The zone includes downtown, Midtown, the Gulch, Music Row, Vanderbilt, Belmont and 12South.
Delivery hours are 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.
The folks at Two Boots says they welcome big orders, and offer 15 percent off orders of 10 pizzas or more.
Check out the PDF with the delivery zone map here.
One thing I like about the place is that everyone who works there seems to be having a great time. I don't know if that is the workplace culture of all Two Boots locations or if owner Sam Boyer just hired a bunch of fun people, but all the experiences I've had interacting with the staff have been enjoyable. Even waiting for a pizza is fun, since you can scan the colorful walls and discover lots of little kitschy details in the decor and mounted on the counter where you order. There are also several nods to the building's former tenant, with Great Escape signs and even an excellent pizza named after the old comic-book store.
The Great Escape pizza is probably my favorite of the five pies I have tried, with homemade andouille meatballs, pepperoni, basil and ricotta on a thin Sicilian crust. I wasn't as enthused as I'd hoped about The Kitty, a uniquely Nashvllle pie topped with hot chicken from Two Boots' neighbors at Hattie B's, along with blue cheese dressing, pickles and jalapenos. It's not that it wasn't a decent pizza, I had just hoped that the hot chicken would be a little more aggressive. Besides, there were just other pizzas that I preferred.
Since you can buy pizza by the slice at Two Boots, it's easy to sample a couple of options during one visit, although the slices are pretty huge, so judge your appetite accordingly. I also enjoyed the pie which I assume is named after my boss.* The Mr. Pink features a spicy creole chicken topping and juicy crushed plum tomatoes with garlic and mozzarella. Because those tomatoes were so juicy, it did leave the crust a little soggy, but that's partially my fault since I took the pie home to eat. I'm sure it would probably be crisper ordered by the slice and reheated in one of Two Boots' massive pizza ovens.
But I can't remember anything like the current pizza boom going on now in the Midtown neighborhood. Starting at the original stalwart Pizza Perfect across from Vanderbilt on 21st Avenue, here's the list of a half-dozen Midtown pizza joints that I can think of off the top of my head that we have covered here on Bites in the past few years:
Even with the closing of Pie in the Sky around the corner from Soulshine and Two Boots, there are a whole lot of new pizza choices for Midtown diners. But Keith Hayman, the owner of 12th & Porter, isn't scared about oversaturation. He has announced plans to open Music City Pizza in the lounge side of the 12th & Porter bar and music club before the summer is over.
But No. 9? Really? Of course, this poll has already drawn some questioning from the national food press for naming Chicago No. 1 and not even listing New York City second. Providence, R.I. earned the No. 2 spot, with New York at No. 3. And San Francisco isn't even on the list.
So what do you think, Bitesters? Are we worthy of this vaunted status? What would you hold up as Nashville's premier pie if the T+L editors asked you to take them to the best of the best? Where do you come down in the Windy City/Big Apple debate? Have you had a Providence pizza, and what's so great about it? Is it true that you can drive across the whole state of Rhode Island for only 10 bucks in cab fare?
Cut yourself a slice and pile on in the comments.
The expansive 16th Avenue space houses three pizza ovens, imported from Italy, along with rows of community tables for family-style seating. You can watch the bakers place your pizza in the oven, where it’s briefly kissed by the intense fire, then served to you just slightly charred.
The pizza menu includes the obvious varieties — margherita and bianca — and some less familiar ones like the verdura, a veggie pizza with broccoli rabe and mushrooms. DeSano also serves calzones and Italian desserts (cannoli and biscotti) made daily in house. There’s a small selection of beer and wine, but they also allow BYOB if you want to bring in a bottle of your favorite pizza-friendly red or white.
DeSano Pizza Bakery is at 155 16th Ave. S. Hours are 11 a.m.-10 p.m. (or, as they caution, until the dough runs out). The phone number is 953-1168. The website's still under construction, but you can follow @DeSano_Pizza on Twitter.
A version of this story appeared in my Food Biz column in today's print edition of The City Paper and online in the Nashville Post.
So when he asked if I would help him with his local pizza competition, I quickly said yes. Apparently, the plans for a best pizza contest arose from the idea that since Herman Cain is the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza and a favorite candidate of Gill's listeners, it would be interesting to see if they preferred his pizza as well. After a modicum of research, Gill's staff discovered that around here, Godfather's Pizza is pretty much limited to gas stations and would probably finish a distant third in the takeaway pizza category behind Hunt Brothers and "Other."
