WHAT KIND OF PIZZA DO YOU WANT?
It’s a simple, common question that most pizza-loving Americans don’t give nearly enough thought, usually tossing off a halfhearted “pepperoni, I guess,” or worse, mumbling something about avoiding gluten. The pizzaverse is vast and varied, and even its most voracious eaters likely haven’t sampled all the palate-pleasing styles out there. “Whatever, I’ve been to Chicago,” you say. YOU KNOW NOTHING. Have you been to Valley Forge, the old mining town in Pennsylvania with a delicious pizza style all its own? Have you ever had a pizza where the crust came out of a deep fryer? Have you frequented places where they swear by putting the cheese on cold after the crust is cooked? If you answered “no” to any of these, it’s clear you need to add some entries to your pizza bucket list.
Luckily, we’ve dug deep on all the different styles of pizza you need to try before your pizza-eating life is complete. Sure, certain pizza purists will cast a skeptical eye at certain pizza permutations and derisively deem them “not pizza,” but we believe the glorious trinity of cheese, sauce, and carbs deserves to be celebrated in all its forms. Here are the 5 most compelling ways we consume pizza, from tried-and-true traditions to burgeoning trends that might soon occupy an oven (or better yet, stomach) near you. Dig in.
What it is: The pizza bagel is -- simply -- traditional pizza toppings on a (usually) toasted bagel. And when pizza’s on a bagel, you can eat pizza any time.
Where to get it: Noah’s New York Bagels, 1000 Volunteer Blvd, UT - Knoxville (Glocker Bldg), Knoxville, TN 37996
What it is: The pizza “vehicle” is used to facilitate traditional breakfast foods in order to fashion a pie worthy of the day’s most important meal. You don’t have to eat this pie in the morning, but it’s definitely become a brunchtime staple. Where to get it: The Tomatoe Head, 2 locations, 12 Market Square & 7240 Kingston Pike
What it is: Generally wood-fired close to Neapolitan. But like the rad new kid from Malibu who shakes things up at a stuffy new school in a classic movie, it doesn’t play by the rules. California has to do with toppings. Using ultra-fresh ingredients and putting things like broccoli and fennel on pies.
Where to get it: Blaze Pizza, 2 locations, 10978 Parkside Dr., 113 N. Peters Rd., Knoxville, www.blazepizza.com
What it is: It is, quite literally, the granddaddy of all pizza. This is the pizza as it was originally intended. The tops of the pies are commonly peppered with fresh tomatoes, herbs, and other veggies, with a thin layer of red sauce, and a relatively sparse application of cheese (the iconic margherita being the most popular preparation). Cooked inside wood-fired ovens, this is as “traditional” as pizza can get..
Where to get it: A Dopo Pizza 516 William Str. Knoxville
What it is: Simply put: This is pizza. When you conjure an image of the Platonic ideal of what pizza should be, you’re probably visualizing a box full of New York slices. Hand-tossed, round pies with a thin(ish), crispy crust, featuring a light layer of heavily seasoned tomato sauce, topped with gooey, “pull-able” mozzarella cheese, and commonly served via solo slice and topped with pepperoni. This is pizza as you know it.
Where to get it: Gavino’s Pizzeria Restaurant, 2 locations;
11316 Parkside Dr & 5211 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, www.gavinospizzeria.com