The owners of the Tilton House of Pizza proudly display one of their freshly made pizzas. THOP was voted one of the Top 10 Pizzerias in New Hampshire during a recent online poll. From left to right are John, Dan, Tim, Fanoula and Tom Katsigiannis. (Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
February 08, 2012TILTON — Phone lines at the Tilton House of Pizza lit up last Thursday, not only with orders, but also with congratulatory messages when WMUR-TV announced the 20 top pizzerias in New Hampshire, ranking the Katsigiannis family's restaurant as number six on the list.
Beginning Jan. 27, pizza aficionados were asked to cast their votes on the WMUR Facebook page, and raves for THOP were plenty.
"Tilton House of Pizza is the best around anywhere. I've eaten at a lot of pizza places, and haven't found one yet that compares. Tilton House and the owners are great people," wrote one Franklin resident when casting his vote.
Loyal customers at THOP are thrilled to see the restaurant in the Top 10, but many argue it should have been named number one in the state.
Tommy Katsigiannis, one of three brothers who own the Main Street eatery, said he was most grateful to come in at sixth place and in fact, honored to even be named in the online survey.
"To be mentioned in that group, some really great restaurants, was incredible," he said. "I would have been humbled to be in the Top 50 among the places that were named."
Others in the Top 10 were the Flatbread Company in North Conway, Caesario's Pizza and Subs in Manchester, Cantore's Pizza in West Lebanon, Front Row Pizzeria in Exeter, Sal's statewide chain, Alley Cat Pizzeria in Manchester, Pizza Barn in Center Ossipee, Vinnie's in Concord, and La Festa in Dover.
Tommy and his brothers see the distinction of making one of the best pizzas in the state as more than an honor for themselves.
"This is great for the whole community, too. They keep us going and it's nice to see Tilton recognized," he said.
The Katsigiannis family purchased THOP 14 years ago from friends who had operated the restaurant for nearly 17 years prior. Besides serving up great food, the family is always eager to give back to the people who support them as well. Food drives, school and town events, and other charitable endeavors can always find support through THOP and its owners.
"We're part of this community. Whatever we can do to help, we do it," Katsigiannis said.
He said he felt the fresh ingredients used in their pizzas, along with the care in the preparation of their foods, inspired the praise and many votes THOP received.
While many pizzerias purchase dough for their pizza, the staff at THOP make their own, sometimes as many as three or four times a day.
The restaurant serves up more than pizza, however, and their subs, special salads, burgers, pastas and other hot dishes and desserts are popular with customers, both locally and from out of state. Online reviews for THOP are plentiful and positive, with many tourists proclaiming it as a destination whenever they travel through the Lakes Region. One Web site, The Economical Eater, even touted it as a "hidden gem."
The Tilton House of Pizza is located at 298 Main St. in downtown Tilton. They are open from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, until 11 p.m. on Fridays, and are closed Tuesdays. Take out orders may be placed by calling 286-3333.