But the buzz had already begun, and Gill saw this as a chance to feature some local pizza options and share a good time with some of his listeners invited to the studio. So that's how I found myself in the comfortable garage-and-poker-room-themed room at Clear Channel that serves as Gill's studio, confronted with a stack of 12 pieces of pizza.
Listeners made the first pass through the boxes of carryout delivered by the competitors, piling their straining paper plates high with slices from the two categories, pepperoni and "restaurant's choice." Then a parade of pies was brought forth to the two tables of us judges by staffers and interns of the radio show. The entrants were: Porta Via on White Bridge Road; Joey's House of Pizza (newly relocated from Brentwood to Elm Hill Pike in Nashville); Marco's Pizza in Franklin; the punnily-named Knead Dough from Hendersonville; Brixx Wood Fired Pizza, also from Hendersonville; and Michaelangelo's Pizza (located just off Elliston Place in Nashville).
Judging was ostensibly blind, although some of the pizzas were served in the boxes with the pizzerias' names on them, but we were professionals. After pies were assessed on both appearance and taste, the People's Choice Award went to Knead Dough. I didn't see their pizza in the condition that it arrived, but apparently they cooked a 4' x 4' pizza that had both a pepperoni side and a Hawaiian ham, bacon, red onion and grilled pineapple half, which was my personal favorite. (I know ... the heresy! I went to college in California and developed an unholy attraction to Hawaiian pizza.)
First, owners Tara and Dave Tieman and Tanner Jacobs spent a year formulating a dough recipe. Well, no — first the Tiemans spent 12 years as attorneys. Then they looked around their East Nashville neighborhood and said, “What would we be really excited to see open here?” Came the answer: pizza by the slice.
They then spent a year renovating the former bike shop at 1012 Woodland St. When they weren't renovating or overseeing renovation, they were working on the recipe for crust. Different combinations of flour and water, different water, different flour, rise times — there are dozens of variables to test. They consulted bakers, researched online, and spent a week working at a pizzeria on Staten Island, N.Y.
And then there was sauce. Oh, and the beer permit. I don’t need to tell you that was a nightmare. Both Tiemans went through the application over and over, yet with their combined 24 years in practice, they couldn’t figure out how to fill out the application. In the end, they got their beer license, and Tara Tieman is helping the Metro Beer Board overhaul its permit application form, which should gladden many prospective restaurant owners.
The Five Points crew originally envisioned being BYOB, since Woodland Wines is across the street. But in Nashville, things are not so simple. That beer permit turned out to be a mixed blessing: It allows them to serve beer, but not to serve or allow any other alcohol — including BYOB. So now they’re working toward the limited license that will allow them to sell wine and high-gravity beer.
But Mrs. Pink's sister, Madame Rouge, said her husband had raved about a pizza place somewhere in Nolensville. He couldn't remember the name but thought it started with an "A." After minutes of fruitless searching, we were about to turn around in metropolitan Nolensville and head back when the kids spotted a sign in a little strip mall on the right: Amico's.
Not that there aren't many fine options in Nashville. But when you live in Germantown and are feeling lazy, your options narrow significantly: get Jet's delivered and hate yourself for it; get Papa John's delivered and hate yourself and humanity in general for it; or walk to City House.
The last option is fine for those of you with fat-wallet-induced scoliosis, but for the more frugal among us, it's not always the best idea. Let's face it: "Let's get a pizza at City House" quickly turns into a pizza, two pizzas, a few sazeracs, a couple of beers, and ... oh, hey, that new bewildering dish with pork belly in it. The next thing you know, you've spent a healthy car payment on a Thursday dinner.
Whatever your reason, Porta Via Italian Kitchen is responding to the requests of their customers by importing a new gluten-free flour they offer as an option in their pizzas, breads and pastas.
The gluten-free flour is imported from Italy and contains a blend of rice, fava bean and potato. You have to ask for it in when you order — and of course pizza, pasta and bread made with traditional wheat still dominate the menu).
In an interesting twist, the management of Porta Via has managed to create gluten-free options while still adhering to the strict pizza standards set forth by the Associazone Pizza Napoletana (VPN).
That's quite a feat, so I hope the anti-gluten set appreciates the effort and gives the new dishes a try. Report back here how the new flour is working out.
Porta Via Italian Kitchen is located at 21 White Bridge Road. Check out their website at www.eatatportavia.com for more information.
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