckus. What I thought was simply a pizza joint turned out to have one of the most diverse menus I’ve seen in a while. From sushi, to salad, to pasta, all of our dishes were flavorful and satisfying. I will definitely be back to try more of what the Ruckus menu has to offer.
Note: From time to time we’re invited out to try a restaurant or to try certain products. This meal or items are usually comped, as these was. We’re under no obligation to write a positive review or any review at all when we’re invited out to try a place. Every review you see on our site will be an honest review of the place whether or not the restaurant provided us with the meal at their cost.
Melissa Guido is currently a dietetic intern in the Triangle area. She studied nutrition at NC State and Meredith College. Her favorite part about nutrition is showing people that healthy food can be exciting and delicious. Melissa loves traveling and learning about how food fits into different cultures. In her free time she loves trying new restaurants, cooking, and obsessing over her dogs. Follow her on Instagram @made2order and at www.madeorder.wordpress.com.